Valheim: Come to the 10th World of Vikings in this Review

Valheim, Iron Gate Studio's cooperative adventure in a world of Vikings, monsters and gods has sold over 4 million copies. It's time we know why

Valheim
A new adventure begins

About four or five years ago we had a boom in survival games coming to PCs. Conan Exiles, The Forest, Rust and the like flooded Steam's virtual shelves and everyone was looking for a way to stand out in this scene. Some had a lot of quality and offered a complete game and others released broken and poorly finished games just to earn any money from someone who was willing to pay. They mixed other genres like battle royale, Minecraft-style cube graphics and anything else they could to draw attention.

So in this bloated landscape of quality titles ranging from good to very dubious, what made Iron Gate Studios' Valheim stand out among them all and sell about 4 million copies and have over 500 players online simultaneously on Steam? Why has a Viking story and graphics reminiscent of PlayStation 2-era games won over so many gamers since its early access release? Is it one of those rare cases of games that captivate with a simple idea and uncomplicated mechanics? We will see.

prove your worth to the gods

You are a warrior killed in battle and the Valkyries took your soul to Valheim, the tenth Nordic world. Surrounded by creatures of chaos and ancient enemies of the gods, you are the newest guardian of primordial purgatory, tasked with killing Odin's ancient rivals and bringing order to Valheim.

His trials begin in the unarmed peaceful center of Valheim, but the gods reward the brave and glory awaits. Venture through towering forests and snow-capped mountains, explore and harvest valuable materials to create deadlier weapons, stronger armor, Viking strongholds and outposts. Build a mighty ship and sail across the great oceans in search of exotic lands… but beware of sailing too far away…

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The game offers among its attractions

  • Huge procedurally generated world – explore and inhabit mystical lands, from mysterious forests to towering snow-capped mountain ranges and dazzling meadows, filled with your own legendary creatures to battle and wildlife to hunt;
  • Cooperative PvE – Whether you want to tackle the lands alone or venture out with trusted allies, Valheim supports independent or player-hosted servers and unlimited world creation. We recommend playing co-op with 3-5 players;
  • Combat system punitive based on dodge and block with a wide range of weapons;
  • Build and sail ships – from fragile ferries to imposing warships, build legendary ships to conquer the seas and discover new lands;
  • Summon and defeat vindictive bosses primordials of myths and legends, and collect trophies to progress and create powerful items;
  • Flexible construction system of houses and bases – build mead halls, farms, settlements, outposts, castles and more;
  • Intuitive item creation – forge the best weapons and armor, and make craft food and mead;
  • Dedicated Servers – for players who want to run a persistent server;
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Can you imagine how his hands are from punching trees so much?

As with all survival games, your initial priority should be to collect basic resources so that you can survive the first few moments of the game. At first, you won't find anything so scary or challenging, just a few animals that may or may not attack you. By starting to collect these resources and crafting items and weapons, then you will start to build up the courage to explore the world, looking for better and rarer resources, in order to make better and rarer items, but these items will also be protected by stronger monsters and dangerous.

It's a simple formula that any survival game follows, but in Valheim, perhaps the most important thing at this point is the generation of the procedural worlds. It's no use looking on the internet where you will collect some specific resource or item, because even if someone puts up a map with the location of the resources, your world will be completely different from someone else's world. At best you'll find an answer like “this item is in the swamps, in the cemeteries, in the mines” or something like that.

Here there are no internet tutorials or guides to help you survive. You'll have to go after the items and resources by yourself or with the help of friends. Which is also perhaps one of the good things about Valheim. The focus of the game is mainly collaboration. Of course, if you want, just activate the PVP mode and start fighting, but that's not really the focus of the game. The idea is to survive, prosper and conquer the Nordic world by building a big fortress or city. After that, then you can start killing yourself.

Are you playing and looking for resources? Know where to find Iron in Valheim

Minimum and Recommended Requirements

Due to its simple graphics this game doesn't need a super powerful computer to run at its maximum capabilities. The scenarios are rich in details while the players are more modest compared to other current games. The idea seems to be mainly accessibility. Of course, this at the beginning!

