Assassin’s Creed Valhalla is, hands down, the longest game I’ve ever played. The past few play sessions I devoted to finally finishing AC Valhalla at 116 hours. There’s still a ton of treasure hunts and small mystery missions left, but I finally finished the main story.
It took 116 hours for me to finally get there. Sure there was a lot of smaller side missions I distracted myself with, but still, it was an epically long journey. In the end, I was happy I made the journey.
Cruising Through the Last Alliance Missions
Building alliances, and the missions building up to them, are the main part of the game. I spent way to much time messing around with the side missions. The real “meat” of the game is in these alliance missions. I highly suggest anyone without a ton of time, or patience, focus on them before the mystery missions. Maybe just do the mysteries when they are close by.
The game was much better after turning my focus to finishing up the alliances. The different areas really showed off the art team’s work. I was truly impressed by how varied the environments are in each area. It’s not like the old days of seeing similar parts of a map over and over. Each part of England has great character and “feel” different from eachother.
Solving Birstan’s Love Triangle in Essexe
Met the ealdorman, Birstan. His house gave me some true Caligula’s Rome vibes. The lords in his house reinforced this sentiment by complaining about how Birstan only drank and hunted. He left his wife Estrid in charge of everything while he enjoyed his hobbies.
Turns out Birstan wasn’t such a bad guy and just longed for his old love Alfida. The only thing standing in the way was his wife, but she planned on her own affair. What followed was an elaborate plan of faking Estrid’s kidnapping and helping her escape with her lover, Rollo, to France. Birstan was then free live with his true love Alrida and her super creepy brother.
That Rollo was a typical young playboy whom I rescued from a brothel. Working with him was fun, like a VIking Han Solo. Knowing he often travels to France, I wonder if we will continue some misadventures when the Siege of Paris DLC drops.
Saving the Future Lord of Lincolnscire
Hunwald, son of Lord Hundbeorht, wanted Eivor to escort him back to his future kingdom. His father was sick and people wanted to prevent Hunwald from returning, by killing him. I slaughtered assassin’s along our travels as his bodyguard.
When we did make it his land, we didn’t find his father. In his place was a friend of the family, Acha and the Bishop Herefrith. They seemed very reluctant to let him see his father. With good reason too, because Lord Hundbeorht was dead well before we arrived.
I found his body, or what was left, with a crazed nun Galwyna. His body was shriveled, but she was talking to him like he was still alive. Creepy, but at least I didn’t need to kill her. Hunwald mourned his father before seeking shelter with his Viking girlfriend, Swanburrow.
While he was safely hidden, Aelfgar met me to go hunting and convince me to back his claim to lead Lincolnscire. Our hunt was interrupted by soldiers burning his homestead. I was not sure if it was his competition or staged by him at that point.
Turns out it was the Bishop behind everything. He revealed himself as a member of the Order of the Ancients right after I broke the voting tie to favor Hunwald for the new Ealdorman. He tried to kill us all, but we all gathered to kill him at the castle he tried to hide at. Always enjoy taking out the hypocritical holy men.
A Harvest Festival and Wicker Man at Glowecestrescire
I loved the harvest festival atmosphere of Glowescestrescire. The fall colors were a nice change from the other areas in England. The start of my journey led me to Gunnar the blacksmith of Eivor’s settlement. There he introduced his future wife Brigid. She spoke mumble mouthed. I understood some of her words, but it was barely English.
Met Cynon the harvest king at the festival and found out they were going to burn him Wicker Man style. Wicker Man was a bad Nic Cage movie where they burned him inside a giant man made of wood. The purpose of all that was to ensure fertile land like a weird sacrifice.
Keeping with the fall theme, I was tasked with a Hoodening (aka trick or treating). I put on a hood and horse skull before going door to door. Weird to do all this as a Viking. Treats turned into trick when I broke up a fight before a witch, Modron, and her daughter, Gwenydd, saved me.
