Tag Archives: Valhalla

Second ride to the other place

Ubisoft has released a non-leaked first view edition and it is only fair that I take a look at it. It does look a little better, yet I still fear that Ubisoft has taken its Assassins Creed franchise and put it in a casket and the grave that is where it is headed. 

In the first, no matter how it is dressed, it is no longer an Assassins Creed game, they had the option of making an optionally powerful new franchise, but Ubisoft clearly waged against it. What we see does look good, the graphical section of Ubisoft always knew what it was doing and they moved on on this trip towards excellence. Yet I see more things, and more options that make sense in one way, and seem overly pushed for in another. The fear that I had that some is a trial to push Far Cry elements into this game is not gone, but it was slightly diminished. Yet there it was, chasing tattoo sheets, just like Black Flag chasing songs, or was it the almanac pages in the third game? More of the same, trying to appease all makes for a stage that pleases none. 

The second part is yet to be proven, merely as I had to download more for Breakpoint, I decided to delete it, the patches are well over 50Gb (in total size), and I started the game late, so I missed a few patches, that is the darkest moment that this game faces. The large comments of the video poster seems to indicate the idea that was left with me. It is an RPG that has a lot towards Witcher 3, there is an attempt towards the older AC games, but I was not satisfied from what I saw. Some parts are familiar and you have done it before, some seem new and surprisingly so. The entire station is upgraded and the lack of tools are perhaps felt, but there are skills that are there now. There are feelings in me, but Ubisoft destroyed the faith to it. It seems to me that there is no questing to the degree of the past, as you need to discover events by exploration, AC Odyssey hinted at the route, but I will await a more complete edition. In shadows of ignorance, I would see this as Witcher IV, the UK travels, and that is how it looks and feels, yet it is not a CD Project Red game, it is not a Gerald of Rivia game, but the sandbox feeling is better done now than it was in AC Odyssey. The game has new parts, or basically vastly altered applied parts. Skills and inventory are the ones that stand out. Weapons and armour are not merely altered, they have been vastly upgraded. Weapons does not merely have a damage part, there is speed and impact as well, so the choice of a weapon will be more towards the gameplay and chasing the right weapon and sticking to it will matter. Armour had elements like weight and evasion, so what looks cool might not be efficient. It is an essential upgrade that matters, so do the skills, there are major and minor upgrades there and it is shown in a new light, as such, the game will have new and improved sights on this, yet this is Ubisoft, so how many patches will it require? There is no way to tell, the game is close to 3 months away from completion, but unlike the leak, this does show me that Valhalla is not an auto fail, Ubisoft might have lost a lot of credibility, there is a decent chance that this game is a game changer not unlike AC Origins was and that was a breath of fresh air, as such Valhalla might be another one, time will tell, yet that would enable Ubisoft gain some essentially required credibility. I hope that they will all it off, I might have been opposing some of their actions, but I do not hate them (hate is useless, always). 

I will advice all to take another look and not rely on the leaked part, there are a few videos out there and most will give a similar view. I personally do not go for those making a ‘my honest opinion’ approach, for the simple reason that a sandbox game is too large, and the game relies on a much broader taste in gaming as such, it applies to more and everyone has their own playing style, in the AC games for me it was stealth, which is why I found AC Odyssey disappointing. I did like the overall adaptability of Valhalla, yet I felt that the stealth part is lacking, which makes it not an AC game, but let’s be fair, when did we consider ANY viking to be a person who understood the concept of stealth? Yet the game looks impressive, there is no denying that. Yet how many patches will it face? A setting that keeps on nagging in the back of my head. 

Time will tell, but I do feel it is important for anyone taking the ‘leak’ as gospel to take another look as the leaked video is definitely selling the game short.

 

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Death of the creed

Before I begin I must warn you, if you are an AC fan, a fan of what Ubisoft produces, you will hate this story. The second part is that this is based on personal views, speculations and what the ‘leaked’ 30 minutes of AC Valhalla brings. The game is still in development, so the end result could differ. Keep all that in mind!

