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I do love a good open-world survival crafting game and Valheim either played solo or with friends can be quite the experience. You have Viking inspirations, base building, boss battles, and a massive deadly world to go exploring in.
One of the many aspects I enjoyed was how the game handles you being able to play by yourself, with others, or even between different worlds. You first get to select a character and then chose what world you want to log into with it.
This was great when I wanted to be off on my own in my world. Building and not having to entirely start over when friends wanted to play on a server for a month or two. While I could have started a different character I also just had the option of logging in with the one I’ve been playing from with all his stuff and continue.
I’ve lost count of how many times I get into a game with some friends. They lose interest or we do not enough want to play on the server so it gets shut down. With a system like they have, I could move belongs over before the server shuts down and just build a new base and move forward from there.
There are also other reasons like random events when the player is logged into a game that you might not want to occur if you are the only one playing in a large clan. Entire villages you have built can get destroyed during them and having that happen to your solo game instead of a ten-man server because one player wanted to play at off-hours.
While my base-building skills in my solo world sure leave something left to be desired. You can build some massive villages in this game if you are willing to spend the time. It just requires a fair amount of terraforming and material gathering.
This is the kind of game where you find yourself building multiple places to live. Since you could build a teleport between them I would often set up forward outposts for bringing gathered resources. While some resources you can take with you in the teleport. Others would require you manually hauling them back.
As a result, I often would set an outpost near the ocean if the area was heavy in an ore I needed for crafting. Once everything was brought back to the main town I had massive storage systems or would craft everything up.
Just about everything in this game you need to craft. You will deplete many forests and areas of all resources you can find. While there are carts that can be crafted in the game to haul back large amounts of items. At least when I was playing they are a pain to get through areas unless you have built roads to travel along and keep them cleared.
Eventfully you end up exploring the main island you started on. This game is made up of a bunch of different islands and the further out you go from the starting area the more deadly things become. I spent quite a lot of time just sailing around in my Viking ship. Hoping the winds are in my favor and no death lurks just below.
Valheim has a lot of different combat situations you can find yourself in. One of the main reasons I would set up outposts in the game gets deadly at night the deeper you go into the game. There are even places where I feel it would be challenging to try and live for long amounts of time.
During the day for the most part unless you are nearing mid-game the challenges you face combat-wise are not that hard. The bigger threats you might face in a day in say the Black Forest being trolls are easy to spot and even hear wondering around.
I enjoyed hunting down trolls. Like all enemies in Valheim once you understand their weaknesses they are not always as challenging as they first appear. Getting hit by a troll can be instant death unless you are prepared for it.
That is however pale in compassion to one of my more favorite activities in a game and that is dungeon diving. There are quite a few different types to explore and they usually are quite bountiful to find in the world as well.
I lost count of how much of my time was spent just clearing out one dungeon after another after another. I was considering opening up more worlds so I could just keep clearing out even more dungeons for phat loot.
To be able to progress in this game usually result in needing to kill a boss. This is where I feel playing with friends comes in handy. Some of the later boss challenges can be quite hard alone. Even more so if you take a while to kill them and it turns into night.
Once I hit mid-game I found myself preparing the arena area where I was going to summon the boss to fight them. I would get the best gear I could along with lots of food and set up a little place I could run back from. I would also wait till daybreak before summing to ensure I had as much daytime as I could.
I had some interesting moments where monsters from the surrounding areas would join in and add to the challenge of defeating a boss. This game requires some planning and thinking before engaging in such actives.
Once the boss is defeated the content cycle repeats. You would use the boss item drop in some way to advance. Go out and explore new places and lands. Harvest new materials to unlock new crafting. Then bring it back home and make new weapons, armor, and crafting stations if needed.
I had so many different adventures when playing this game. So many that were a result of a death and needing to do a corpse run to help get people’s stuff back. Other times just staying out longer than you were expecting and running low on supplies or wandering into a new part of the map at night that would darn near kill you if lucky.
While the graphics at first were a bit off-putting for me with how they are. It is something that ended up growing on me and even at moments I would not even notice it as much as I thought I would. Not every game needs such groundbreaking graphics they set your computer on fire.
If played in a large enough group people can focus on elements of the game they enjoy the most. Whether it be crafting, building, gathering, or hunting. I’ll be keeping my eye on it for future updates.
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Disclosure: the game is in early access.