My adventure continued with Tewdwr, Cynon’s successor. We embarked on a great drunken adventure. It ended with him kidnapped and me framed for murder. Turns out we were drugged by Gwilim using a druid potion. He kidnapped Tewdwr in an elaborate scheme.
Modron didn’t want Tewdwr’s conservative religious beliefs to threaten her or her daughter, so she planned the scheme with Cynon, her girl’s secret father. Tewdwr survived and I let Modron live, so we all watched Cynon fulfill his roll as harvest kind and burned in the Wicker Man. The flames and screams were brutal.
In the end, Modron’s scheme showed Tewdwr the kindness of his heathen captors and softened his stance on the likes of witches. Her goal was reached without his death.
Ending Fulke and Rescuing Sigurd in Southsexe
After we tracked Fulke down to Southsexe, I gathered allies from my alliance missions. Guthrum, the head Viking in the South, finally met with Eivor and was not impressed. Eivor’s lack of patience and overconfidence ended in ambush. It was funny to see Eivor in such a hurry when I spent hours working on side missions not trying to rescue Sigurd.
The ambush forced additional missions to weaken Fulke’s position, but also further delayed Sigurd’s rescue. To that end, I raided a Saxon camp with Stowe (also a Saxon). Burned some grain silos with Ubba (suprisingly still not mad I killed his brother Ivarr). Burned supplies with Soma, my very first alliance. The last prep mission ended with burnt ships and a killed commander in Briggworth with Basim.
With prep work done, we completed the inevitable castle siege. I sliced my way through waves of Saxons at my high level. Fulke didn’t stand a chance either. After all her games, slicing Sigurd’s arm off, poisoning an ally, I took her out in front of a crowd of my men.
The strange part of her death was my alter ego, Odin, liked what she did and agreed with her methods. Her quest for pain to unlock Sigurd’s potential pleased him. Even Sigurd seemed more mad at Eivor than Fulke. Even with a missing arm, he believed himself a god. I thought it was the torture, but found out later it was something else. Sigurd’s attitude took me closer to wanting to betray him.
Finding Traitors on the Snowy Docks of Jorvik
Jorvik was another great example of great artwork in the game. The snowy docks were unique and very recognizable. As soon as I arrived, I knew it was the start of a new adventure.
Eivor’s friends from Norway lived there. Searching for those old friend, Ljufvina and Hjorr, initiated an investigation of an assassination attempt. Ljufvina was a target of the Red Hand, cover for the Order of Ancients. They both were close to the King of Jorvik, Ricsige.
With all their blessings, I tracked down the 3 members of the Red Hand to end their rein of terror. The member known as Firebrand, turned out to be a nun name Ingeborg with a penchant for burning religious text and people. She met my knife. The Needle, a man named Grigorii, was basically a mobster shaking down merchants. Death and taxes turned out to be just death for him.
Finally, the Vault was part of the royal court. We briefly thought it was Hjorr, until we found evidence that Audin, the High Reeve of Jorvik, planned to poison festival goers with wine. I didn’t save all the people from the wine, but I did get revenge on Audin and saved King Ricsige. For my efforts, I earned the alliance.
Fighting and Spying on the Snowy Peaks of Eurvicscire
I stayed in the North for my next alliance. The snowy peaks of Eurvicscire were scattered with some fall colors of trees and flowers poking through thawed areas. Mountains and frozen water falls were an interesting change from the docks of Jorvik. I found my potential allies in those mountains.
Halfdan Ragnarsson and his right hand, Faravid, were there to fight the Picts. Halfdan fought like Thor with his giant hammer. After our skirmish, they led me to Halfdan’s fort Donacestre. It was one of the most impressive forts in the game.
Halfdan planned on fighting his way to become King of the North. First, he wanted me to spy on Faravid to see if he was a traitor. He seemed super paranoid. To accomplish the task, I set off to fight with Faravid’s men. Our adventures took us through an impressive cave of ice spikes.
