At the beginning of 2019, Valheim is scheduled to launch Steam in the Early Access program, so far it is only available as Pre-Alpha – but for free and for Windows and Linux. But since Valheim is already a lot of fun, we tried out the Viking survival game in multiplayer (see video below).
On to Valhalla
In a vast random world, our Viking must prove worthy of Valhalla. For this he has to compete against various evil creatures, of which the little gray dwarves are still the simplest opponents.
You already have some cloth clothes and a torch in the beginning of this game. The latter proves to be a practical weapon against the nasty gray dwarfs who meet quite quickly and in large numbers. Those who are unlucky and start in an unlucky spot, have them on their heels before it starts. This can cause a lot of frustration.
As known from other games, you first collect wood and stones. Also practical are the flints lying on the river bank, with which better tools and spears can be built. Many resources must be found as prey, so it is worth a trip to loot unfinished houses and standing around altars – but always guarded by dwarfs or worse.
In order to explore the huge map, you can build a raft and leisurely rivers and coastal schippern along. Portals are even more practical: if you build your own base and far away each a portal, they are automatically connected and you can teleport in a few moments from one end of the map to another.
A tutorial is still missing, which makes the entry into the game difficult. Which enemies you can defeat and where there are which resources, can only be found on the hard way. Those who do not have that much patience and frustration tolerance can study the existing Valheim Wiki or watch our first steps in the video.
If you are lucky, start in a relatively quiet area of the map with lots of meadow, stones lying around and a few trees. Then you can set yourself up in peace and build a base. The further you venture into the map and explore other biomes, the more opponents you have to face.
Depending on the landscape, the enemies vary: If you drive around in the dark forest at night, the big brothers of the gray dwarves show themselves, which are already much harder. The Dungeons of the Barrows are protected by Draugr; These pretty resistant undead protect the graves outside and inside. However, here also attracts more prey. Fireballs throwing fire spirits may not last, but they are fast and you have to keep moving a lot.
The distribution of resources ensures that you do not make yourself comfortable in a biome: copper is only available in the dark forest; Iron again only in the heath landscape in the form of meteorite splinters or in the marsh and snow biome. The latter one can hardly enter because of the cold, without losing very quickly to health.
In Valheim, advanced skiers can also play with mountain and forest trolls that clearly tower above the character and can take a lot of punches. As “bosses” is so far only an “Elder” in the game, summon the eight, thrown on a sacrificial altar in the fire “Ancient Seeds”.
Operation is not very intuitive: opening your own inventory shows a small crafting menu on the right, but only for a few tools and a stick. If you want to build a fireplace, a workbench or a cottage, you need a masonry hammer with a separate, not very clear menu and then navigate with the key F through the rubrics and with Q and E through the individual recipes.
The graphics are very appealing and go well with the Viking panorama. Some structures, such as grasses, look a bit pixilated, impressing the landscapes and especially the colors in the forest at sunset. Good that the programmer has renounced too close to reality. That would take a lot of its magic from the fantasy game.
Since the game is currently only in an alpha version, it can not yet be definitively assessed. But it already provides good entertainment for a few hours and challenges. The gameplay is promising and differs nicely from other survival games.
Especially fun Valheim makes in multiplayer, because then you can build a settlement together and tackle big opponents. With multiple portals, however, you quickly lose the overview, because not only connect their own portals.
Still missing some content: After a few hours you have built everything possible so far and hardly any incentive to continue playing. Only new randomly generated maps offer variety. More bosses, a female character and more varied music would be desirable. But even now, the game has far fewer errors than many games on Steam, for which you have to pay money – we are looking forward to the first early-access beta version of Valheim.