Valheim is all the rage right now and I’ve been having a fantastic time with it and our friends who are also playing. It’s the first game my boyfriend and I have found mutual interest in, in like… 5 years? (It’s tragic that we have nearly opposite tastes in games.)
In fact, I’ve never felt drawn to the survival game genre. The only one I’ve ever really enjoyed is Ark: Survival Evolved, and that’s only because I’m highly dinosaur (and dragon) motivated. Spent the whole game taming dinos and nothing else. Valheim, however. Valheim I find so enjoyable that it’s inspired me to write about games for the first time in over a year!
Like most survival games, Valheim has a balanced array of activities to offer, including exploration, crafting, exploring, combat, building, etc. The most robust feature by far is the building construction, which is intricate, encouraging of creativity, accurately physics based, and also requires so much wood that your nearby land will look like Isengard after logging Fangorn Forest.
Our dedicated server is full of Lord of the Rings nerds, so each of our houses or settlements and all major locations have been named after places in Middle Earth. Our Hall is named after the coastal city of Belfalas in Gondor, and the bay in front of the Hall is obviously the Bay of Belfalas. This Hall is the first big, complex architecture thing I’ve really built in a game like this before and I’m super proud of it. Hope you enjoy the screenshots. 🙂
Combat in Valheim HURTS, even with appropriate armor for the zone you are in, so you cannot just hack and slash your way through every encounter mindlessly until you far out-gear that area. It can absolutely be a brutal game, especially if you try to go into the harder zones early for a challenge. You’ll have to learn to manage your stamina and prepare in advance. When you are finally able to conquer a biome type, to be able to brave it without worry, it feels like a pioneering accomplishment.
The nostalgic visuals, with their low poly simplicity, speak to old Runescape era days in the best way. I’m especially impressed with the soundtrack, which could loop forever and I might never tire of it. Calm sax solos in the Meadows, sloping Trombone tunes while riding the ocean waves in your long ship, and actual Viking metal for some of the bosses… Love it!
Being in early access, Valheim is undeniably buggy, but mainly in hilarious ways rather than purely annoying ones. I’m sure it’ll all get ironed out eventually, considering the sheer volume of unexpected sales and the spotlight turned on the game which is encouraging ongoing development. Cheers to the devs!
Honestly, there’s just a lot of a quality content in this game for it being in early access and only $20. Valheim could easily be worth $40+ and I’ve already put in 100 hours with more to come. If you’ve been on the fence about trying Valheim, this is me giving you a gentle push.
Thanks for reading!