Faravid did seem a bit shady when he was quick to kill a Pict Chief that was feeding us info. He also was protective of casks of wine meant for Halfdan. I wondered if he was poisoning him, but his man, Ulf, took some. My feeling leaned more towards Halfdan is crazy.
Moira was Halfdan’s healer, so I thought maybe she was poisoning him. It didn’t help she came up missing. I saved her from farmers with pitchforks thinking she was a witch. She confirmed her mom suffered the same illness as Halfdan. Back to Halfdan is crazy.
Attack on Fort Magnis
Faravid pushed me back towards suspecting him when he wanted to go against Halfdan’s wishes to attack Magnis fortress. He went even farther by convincing me to produce a forgery of Halfdan’s order to attack. King Ricsige pretended to honor the order, but betrayed us all.
At fort Magnis, Ricsige allied with the Picts against us, while Halfdan showed up to confront Faravid for his betrayel. We worked together to capture the fortress and chase down Ricsige. It was my pleasure to kill that traitor in the blizzard-like snow he trudged through.
With Ricsige dead, Halfdan added the crown of Jorvik to his title. At our victory celebration there, Halfdan appeared poisoned. Moira recognized the cup as a Roman lead cup. Lead is what drove the Romans mad and we realized Halfdan was not crazy. It was lead poisoning via all the cups Faravid gifted him.
It seemed common knowledge to everyone that lead is toxic, so I was convinced Faravid was a traitor. I defeated him and Halfdan carried out the execution with his hammer. Halfdan was very upset his suspicions were true, but alliance complete.
Replacing a Jarl with a Friend in Snotinghamscire
I met with old friends in Snotinghamscire. First, there was Trygve, Hemming Jarl’s right hand. I escorted him and his ships to meet Hemming Jarl before meeting with childhood friend Vili. Eivor and Vili were real troublemakers together as children.
The friends wanted Eivor’s help deciding on the successor for Hemming Jarl. Hemming wanted his son Vili to take over his legacy, but Vili preferred freedom to see the world and was short fused. Trygve was a great leader, but old and did not command the same respect from the people.
After reminiscing about old times with Vili, we traveled to Ulkerthorpe fort to kill a Pict chief before rescuing survivors in a burned camp. We took some quiet time at Kinder Downfall. One of the better waterfall locations in the game. Unfortunately, quiet time was interrupted with news of Hemming Jarl’s impending death.
Once Hemming Jarl passed, his soldiers built a great funeral pyre topped with a Viking longboat to carry him to Valhalla. Trygve stayed loyal to his Jarl to the end. He planned to burn with him, but I convinced him it best to remain at Vili’s side to council him as he did his father.
The alliance was secured with Vili at the head and Trygve at his right hand. It seemed like the best of both worlds.
Wincestre the City of Faith and Murder by Me
Through my travels, the Poor Fellow-Soldier of Christ helped me track Order of the Ancient targets. For my next targets, he wanted to meet at the Old Minster in Wincestre. The abbot their forced me to solve religious riddles before taking me where I needed to go.
Upon meeting my secret ally, I was shocked it was actually King Aelfred of Wessex. The most powerful King in England was exactly the ally to have in the fight against the Order of the Ancients. First, he sent me to search for clues about his Reeve, Goodwin. Saving Goodwin scored us intel on our targets.
The first target was the Gallows, a hangmen I executed right before he carried out another execution. Our second target, the Quill, drove children to betray me before I wrote her end. The last target, the Seax, faked his own death.
Aelfred thought him dead, but I tracked down evidence he still lived. He even tried to assassinate Aelfred in a crowd, but I canceled his contract and stopped his heart. Unfortunately, my thanks for saving Aelfred was an “offer” to convert to Christianity. Refusing prompted Aelfred to have his men come after me, including Goodwin.
