Odin, almighty Allfather, grant us strength in Valheim.

Ever loved reading about Norse mythology? About the Gods of Old, of the mystical creatures, or the magical tree of Yggdrasil? Ever wanted to see and feel for yourself the experience of being a Viking? To experience the fantasy of living in the between Earth and Valhalla… in Valheim? If so, you have come to the right place. Valheim is a brand new early access Indie game conceived by Swedish developers Iron Gate AB, comprising of 5 developers. Not only is it a sandbox game, but it also has several other genres: Open World, Action, Adventure, Indie, and RPG. Additionally, Valheim offers a single-player or co-op mode too, for up to 10 players. It is a game that has taken the internet by storm, with already 5 million Vikings roaming the biomes of old. So, let’s begin discussing what Valheim is all about!

To begin with, Valheim is a place with marvels and dangers beyond what anyone could possibly imagine. Created by the giant Gods of Old, such as Odin and Ymir, and the 10th Norse World, it is a place between what we know as Earth, and the place that is known as “Valhalla”. And dear player, that’s where you come in. You are a battle-slain warrior from Earth and have been ferried here by the Valkyries. Furthermore, you are the new custodian of the primordial purgatory and your task is to slay the ancient rivals of Odin, and to bring order to Valheim. Choose to play by yourself, or with up to 10 consecutive players.

Better to fight and fall than to live without hope.

Though Valheim spins a formula that we have seen plenty of times before regarding survival crafting games, it does something rather magical. It feels as though we are walking into unchartered territory. Each section of the world explored explore felt delightful and thrilling. I had no issues with the controls and it seemed to run really seamlessly for me at 40-45FPS (tested with the Acer Nitro Gaming Laptop). Additionally, no matter how many entered the server, the internet and sync stayed stable. Only once did I disconnect from the server, but I soon found out it was my own internet giving out and not the game itself. The interface and settings are easy to maneuver around, and I had no issues tweaking settings.

Minecraft had a baby with Dark Souls, didn’t they?

There are many things to do in Valheim. I found myself losing the concept of time when entering dungeons, looting treasures from abandoned buildings, and partaking in a sea excursion. And there’s never a dull moment in-game: From beating up a terrifying tree monster, to getting one-shotted by a Deathsquito or getting blasted by a goblin. Activities may range from hunting, breeding, fishing, building amazing structures, crafting portals/clothes/food/weapons, to steering a boat (and hope the winds are in your favor). You can also explore new biomes, explore dungeons, crypts, and takedown colossal bosses that do vicious levels of damage. And by the gods, they will be adding more to this! The game is only 50% complete, after all. Once completed, there will be 9 biomes and 9 big bosses in-game. There will also be an extensive list of mini-bosses too, so keep a lookout for this!

…And where do I begin with the graphics? The poly rendering is reminiscent of a PS2 generation game, but don’t be put off just yet! The backdrop of Yggdrasil and scenic background is really something to marvel at. Each section, or rather, each biome, has its own charm and is absolutely stunning. There is fantastic attention to detail to the environment, to the items you have, to how the creatures look. In saying that, the game is early access and there are sometimes moments where animals clip onto the floor. There have been no issues with rendering assets though, at least not for me, and the game looks and feels amazing.

Onwards, Vikings! To Valhalla!

Time to talk about the music. I adore how much it enhanced my overall experience while playing Valheim. Different areas, times of the day, bosses, and events all have distinct soundtracks that truly bring the world to life. Sometimes it can be upbeat, and sometimes it can be ominous. The soundtrack compliments the overall feel of the situation your character is currently in. Each animal has its own distinct sounds, so it’s easy to tell when certain creatures like deer are nearby. Attack sounds feel crisp too, no matter the weapon you or your enemy choose. The boss battle music, in particular, is fantastic, and I would like to thank the composer Patrik Jarlestam for helping bring the project to life.

And now for the verdict.

I strongly recommend that you get it if you haven’t already. I haven’t had as much fun playing an early access game since Minecraft days. For $20 and for the number of hours and things to do in-game this is an absolute steal. The game is only 50% complete at this point too, and yet it feels more complete than some other titles that I have seen in the past that are already “complete”. There is still quite an extensive roadmap for the developers to tackle. There are some glitches and it is still incomplete. But, in saying all of this I am beyond excited to see further updates on this title.

You can purchase Valheim on early access through PC (Steam).
Though unconfirmed, it may soon also be available on the Mac. Don’t expect it to happen anytime soon though!

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