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As time goes by, as you progress through the game and your buildings get bigger and more detailed and complex, the game will start to demand more from your machine. This is because each terrain block added to or subtracted from a village counts as an instance. The more instances in your game, the more your PC needs additional CPU and GPU computing power. Also, it needs internet connection.

Then your computer, as well as your friends' computer, may experience dropping frame rates as you move between your village and the outskirts of the world. Of course, remember that the game is in Early Access, so, in the final version, everything can change and it will receive some optimizations. See the minimum and recommended requirements for both Windows and Linux:

Minimum requirements:

Requires a 64-bit processor and operating system

Operational system:OS: Windows 7 or later
Processor:2.6GHz Quad Core or similar
Memory:8 GB of RAM
Video card:GeForce GTX 950 or Radeon HD 7970
DirectX:11 Version
Storage:1 GB of available space

Recommended Requirements:

Requires a 64-bit processor and operating system

Operational system:Windows 7 or later
Processor:i5 3GHz or Ryzen 5 3GHz
Memory:16 GB of RAM
Video card:GeForce GTX 1060 or Radeon RX 580
DirectX:11 Version
Storage:1 GB of available space
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enjoy while the sea is calm

Linux Minimum Requirements:

Requires a 64-bit processor and operating system

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Operational system:Any updated version
Processor:2.6GHz Dual Core or similar
Memory:8 GB of RAM
Video card:GeForce GTX 950 or Radeon HD 7970
Storage:1 GB of available space

Recommended Linux Requirements:

Requires a 64-bit processor and operating system

Operational system:Any updated version
Processor:i5 3GHz or Ryzen 5 3GHz
Memory:16 GB of RAM
Video card:GeForce GTX 1060 or Radeon RX 580
Storage:1 GB of available space

Not even in death do I rest

Unless you live under a rock (and if you do, see if there's a silver vein there), you must have heard of Valheim. While still in "early access", the game already feels complete, seamlessly combining the difficulty of Dark Souls and the depth of Minecraft's crafting system, while adding special touches that make the Nordic-inspired title a whole new thing.

Let's get one thing straight: I don't like survival games or multiplayers. I like singleplayers games, with long campaigns and lots of characters and choices, in the best style Mass Effect, Dragon Age and, the game that has a more participative multiplayer that I've been playing the longest is Genshin Impact. Other than that, I stray too far from any online component that is in games I'm playing. Also, my closest friends usually play on consoles and I play on PC. I also don't have a microphone, so it's pretty hard for me to make friends online in a game.

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This is just a Yggdrasil root

That's what makes Valheim so special, at least in my opinion. I'm not into survival games (especially those that don't have a narrative); I find it tedious to be looking for resources and the creation systems are sometimes quite confusing. The “fun” of playing in multiplayer games usually runs out when your friends get tired of playing and abandon the game. So maybe that's where Valheim captivated me. I don't need a fixed group (it's nice if you have), but I can play alone or possibly with strangers and continue.

When starting the game for the first time on a new server, your character wakes up in a biome known as Meadows; one of five currently in the game. Further along, as you explore, you'll find the Swamp biome, as well as Mountains, Plains and the Black Forest. The developer, Iron Gate Studio, has already announced plans to introduce two more by the end of 2021.

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Each biome is filled with an ecosystem of plants, animals, climate and terrain that are unique to each area. They can be mixed and matched across the procedural world that is created every time you start a new server. A server that can have a maximum of 10 active players at any one time.

Valheim's little story is told through Runestone stone shrines around the world, as well as your character's dreams. It's a very simple story about a dead Viking warrior who seeks to please the god Odin, the All-Father, and achieve ultimate neglect in the halls of Valhalla. It's a Viking survival game, not Assassin's Creed: Valhalla.

Valheim Calendar2021: Valheim Game In 2021 Calendar
  • Servers, LLC Survival (Author)
  • 28 Pages - 11/13/2020 (Publication Date) - Independently Published (Publisher)

Technical acuity

The graphics, while looking simple compared to more current games, really impress when you look at them closely. Despite the simple 32x32 textures, the AAA quality lighting and reflections give Valheim its beauty and charm. Rarely has a low-res game used its available toolset so completely, squeezing every ounce of possibility within its limitations down to the level of smart design and dozens and dozens of details that create a completely immersive experience.

