Assassin’s Creed Valhalla looks like an absolute blast — but don’t get caught paying more than you have to for your Viking raids.
As you’d expect from these types of Ubisoft big budget adventures, Valhalla is a massive open-world adventure filled with villages to raid, mini-stories to discover, occasional jaunts back to the modern day, and various kingdoms you can either ally with or overthrow.
In our review, Zack found the kingdoms were one of the best changes to the Assassin’s Creed formula. But other parts of the gameplay have also been streamlined, and Ubisoft has taken a smarter approach to quests and activities:
Valhalla strips some things down and rearranges others. Side quests are very different. Gone, for the most part, are the lengthy sidequests of Origins and Odyssey that could take players on a multi-step journey through a large section of the game’s world. Instead, the map in Valhalla is filled with smaller, quicker, and more varied activities and quests to do and see. Sure, there are still random people to help out there, but their problems are often smaller and don’t involve trekking around the map. For example, on a mountainside in Norway, I found a Viking who was sleepwalking and needed me to help him back to his camp. In England, I stumbled upon some nuns who were trying to escape the country and who needed protection. One of my favourite encounters involved a Viking couple who felt their relationship was dull and boring. So they asked me to break things and start a fire in their home so they could feel the passion again, like when they were younger and fought in battles side by side. (Spoilers: It worked.)
These encounters don’t clog up your quest journal. You find them by exploring down glowing dots on your map. What you find usually only takes a few minutes and sticks to one small area of the world, like a house, a tree, a camp or a river. Because of this, I felt compelled to finish them whenever I happened to find one in the world.
So, the Viking journey is going down a treat so far. If you want to pick the game up for yourself, it’s worth noting that Ubisoft are offering free upgrades from last-gen consoles to the PS5 and Xbox Series X. Most retailers are selling both games for the same price anyway, but it’s worth keeping an eye on that over the next couple of months — if a publisher is going to give PS4/Xbox One owners the same game when its running on the PS5/XSX, you might as well pay the cheaper price.
Mighty Ape are surprisingly the most competitive in Australia for Valhalla, selling the PS4 and Xbox One versions of the game for $67. They’re selling the PS5 version of the game for $79, but don’t buy that — Ubisoft have already pledged to give PS4 users a free upgrade. Gorilla Gaming are matching the $67 price, and again, don’t buy the PS5 version. The PS4 disc is all you need.
If you do want the nicer, flashy white PS5 boxed version, Amazon are offering the next best price at $68. JB are a dollar more expensive, and then the price climbs from there.
- Mighty Ape: $67 (PS4/Xbox/XSX)
- Gorilla Gaming: $67 (PS4/Xbox/XSX)
- Amazon: $68 (PS4/Xbox/XSX/PS5)
- Harvey Norman: $68 (PS4/PS5/Xbox/XSX)
- Domayne: $68 (PS4/PS5/Xbox/XSX)
- JB Hi-Fi: $69 (PS4/Xbox/XSX/PS5)
- Big W: $69 (PS4/Xbox/XSX)
- Target: $69 (PS4/Xbox/XSX)
- The Gamesmen: $78 (PS4/Xbox/XSX)
- Kogan: $69 (PS4), $84.95 (Xbox/XSX)
- EB Games: $99.95 (PS4/Xbox/XSX/PS5)
For those who are playing on PC, the best option right now is between the uPlay store and the Epic Games Store. It’ll cost you $89.95 through EGS, and $89.95 through uPlay as well. Not much luck on the bargains there. Other storefronts, like GMG and Fanatical, don’t have Valhalla at the time of writing, and it’s not on Steam either.
Not a bad start to the next-generation. It’s certainly more palatable than the $109 people are having to fork out for Demon’s Souls. Fingers crossed other publishers follow a similar route, and don’t charge extra premium for next-gen upgrades the way some are.