Finding Isu Technology in Hordafylke
With Sigurd rescued and safe back at the settlement, it didn’t feel like much of a victory. He was a broken man, distant and still thought he was a god. Desperate to reconnect with his old friend, Eivor agreed to travel back to Norway with Sigurd.
We visited a new part of Norway and took a long walk through a blizzard. Sigurd led us to a strange cave with a giant Isu doorway. He spoke alien words and the door opened. That was strange for Eivor, but things got weird with the large elevator we rode to the bottom.
That elevator led to a huge room with a giant mechanical version of Yggdrasil, the tree from Norse mythology. Sigurd was not kidding about his god-like ancestor. He operated the machinery and hooked us both in. We woke up in a dream world. It was the Valhalla feast followed by the forever fight. It looped over and over.
The looping became a sort of hell for Eivor. He convinced Sigurd to exit the machine together. At this point, it became clear that both Eivor and Sigurd’s alter egos were Isu. Odin would not let Eivor escape and forced a fight. Letting go of Eivor’s axe was the only way out.
Once out of the simulation, Basim ambushed us. His alter ego, Loki, took hold and he wanted revenge for the events of Asgard. We jumped and climbed the many platforms before fighting to the end. After defeating Basim, Sigurd trapped him in the machine.
It was then that Sigurd passed his judgement on the choices I, as Eivor, made throughout the game. There were enough good choices to convince Sigurd to return home with Eivor. Back at the settlement, he put Eivor in charge of the clan for good and it seemed like the end, but it wasn’t.
Answering Aelfred’s Betrayal in Hamtunscire
I thought I was at the end, but Aelfred still lingered behind the scenes. In a final push against the King of Wessex, I met with Soma and Guthrum to confront Aelfred. He gifted silver to Gulthrum at the Cathedral to stop the war, but betrayed us all after informing us his troops kill Ubba Ragnarsson.
As retribution, we burned Werham and I helped Guthrum rescue some of his captured danes. We met with my allies to say goodbye before one final battle together. We planned on attacking Cippanham on their Holy Day, but we walked into a trap. Goodwin, whom I rescued in Wessex, set the trap and I killed him for his scheming.
Our final fight was fierce. Soma died right before my eyes. Hunwald and Hjorr also died. We took down the soldiers, but the cost was high. Instead of celebrating victory, we mourned our dead and Guthrum quit the war. He wanted England as his permanent home and wanted peace. Aelfred escaped.
The End of AC Valhalla Keeps Going
When finally finishing all the main story of Asassin’s Creed Valhalla, I realized the endings just kept coming. It seemed the main ending was after defeating Basim and returning to Raventhorpe with Sigurd. A feast for Eivor to take over the leadership of the clan. The other endings that came after, or in some cases before, were like epilogues.
There was a point where we all enjoyed Gunnar’s wedding together. In another, Layla visited the same Isu temple that Eivor and Sigurd did, but she inadvertently switches places with Basim. That sets off an interesting turn of events for future games with Basim reincarnated as the Isu Loki.
In a final meeting with Aelfred, while he hid in plain clothes on a farm. He revealed he was the head member of the Order of the Ancients. He gained the title when his brother died and always hated the group. That was why he sabotaged them by feeding Eivor targets. It was an interesting twist.
There’s even an Isu ending, well two. After finishing the Asgard storyline, a cinematic tells the story of the gods drinking a potion to store their genetic memory for future generations with magic. After completing all the anomaly missions, the game treated me to what really happened. The Isu used technology to upload their genetic memory before an extinction level event.
As I mentioned in the beginning, it is an incredibly long game and impossible to talk about everything I saw. I loved it, but I do very much agree it was too long. If they cut out the filler and shortened the story to the highlights, then it could reach masterpiece status.
I told myself I’d take a break from the game to play something else before hitting the DLC, but ending the game was fun. It surprised me I was ready to play more. Next up I’ll go straight for Ireland and try out the Wrath of the Druids DLC.