Another thing that draws attention in this detail is the size of the game. In a world where games are getting heavier and a CoD takes up more than 200GB of your hard drive, a game that only weighs 1.3GB is something that catches the public's attention these days. An idea that we see in a game like World of Warcraft that is light, beautiful even though it doesn't have the same graphics as other contemporary MMOs like Final Fantasy XIV.

Then there is the music. The simple, rocking string section of the Meadows, the drums of the Swamps and that music that starts the first time you and your group of Vikings go to sea on a ship. A lot of Triple A game studios don't have such great music, and all of Valheim's sound design, from effects to composition, was done by just one developer.

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game progression

To progress through the game you will always need an item that is in the hands of a boss. You won't be able to move to another biome until you defeat the big boss of the current biome. This item can be a key, a potion or anything else. Each of the bosses becomes progressively harder to beat as you progress through the game.

And when we say “progressively difficult”, we mean “progressively difficult” anyway! As you progress through the game, the amount of time needed to prepare for the next boss that awaits becomes greater, requiring better armor, weapons and potions before combat. In this way, Valheim has that 'Souls' style combat system (another thing I don't like) where you have to fight more defensively and wait for an opening.

If you're familiar with the creation game genre, there's not much “new” to be seen here – you punch a tree, pick up some wood. Find a stone, make an axe. The ax cuts more wood that you use to make more things. And so on.

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The night things get tense

He's on Early Access

There is no denying that a game that is in early access will have bugs and problems. After all, you are there to test the game, find these issues and report them to the developers. There is a big warning saying that these issues can occur. If you don't feel like paying to test the game, it's best to wait even if it's complete and officially released. And believe me, even that won't allow you to have a 100% hassle-free experience.

It's impossible to predict exactly how long games will remain in Early Access, what direction development will take during that time, what might change along the way, and how those changes will make the game better or worse. Spending money on Early Access is always a gamble and it's up to you to risk it or not.

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By joining the Steam community, you will be able to see player complaints about the game and what problems you might encounter during your game. Complaints about frame drops and performance on weaker computers are common, but it's as stated above. The game will demand a little more from your machine when building and crafting.

The game doesn't come with many customizable graphics options due to the simplicity of the engine it's being built on, in tests reducing the graphics options through techniques like turning off anti-aliasing doesn't seem to affect performance on low-end machines either. as in other games. This is because the game relies on your CPU as much as it does on the GPU to render the world. So, even the graphics card is more robust and with all settings reduced the game will still depend on your CPU to work well and if it's not up to the task, there's not much to be done.

What makes Valheim special?

Valheim has a generic history and game mechanics seen in literally hundreds of other survival titles made by independent developers – so what makes this game so special? Simplicity.

Whether by design, or the limitations of being done by a small team – Iron Gate Studio was a two-person team for much of the main development time – Valheim is a simplified creation game with a limited number of recipes, items, and potions that players can create. Hardcore gamers may see this as a drawback, but the game's accessibility belies the true depth of Valheim's genius: the need to explore.

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As mentioned before, each biome is closed (in addition to the Meadows and the Black Forest). To get to the next one, you must defeat the boss of the current biome you are in. This is only possible when you start building vital items for your battles, such as battle axes, scalemail armor, and tower shields. But to build the workshop to craft your armor, you'll need a village. For a village you need wood, stone and for all that you will have to explore. So, it's no use rushing to the boss. You will only meet death!

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Valheim encourages you to go further into your procedurally generated lands, but it also offers plenty to do at home. Its construction system, while seemingly simplistic, is quite profound. The physics of the semi-realistic world requires that every piece you place has its proper support and foundation, and it is these constraints that create creative solutions. As they often say, scarcity is where the most creative solutions are generated and, in the case of Valheim, we can see that the maxim remains true.

