Every few months, there seems to be a new viral game. Fall Guys and Among Us were some of the latest and now it’s Valheim’s turn. Valheim gameplay seems to have caught fire more than the viral games that came before.
The timing seems perfect with many gamers still craving Viking action after finishing Assassin’s Creed Valhalla.
Convincing Myself to Try Valheim
Everyday I saw a new article or youtube video about Valheim. At first, I just chalked it up to a viral game that content creators covered for clicks and views.
After a few more days, I read enough to convince me the $20 for the game was worth a try. If it was horrible, then I had the Steam return window to back me up.
Well it only took an hour to convince me I was NOT going to return the game. It is a lot of fun.
Valheim Unique Graphics
Since Valheim is a seed generated game world, I expected semi pixelated graphics similar to Minecraft. The textures are low res close to that, but it definitely looks better than all the blocks of Minecraft.
Valheim gameplay takes it up a notch with many different procedural generated objects like trees, bushes, house building blocks and furniture. No dealing with a bunch of blocks.
Terrain has closer to real life curves, as do character models and equipment. Trees and grass wave in the wind. Fire looks great and the water looks even better with the flowy wave.
I’ve encountered strong lighting storm and it looks so good. The atmosphere of it is great with the addition of the sound. It’s fun to race back to my cozy long house to shelter for the storm. I think that hits the survival instinct button somewhere in my brain.
I’m looking forward to the snow in the tundra biome later and sailing the sea when I build my first boat. There are other biomes that will be an interesting variety.
This game has great lighting and reflections for an early access title. The rays of the sun cutting through the trees and shining on the water make it a beautiful game for what it is. It helps hide the pixelated textures with great style. It looks great on my ultrawide monitor.
The Great Valheim Gameplay
It all started simple enough. My character died in battle and carried off to Valheim. He was chosen as great warrior to fight the ancient enemies of Odin there.
I was bit confused at first. The basics were posted on screen and I’m used to Minecraft, but the Raven’s were a big help. When some new event happens that warrants more info, a raven swoops in to give a little mini tutorial (usually easy to see by the yellow exclamation point).
Valheim gameplay has great progression from crafting simple things like clubs to building a crafting bench. That accelerates crafting to more complicated things. Gathering stones and wood helped me craft an ax to get even more wood.
Later on, I crafted a hammer, a hoe, an improved ax and looking forward to crafting weapons. I did manage to scrounge enough for new pants, but it’s all been fun.
Building my First Long House
Things start to take off from there as I built a crafting table that required a small hut for me to use it. Before I knew it, I was building my first small long house with a dirt floor.
Things got cold and I built a fire in the long house. Smoke built while I slept and the smoke inhalation caused damage. I learned I needed to build a chimney.
Using half walls and roof toppers, I built a makeshift chimney. That directed the smoke outside, while shielding the fire from rain. That little ordeal really sucked me in. It was a fun survival puzzle.
I made a bad habit of running into the fire with my mini longhouse, so I needed to expand. It was also time to to build a floor which required me to use the hoe to level out the grown first.
Later, I’ll have to convert my fire to a proper fireplace. Next play session, I’ll try to snap some pictures when I improve it.
Valheim Gameplay Skill Progression
While I was gathering supplies and killing creatures, I noticed the Valheim skill progression system. Beating things with my club increased my clubbing skill. Jumping built up my jump skill and so on.
With each skill progression, I was more efficient and spent less stamina performing the associated action. This part is a lot of fun, because it gives a bit of RPG element to build you character by doing the things you need or like to do in game. Better than spending skill points.
Swimming is definitely my weakness. I’ve died most by drowning. Running or swinging at a creature before swimming is not advisable. I was taking damage in the first instance and took me a bit to realize my stamina was gone.
My poor guy died right in the water, but I was able to go back to get my stuff on respawn. Dying does lose some of that valuable skill progression, so I tried to be more careful.
I did not have enough time to play this great game. If you were thinking about playing it, then buy Valheim now. Now if you read this far and weren’t thinking about buying the game, then you are lying to yourself.