Valheim took the game world by storm. At first glance, a normal survival game has already sold millions of copies, and its popularity is increasing every day. Is it really worth it?
An enormous number of survival games have been released since the release of Minecraft, and in addition to pure arcades like Terraria, we also have very realistic games like the Slovak AreaZ. Personally, when I mention a survival mechanic or manufacturing, I’m starting to lose interest. I’ve been through this many times. I played Conan Exiles, Ark and Grounded and I don’t feel that another game of this genre can surprise me with anything.
I had the same feeling from Valheim. But once a whole group is formed that wants to play with you, you have more motivation to give it a chance. And wonder of the world, in this normal survival game, I killed more than 16 hours in a few days, and I still feel like I’m just scratching on the surface. What’s more, my initial impressions were as exciting as when I first turned on Minecraft. And this is a game still only in the preliminary approach!
Forget raids, you have to build first
It’s weird that I don’t even think about what this game could be so special about. You bet here as in the games already mentioned, you have fewer options than, for example, in Ark. The game will release you half-naked into an unknown landscape, where you start building tools and primitive dwellings from twigs and stones, so that you end up finding more raw materials, which allowed you to build more.
There is a certain goal to kill all the bosses in the game, but again it is not a necessity or an absolute pull. After all, other survival games have something like that. The narrative side is even better in Conan Exiles and I will not lie, lore in Valheim I completely ignored the result. No, the secret is actually in the little things.
In just 3 to 5 hours you will have a decent seat, some better tools and basic leather armor. However, it will take much longer to climb higher.
I partially compared the game to Minecraft and Conan Exiles, but both games are quite different. Let’s take it in turn. Minecraft is an arcade with everything. You will quickly get used to it, it is not difficult to survive there and with a little practice you have a luxurious residence, a large farm and complete plate armor within a few hours. You can recommend it to a ten-year-old boy, because you know that he will learn game mechanics without any major problems.
Conan Exiles is different in this. Survival is a big challenge. You have to learn how to make, what belongs to what. Your character can be killed by predators, cold and hunger, and everything happens faster than in Minecraft. Creating a bigger house takes tens of hours of play and has proper equipment even longer. And once you do that, there are other areas on the map, much more dangerous, that require new better equipment, there are stronger enemies, and death is breathing down your throat all the time.Conan Exiles is different in this. Survival is a big challenge. You have to learn how to make, what belongs to what. Your character can be killed by predators, cold and hunger, and everything happens faster than in Minecraft. Creating a bigger house takes tens of hours of play and has proper equipment even longer. And once you do that, there are other areas on the map, much more dangerous, that require new better equipment, there are stronger enemies, and death is breathing down your throat all the time.
Light basics, difficult course
Valheim balances between the two. You will learn the basics quite easily. You start at Meadows, where enemies aren’t too demanding. It will take a bit of effort to learn everything, maybe a falling tree will kill you before you learn to be careful when chopping wood or suffocate in the house if you don’t have a proper chimney. But in about 3 to 5 hours you will have a decent seat, some better tools and basic leather armor. However, it will take much longer to climb higher.
The game actually binds you by already having something. By building a pleasant village with your friends in a moment, however, the other secrets are only gradually being shown. In the style of Vikings, you will probably create a main base, from where you will set off on your expeditions quite possibly by sailing. The process takes a long time, but it shows you quickly thanks to a few insanely simple but damn clever mechanics.
You are driven by curiosity to find out where the new options lead, and the domino effect also means that the new options unlock more and more, and the game takes you to new locations.
As soon as your curiosity doesn’t go away and you go on, you will soon find a new raw material. Once you find it, the game will immediately offer you a list of new items that can be made from it. So you’re driven by curiosity to see where the new options lead, and the domino effect also means that the new options unlock more and more, and the game takes you to new locations. And thanks to fast travel, you don’t have to start from the beginning, and the game also gives you portals as an opportunity to speed up your travel. In short, I do not feel disgusted as in Conan Exiles to completely fight the new environment, because in practice it is enough to equip one expedition.
In addition, the game world is varied. As you walk, you will see skeleton towers, a troll cave, an abandoned village or an underground dungeon. And everything has some valuable objects that just blink so you want more. It is a pleasure to watch your residence grow, because you will gradually unlock the opportunity to build smelters, establish hives or simply build a gazebo with seating for your friends.
Improving your character’s abilities is also important. Everything works on a simple click, but at the beginning your character is quite clumsy. They beat their weapons like a child waving a stick and shooting from a bow is at the level of accuracy of an average stormtrooper. However, over time, you improve in everything, and at that moment you appreciate that different weapons or tools have a slightly different behavior, such as threshing style or speed.
Repetition by the mother of Odin
It is also important that the game tries to be alive. You will find a pile of game, trees or raspberries, but also enemies. There is still something around you to draw wealth from, but you are always in some life threat. The game of combat bases a lot, whether we’re just talking about road dangers or bossfights, where defeating a boss unlocks new equipment and his trophy sacrificed to the gods unlocks a new ability.
However, it also increases the difficulty. The better you are and the more bosses you kill, the more hostile and challenging the world is. Random events such as an enemy attack on your base may initially involve a small group of invading dwarves, but over time a pair of trolls that will smash your wall without much difficulty. An interesting element to keep up the challenge and tension, yet the game loses pace.
An endless story of almost every survival game. The initial excitement quickly develops into an endless search for raw materials. While the first fight with the troll was adrenaline, you will soon start looking for him because of his skin. And advancing the world and finding new raw materials only leads to the endless search for other raw materials and venture into more dangerous countries.
Valheim is a very fun survival game mainly because of the perfect balance of arcade and simulation, but as a result it suffers from the same ailments that we hate in other games of the genre. Nevertheless, I had a lot of fun, the time passed passed terribly fast and I am very curious about the release of the game.