With only five people working on the game, you couldn't ask for the system to be as refined as others and, compared to other games that were released in early access and only delivered promises (yes, I'm talking about you No Man's Sky), Valheim has already proven itself to be built on a pretty solid foundation (like the buildings you have to build in the game).

While it may seem odd for a game about buildings and survival to limit what you can and cannot build, this simplicity and intuitiveness in Valheim's mechanics ("To make a roof, you have to have a wall") appeals to novices. Building is often one of the most daunting challenges in a creation and survival game, but Valheim makes it accessible, adding the fun that is often lost during long sessions of placing objects, positioning and replacing blocks and making them perfect for giving. to your home a personal touch.

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Is it worth the work?

to be remembered

Since the release of Minecraft, it has become one of the most popular games of all time. Since Terraria was released, it has become one of Steam's most popular titles. With the release of Valheim, it seems that another creation game will climb the charts, both in sales and (with its 4 million copies), in addition to remaining one of the most accessed and the trend is just to continue to grow.

Despite being in Early Access, Valheim already feels like a complete game, with design decisions almost perfectly made consecutively. Each element is just as difficult as it should be, takes as long as it should, and no part of the experience seems bloated by unnecessary resource gathering or creative limits. And that comes from someone who isn't the biggest fan of the survival genre.

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On that basis alone, Valheim must be recognized for the achievement that he is. A game that is going in the right direction of designing and creating a story and work done with love. Iron Gate Studio has created an incredible foundation to build a promising game. You just can't let it go now.

The company has already announced its roadmap of updates, including several new content that will add even more ways to customize your Viking castles or villages. After that, more enemies, recipes, items and biomes to explore are on the way, and from there, for a finished game that could become the next Minecraft or revitalize a genre as bloated as survival.

Defeat the first boss in the game with these tips on how to get the Eikthyr trophy

After all, is it good or not?

For those who love survival, construction and multiplayer games, the game is excellent! It has a very well defined construction mechanic that is simple and, at the same time, it is not messy, letting the player create any aberrations and guiding him through the steps in the simplest way. Want a roof? Make a wall! It's quick and easy for anyone to understand. For more hardcore gamers in this style, maybe it's worth waiting a little longer, as you'll have more revenue both from items, weapons and buildings to enjoy the game.

It's in early access, as we've had before, so you will have problems and bugs eventually in your game, besides requiring constant internet connection to play. These are two things that, in general, annoy players a lot, but you already know, so enter it at your own risk. The game could crash at any time (it happened once or twice while I was testing it) and there's not much you can do about it except wait for an update.

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Now, a game that brings together so many elements that I, particularly, don't like and that still managed to have fun, must be really cool for those who appreciate the survival genre and multiplayer games probably have a plateful here to have fun for hours. If you want to embark on this Viking world, it might be good to take advantage of the fact that it is in early access and, therefore, at a reduced price. If you don't want to play an incomplete game, leave it in the library and wait for the official release. I just wanted a deeper story and maybe a campaign mode.

Steam: R$ 37,99

Valheim

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Producer: Iron Gate Studio
Distributor: Coffee Stain Studios.
Platforms: Windows and Linux
Please note: 7/10

Pros:

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  • Simplified construction system;
  • Wealth of detail in scenarios;
  • Good songs that put you in the right mood;
  • Light game (just over 1GB)

Cons:

  • It takes a lot out of the machine at certain places;
  • Shallow story;
  • What is beautiful about the environment, what about the characters is strange;

Valheim is an open world survival game based on Norse mythology, where you, as one of Valheim's new guardians, must survive and protect your new world, to ascend to the Halls of Valhalla, and you are in early access. It was developed by Iron Gate Studio and published by Coffee Stain Studios. It is available for Windows and Linux. Access the official website to learn more or visit the Steam Store and guarantee yours.

Now, leave there in the comments what did you think of Valheim? Do you like exploring the game's worlds and biomes? Do you play alone or with friends? Would you like a deeper story? Take the opportunity to read more about Valheim on our website.

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Paulo Fabris is a journalist, writer, RPG player, gamer, cosplayer, nerd and fan of anime since the time of TV Manchete.