In recent times, indie games have been seen to receive a more positive response as compared to the average video game titles from AAA studios. Valheim is one such indie game developed by a minuscule studio comprising 5 people and has possibly become one of the most sold games of all-time on Steam. The popularity surrounding this game, even though it’s still in early access, is perhaps for good reason.
Valheim is a Viking-themed open-world survival game, played from a third-person’s perspective. And while it does seem like the lovechild of the Witcher 3 and Minecraft, it is definitely much more than that and even better in several aspects. The developers managed to remove the unneeded slack from the game, making it an experience viable for most to enjoy. For instance, the food mechanics in the game will not starve the player to death. Instead, players will be forced to play with a lower HP and stamina.
The game thrusts the player right into Valheim’s treacherous yet mesmerizing world. Right from the moment of landing, the player discovers themselves in the tenth realm of Norse Mythology, surrounded by slabs with red text. The objective is simply to survive by utilizing the game’s mechanics, such as building, farming, crafting, and venturing into Valheim, and defeating the fierce bosses that await you. The decision to go solo or play co-op with friends is yours to make.
Valheim’s gameplay is quite reminiscent of several open-world titles. Although referring to the game as Minecraft with Vikings would be oversimplifying the game, it definitely can be seen in that sense, at least for its core gameplay. Other than that, comparisons can also be made from games like The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild, where Valheim tries to reproduce the BoTW’s survival and exploration experience. The world of Valheim does have a unique progression system, which is compelling enough to keep the players engaged and pushing them to work for the next big upgrade.
Valheim’s progression can, in fact, be very addicting. And though this applies to every survival game to ever make an appearance — starting off with low-tier items and progressing to high-tier ones. Valheim’s loop pushes the players to go a step further and build larger bases, facilities, as well as brainstorming some complex new builds. Plus, all of that while you get to be a badass Viking! What more could one ask for? You can create beer halls, sip on some mead while dominating your foes the next morning.
Similar to Minecraft, the game unlocks more recipes the moment you get one of the ingredients for them. Bearing in mind the immense variety of recipes in the game, you will certainly be hooked for countless hours.
The Visual Experience
Taking a look at Valheim’s exploration area, the game is jam-packed with mysteries and new locations waiting to be discovered. From traveling across the seas and oceans to exploring eerie dark crypts, Valheim continues to surprise the player base despite still being in early access. Visually, the game looks absolutely stunning. And what truly amazes us and the Valheim community is its minuscule download size, despite the beautiful textures and terrains it provides.
Interestingly, the visual fidelity for Valheim can look just as remarkable even with lower resolution textures and models, if compared to other modern titles. The expansive forests, snowy-mountaintops, endless yet treacherous oceans— they all are a spectacle to behold.
More to Come
Considering the game is still in Early Access, we can certainly assume the developers are continually refining and expanding it. As stated on Valheim’s Steam page, the development team is aiming for adding more enemies, craftable items, bosses, and of course, biomes. Currently, Valheim stands tall with roughly 300 craftable items, plus, over 100 structures to help construct your stronghold. For the time being, the game features five out of nine of the intended biomes, with more to come in the future. Needless to say, all of these areas are accessible to both, solo and co-op player modes. And as we’ve mentioned several times before, some may claim the game is in Early Access, however, we believe the game is nothing short of being a fully-fleshed title.
Valheim does take some time getting used to, but once you’re past the introductory phase, you can expect to see yourself and your friends investing hundreds of hours into the game. In fact, our own team just started out but we have already clocked-in over 300 hours of gameplay in the last month. The game is undoubtedly a huge hit, and for good reason. Valheim is insanely fun and full of things to do. If it’s not the progression system to pull you in, it’ll be the exploration and adventuring. Either way, Valheim has hands-down brought forth new and higher standards to the open-world survival genre, despite not being fully-released yet.
Some Tips and Tricks for Beginners
If you’ve made it this far, you’re probably looking to dive into the alluring world of Valheim. And since you’re a beginner, here are some tips and tricks that will help you develop a fundamental understanding of the game and progress more efficiently.
⦁ Resources and creatures will spawn as per some rules — A good example of this could be that items such as flint can only be found near or in water. Similarly, creatures do not spawn randomly. The likes of boars will be spawning near water, while skeletons can be seen near burial grounds.
⦁ The wind direction — If you’re out hunting animals, it is vital that you take the wind’s direction into consideration. Most animals, including deer, can be very sensitive to scent. Hence, being in the upwind will cause the animal to flee from far distances.
⦁ Repairing all of your gear costs nothing.
⦁ Different food types will affect your health and stats differently.
⦁ Bosses and Valheim’s biomes are interrelated — Defeating bosses leads to unlocking more biomes, and more exploring more biomes, without doubt, means more recipes you can unlock. Therefore, treating the bosses as objectives would be a much better way of looking at things.