We saw the creed getting killed, its fans have seen a steady decline since the third game, and that is where we stand, it took 8 years. It took this long because no one will argue that AC4 (Black Flag) and ACO (Origins) are indeed excellent pieces of work, but it was marketed by what I like to call a group of people without any backbone, softcovers the lot of them. Black Flag is an excellent game but it is not an AC game (the escape from prison level is perhaps an exception). Black Flag is the pirate game that Sid Meier dreamt of making, but technology stopped him and Ubisoft had the inside track here to make a new piece of memorable IP, but they moved away and set the stage to a much larger IP hoping to set new standards, perhaps they partially succeeded, I will let you decide. After that the quality went down fast and as I see it they had a chance to make a new IP with Origins, they took a separate detour and it was truly an amazing product, but they spoiled it with Odyssey and now we have Valhalla, one person had the same idea I had, it is Odyssey with a new skin, it feels like that. Graphically it does look good, but the parts I saw is all about spicing and lacking substance, one viking goes into the fray, onto the breach and into the masses and slaughters what can be slaughtered. A lot of posturing, it feels off and I was afraid of this from the beginning, their marketing was so intent on creating hypes, this early, 6 months before the game is out, that usually reeks of shallowness and in all this, the game is as disappointing as I feared. The Creed was murdered by its own friendly forces. An IP dragged to death by shallow idea’s and a lack of creativity and staging of braced ego, or is that braised ego? It is a shame, for even as the first one lacked to some degree, it was an amazing start, after which we got Ezio in 2 and Brotherhood and legend status was reached. There is a decent case for revelations, but it was downhill from there, which is a shame, including AC3, the story was pretty amazing, there was a much larger stage and even as some (including me) did not consider AC3 to be a great game, it did bring surprises, there was no denying that. The Graphics department has never disappointed and that must be stated out loud, graphically the game remained at a high point all the way to Odyssey, even as we dread the last game, it was close to sublime in the graphics department. 

Perhaps this is the future for all who wants to make a game pleasing everyone, as I see it you are left with a product that pleases almost no one, it is my view on the matter.

So as I consider the Valhalla leak (no idea how the game was leaked, I think it is marketing, afraid of what is most likely to happen), I see a game that is shoddy on several fronts, but I do realise that I was watching something that had not been released yet. However, the stage I saw is in line of what AC had become. Yes, it is a game, as was Odyssey, but when you realise that not one fort on the planet had thousands of arrows, their aim was not that great (especially as they cannot shoot things in the night that moves), we see a much larger lag in gaming and a lag in the AC series. You merely need to see the first two seasons of Vikings to get that picture across to a much larger degree. To create arcade gaming situation in sandbox games implies the game needs triggers and that leaves you in a stage moving from mini game to mini game, did you sign up for that?

It is hard to write anything positive, and that too is an issue, apart from the graphics which has been far above par again and again. So even as we see the ‘leaked’ footage, we realise that the stage that Ubisoft created was the makings of hypes with no game play, it was perhaps the most stupid thing they could have done, and they should not have started the creations of hypes until October at the earliest, perhaps the birthday of the board of Directors on October 4th might have been a good idea (World Animal Day). If the game continues the way it is (as I saw it) there is every chance that it will be the last AC game to be made, I only bought AC Odyssey as it was on special at 80% discount, I stopped playing it after day 2 as the game was massively inferior to Origins and as I see it Valhalla is going to be even worse. If not, then Ubisoft better make it very clear in a next presentation with actual gameplay. 

Can the IP be saved? I am not certain whether it should, there have been too many massive misses, a new IP station makes a lot more sense and they have options there, they merely decided to ignore them (as I personally see it). So whilst we might consider bashing the Guillemot members (which is never a bad idea), we need to realise that they have bigger problems at present, because as I expect Valhalla to disappoint us, they only have one shot let, Watchdogs: Legion better be a slam dunk home run, if not the existence of Ubisoft might be done for. After Odyssey and Breakpoint, Ubisoft cannot handle any more disappointments, even as the Division 2 is heralded by its fans as a serious step forward, it does not get bonus points, Valhalla needed to be a win and there is every indications that this is not going to happen, implying that the life of Ubisoft will be in the hands of Watchdogs: Legion. It might not be fair, but that is how it is and even as it is shown to be pretty amazing, the failure of Valhalla will impact Watchdogs: Legion as well, unfair, but that is life, often not fair. Can I give Ubisoft any advice? Yup, they should have listened to me when I stated again and again that games need proper testing and both Odyssey and Breakpoint can be seen as evidence that this was not done. 

Could I be wrong?

Yes, of course I can, but those who have seen and flocked to the 30 minute leak will agree with me that Ubisoft has massive problems and not everyone is a Rainbow 6 lover, a game that so far has remained well above par (according to those who play it). So whilst the Creed is that ‘everything is permitted’ the Ubisoft board might have taken this too literally and releasing below par games should have been prevented, it is merely my view on the matter.

Oh and in the coming stage of the PS5 (and the Microsoft alternative), they better stop the entire stage of 25GB+ patches, it will hurt their business even more as I personally see it, and Ubisoft actually knows this, you merely need to see the opinion of internet in Rural France for that (which is France outside of Paris, Bordeaux, Cannes, Lille, Lyon, Marseille and Nantes) and Europe has a few of these places, as such, the people interested in Ubisoft games will be dwindling down faster than they are happy with.

 

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