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Review: Assassin’s Creed Valhalla – The Best Entry To Date, And A Series X Showpiece

Great Odin’s Raven!

How do you follow up on a game as enormous, as all-encompassing and expansive as Assassin’s Creed Odyssey? Do you aim for an even bigger slice of open world in which to set your next Animus adventure? Add evermore RPG elements, fetch quests, side missions and collectibles for players to spend hundreds of hours hoovering up? With Assassin’s Creed Valhalla it turns out Ubisoft’s answer is to neatly side-step into a richer, more narrative-focused space, resisting the urge to expand further outwards in favour of drilling downwards, striking a rich vein of well-written characters and captivating stories, replacing much of the series’ dull and repetitive open world busywork with genuine fun and intrigue and, in the process, delivering what is undoubtedly the best entry to date in this long-running franchise.

It doesn’t take long to feel the change in the air in Ubisoft’s twenty-third assassin adventure. In a prologue that’s every bit as glacially-paced and snowbound as that of Red Dead Redemption 2, a game whose influence can be keenly felt throughout here, we’re introduced to a world as large and intricately detailed as that found in the Egyptian and Ancient Greek romps of the previous two Creeds but one that feels so much more alive, so much more full of purpose and direction. This is Assassin’s Creed filtered through Rockstar’s cowboy epic, coloured by the adventures of Geralt of Rivia, and it’s all the better for it.

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