Should I Play Valheim?

In this article I want to talk about a game called Valheim. Where it came from? What it is? Is it worth playing and just try and give you some context.


So let's begin with the developers. It's developed by Iron Gate. This is actually their very first game. Originally, it was just Richard Svensson who was working on the title but early in 2019 Henrik Törnqvist joined the team and the studio moved into their own office space, a small office room and each previously working from home. They then registered as a new limited company and they got publishers. Not long after that they got Robin Eyre, their first employee. He's a concept artist, 3d artist and an animator and the guys then moved into a bigger office space including some new room to grow.


Now, let's talk about the game. So the synopsis for this is that it's a brutal exploration and survival game designed for one to ten players. Set in a procedurally generated purgatory inspired by Viking culture. You battle, you build and you conquer your way to a saga worthy of Odin's patronage. Now this originally released a couple weeks ago on the 2nd of February for early access on Steam. Hence, the recent attention as anybody can now play this, being early access and with it being a survival game it is of course naturally understandable to be a little bit cautious going into it and you know whether or not the game will actually be good or not or just if it's being overhyped. A lot of games in this genre and sort of early access, Windows have let people down.


So let's jump in and explore what people are doing. So the genre again Indie survival RPG action adventure, it is mostly PVE however, PVP can be enabled to dual your friends. Keep in mind that this is slightly different sort of survival experience.


Graphics wise it has a sort of stylized look to it with relatively low detail and fidelity. Especially, on the character models lighting is pretty good and there are weather events, day night cycle that do make the game look quite nice despite the sort of a lower graphical fidelity. It kind of reminds us of sort of a 3d Terraria in that respect which is actually kind of cool.


When it comes to co-op, you can play with up to 10 players but it can also be played solo. They do recommend two to five players because there's lots of base building and resource gathering and crafting, which of course is a lot easier with more people.


Now being a survival game it is procedurally generated. You will be chopping trees, mining rocks, building and crafting a lot of the items and buildings in the game. Especially, as you get further into the game require a lot of resources meaning you can expect a lot of grinding, a lot of killing to get you the items you need. But again that's what keeps us playing these kind of games.


Now, outside in the world there are a lot of things to fight, to sort of you know potentially present dangers to you. So when it comes to keeping alive this means managing your food and your temperature. But luckily unlike other survival games like DayZ or Rust, you won't die. If you ignore these you will lose maximum health and stamina. If you are hungry or cold meaning the weaker monsters can end up being much more deadly. But it is fairly easy to keep on top of once you get the gist of the game and know to keep an eye out for things like mushrooms and berries. While later in the game you'll be killing for meat and cooking and keeping warm near fires.


Now, there's a fair amount of attention to detail in the base making. It's actually a fairly solid and in-depth building system. You build in tiles and can snap them together fairly easily. You need to build support beams inside for larger buildings, leave holes for smoke to escape above fires or you will suffocate and building better houses gives you a higher comfort level as well as giving you a rested buff, which grants faster health and stamina region. A higher comfort level gives you a longer lasting buff after you leave the house.


Now, of course when you're out about there's of course combat revolves around attacking, blocking, dodging or parrying blocking at the last second with a range of weapons that have different stats and advantages and disadvantages.


There are ranged weapons such as bows and timings and getting used to sort of enemy attack. Animations is important when it comes to survival as for the enemies themselves they go from sort of small monsters and creatures to giant Norse monsters that you must defeat to progress the game and build higher tier items and buildings.


The bosses are kind of like monsters in Monster Hunter. They are huge with a fair bit of health and often hit hard. However, if you learn their attack animations combined with sort of being well prepared in items and gear you should be okay. However, in the event you die you will lose some of your skills and sort of levels of progress and all of your gear will drop where you die.


Valheim, Settings, Graphics

On the settings front, overall there are no enough options and sliders to sort of customize the experience to your taste. For example you can turn off bloom, depth of field, motion blur that kind of thing. So there's a fair amount of customization when it comes to exploring the world there are also random events. What makes the game interesting and keeps you on your toes is that while you're playing around there is a chance for something to just simply happen. For example sometimes you'll be minding your own business and you'll get a message on screen with something like the ground is shaking followed up by huge trolls or giants attacking you or your base. Generally speaking, the aim of the game is to defeat the five bosses called the Forsaken. They only appear if you summon them in specific parts of your prestigiously generated world. Each requires different resources to summon and battle and defeating a boss will provide you with loot that progresses you further into the game. This then allows you to get new resources and a higher tech tree for items and gear. So that generally speaking is your aim and that in a nutshell is sort of what Valaheim has to offer. Right now it's definitely promising from the early access side of things. There's a lot of things to sink your teeth into and of course being more so cooperatively driven that it is say competitive. Then for those of you that enjoy potentially a sort of slightly slower paced survival experience where you can focus more so on the building, the growing and the kind of survival aspect as opposed to having to eternally sit and watch your back for other players that might just ransack your base, then it is quite an awesome experience.


Of course on top of that pairing it with the fact that it has the Viking themes and of course the sort of a Norse culture around it, if you do like that kind of stuff then setting wise it may well appeal but for the time being that is a quick rundown on why Valheim is heating up and why people are playing it.