It might seem as if the times when games were tagged at the same time as “Survival”, “Open World”, “Crafting”, and “Early Access” are over. Be the first to throw the stone who has never been fooled into buying a seemingly interesting Early Access production that has suddenly stopped developing and the player is left with an unfinished game in the Steam library. One mishap is apparently not enough for many people who decided to buy Valheim on the day the game appeared on the Steam platform, which, however, turned out to be a bull’s eye.
The sacrificial altar
Valheim offers single-player gameplay, but only shows its full potential with joint efforts with friends. In the game, we play the role of a Nordic warrior who, after his death, found himself in the tenth land of Viking beliefs, i.e. the title valheim. Our main task is to eliminate Odin’s enemies and place their heads on the altar to earn our entrance to Valhalla. As in many productions of this type, the plot is only a background for the game. Hugin sent by Odin helps us to take the first steps. The bird always appears when we discover something new and is ready to explain the basic mechanics of the world of Valheim .
Behind the seventh mountain, beyond the seventh sea
One of the strongest points of Valheim is the strong emphasis on exploring and finding newer and newer resources that will unlock the possibility of creating better equipment. Due to the variety of locations and the vastness of the procedurally generated world, the creators made you want to go on an adventure. You are never completely safe in Valheim . Greydwarfs, Skeletons and extremely dangerous Trolls lurk in the initial forests. Even building a base gives you a feeling of only illusory security, due to frequent raids of enemies capable of destroying gates and walls. A badly prepared player can lose everything in an instant.
” In this game it’s either dark or it’s raining”
One friend with whom I had the pleasure to go on an adventure said that there are only two states in this game – either it’s dark or it’s raining. This is not far from the truth, and sometimes the two states come together and reduce visibility down to one meter. More seriously, the weather in Valheim is very dynamic. Indeed, it rains most of the time, but it has its charms, especially in the high seas, where a storm suddenly breaks and you have to fight the elements. This makes foggy, sunny mornings and starry nights even more appreciated. In addition, the biome also affects the weatherin which we are currently. The game is divided into micro-environments, each with its own flora and fauna. Unfortunately, it quickly turns out that the order of the locations that we should visit to move on is linear, and breaking the convention of the creators can be painful.
Not such survival again
I think one of the factors influencing Valheim’s success is minimizing the impact of the survival aspect. Here you will not starve, cold or exhausted. Without food, the character’s life drops to a base twenty-five. Food temporarily increases the life and condition of a warrior, and thus, the better the quality of the food, the greater the bonuses. You can eat three different dishes at the same time and receive bonuses for each of them. Earlier, I mentioned that you cannot die from the cold, which is not entirely true, because in the mountains without warm clothing or a frost resistance potion, the character will freeze and his health points will decrease. However, this is the peculiarity of this one microenvironment only, i.e. wandering in the forest we will not freeze. The fact that you cannot die from the cold does not mean that it has no influence on our character.
” Goodbye Spanish girls today …”
Of course, during the cruise, shanties do not fly, but the music in Valheim creates an amazing and unique atmosphere. The atmosphere is fueled by picturesque views, beautiful skies, rough sea and the ever-present Yggdrasil tree. As for the graphics, it is not hyperrealistic, although it has its charms and I certainly would not call it ugly. The creators focused on an interesting mix of simple character models, trees and raw materials with much better-looking water and fog and very realistic lighting.
A recipe for success
In the past, I have played many such productions, and although most of them have been very successful and still have a large number of fans, none have achieved as much success as Valheim . Why? Well, a huge contribution to this can be made by a huge procedurally created world that, although finite, nevertheless so great that it would take at least several hours to get from one end to the other. Usually, in this type of productions, several islands or a small piece of the map were available, and the next ones had to be unlocked. The location of the game in Norse mythology, which has a certain place in pop culture and will always find supporters, also helped. The minimization of survival elements also left a positive markfor exploration and crafting . It all made me want to go on another cruise. For Odin!