So for pc gamers, something has really blown up on steam the past few days and it seems to be taking the survival game world by storm. It’S a new early access, title called valheim, it’s open world, it’s pretty massive and you can mess around with up to 10 players in it. Now. Every so often a game comes completely out of nowhere and tops the charts on steam and we take a dive into it and see. What’S up so today, it’s going to be this valheim!
You know a few of us here at game ranks have captured our early gameplay sessions on pc here, so you can get the gist of it. But, to be honest, we’ve only just barely scratched a surface. Think of this, not quite as like a deep critical before you buy review video, but more of just like a what is this. Why did it blow up and, of course, where it’s going and what it can do, because it is still very much in early access. Valham launched early access on february, 2nd 2021, it’s asking for a 20 u.
buy-in and it has already crossed 1 million sold. It has also seen reportedly 160 000 peak concurrent players and a big 127 000 peak viewers on twitch. This is the game’s first week. That’S pretty insane and very, very good for a more indie style survival game that seemingly kind of came out of nowhere. But anyway, it’s developed by iron gate, studio, it’s their first game and apparently it’s a swedish studio founded by two gaming industry veterans, and it shows man valheim, feels like a really high quality survival game already, but i’ll get more into how far along it is.
In a bit now firing up the game when you jump in, basically, you create a character with some pretty simple character: creation tools, nothing too over the top or nothing too overly simplified. You know you’re not doing crazy stuff like giving yourself a big head or a crazy nose or blue skin, or anything like that. You just create some variation of a viking style person. Then you drop into a world either alone or one with up to 10 friends and nicely enough. You can run a persistent server world too you’re dumped into a procedurally generated open world and it’s time to do survival game stuff.
But with a viking theme it’s also pve focused, so it’s really about you and your friends, slaying monsters and building together and stuff. You of course start out naked and you find some sticks find. Some rocks eventually make your way to a crafting bench, and then you can start building out a shelter. These shelters can eventually become mead halls and impressive little compounds if you’re up to it, you need to eat so early on. Of course, you need to hunt and cook food on the fire and then eventually you’ll be able to craft a bow to more efficiently, hunt and cook on a fire.
But then, eventually, you can get to the point where you can farm and could just come up with bigger production operations to make your life a little easier. You craft tools to use weapons, furniture and you can then repair and improve, or upgrade certain items too, depending on if you’ve learned the ability to do so. And, of course, if you have all the resources, it’s the seemingly endless loop of consistently improving and growing and making your life in this hostile world incrementally a little bit easier. That is satisfying it’s absolutely not the first game to do this. This did not invent it, but they do it pretty damn well here and the survival elements are worth noting: uh they’re, not insanely, overwhelming or demanding.
You know you need to eat. It gets your health up uh. There are certain buffs and benefits you get depending on. Where you are or what you’re doing, if you’re cold, if you’re well rested, but you’re not constantly juggling a bunch of meters like you’re, just constantly hungry and feeding your guy and giving him water and there’s a thirst meter and a bathroom meter. Like he’s.
Like a little toddler, you have to take care of it’s nothing like that. It’S streamlined, but not in a way that makes it feel like less of a survival experience. You know oh and i forgot to mention. You also have skills that you are leveling up basic stuff for everything you do like running blocking fighting all of that has skill levels that you can increase and level up. Simply by doing the more you chop down a tree, the better you get at it, the more you do stuff, the better you get at it.
That’S the simple, straightforward, rpg skill way that some games do and they’re doing it here, and it’s surprisingly satisfying, i like it as a system. Now you want to get better stuff. You want to efficiently have food and supplies. You want to have some extra breakable weapons stored up. You want armor, you want all of your friends geared up because you’re going to want to venture out into the world and maybe either establish a new homestead deeper into it.
With you know, maybe a different environment or more near stuff, but you also most notably want to find shrines which, when given the proper sacrifice, trigger challenging bosses that are like otherworldly prey, you need to defeat and they can take teamwork with friends and just proper survival Game preparedness: the game really justifies you crafting a bunch of stuff storing stuff because you’re going to need it for these enemies. Now. The context of this is that you are a dead warrior who is dumped by the valkyries into the norse purgatory type? Ninth world of valheim, that’s literally actually how the game starts, a valkyrie flies in and drops you off and in this world there are odin’s ancient rivals that you need to find and defeat to make everything better. Now look i’m kind of butchering this stuff, because norse mythology is not my strong suit.
I’M not gon na lie, but it’s there as a setup and makes for an interesting aesthetic, there’s a lot of cool stuff. They do with the ancient language and stuff, which is cool, and if i am on the topic of languages uh, the game has a bunch of language support, but it also has community language support for languages that are out there that the game does not officially support The developers have allowed the community to support and they have a whole list on their steam page. If maybe your native language is something that isn’t usually supported in mainstream games. There are fan translations that are supported by the game. The developers have said that they can’t officially verify every single one how accurate they are, but they are there and that support is pretty cool and it’s nice to see.
But what i was talking about was the the setup, the story you being dropped off by the valkyries you’re in this world. You have to slay these beasts. This is the core vague framework of giving you something to really do, but there are still regular animals to hunt and enemies to fight out there from weird forest goblins to big, trolls and other stuff, and the combat is pretty simple, but it works with some good Feedback, you can block either with a weapon or a shield. You can craft, you can strike and you can dodge and roll. It feels kind of like melee combat in elder scrolls online, but a little bit less mmoe.
If that makes sense still you will earn abilities, as you progress that, then you can also activate with cooldowns this game, like many in this genre is better with friends. I think that’s kind of obvious, but you know this isn’t really much of a solo experience. It’S fun to figure out the game with someone else and just venture deeper into areas and different woods and stuff and discover little surprises plus. If you get crazy enough, like i said you can build mead halls, you can craft mead, you can even build a boat and sail across the water and go out even further, and that building is very comprehensive and pretty fun. It can be a little finicky here and there you might fight with it a bit, but it’s really impressive how much there is even early on and what you can build once you kind of figure it all out and how things go together.
You can also destruct and alter buildings that you find in the environment, so my partner – and i, when we were playing our go-to strategy, was to find an abandoned old hut and break down some of the old walls and destroy the rotted roof and then add some Rooms and a fresh roof and essentially renovate it with resources. We found it’s cool, it’s a quick, simple, tiny little thing, but it was something that we really found quirky and enjoyable. Also. I can’t believe i got this far in and i haven’t talked about the graphics. I think personally, you know this is my personal opinion, but i think they’re amazing, some folks might see this in a video and go yeah looks like an old game.
That’S kind of the point they’re making here with this art style, this low poly, texture, stylized, characters and stuff, but on the flip side, with like incredible draw distances, a massive sky box ripped right out of viking lore downright incredible lighting effects where you get like a Sunrise through the trees that looks hyper, real and some color palette and stylization stuff with the atmosphere and the effects and the volumetric fog combined just make it look, unlike anything we’ve ever seen in a game. This game is the perfect showcase that it’s not always just about raw graphical power and hyper realistic, looking characters with pores that can stretch. Sometimes it’s just about damn good art, design and direction. You have to have it running in front of you on a machine on a monitor to really appreciate it. The game isn’t too demanding, but you can really crank it up and it can run pretty smoothly, especially considering it’s an early access game.
We had a few little weird glitches here and there, but nothing that seemed to be cause for alarm. The visuals, along with some great day and night cycle effects and scenario changes coupled with some weather and some great music, just really make this feel like one of the higher quality survival game experiences. This thing feels higher quality. It’S got some good, interesting production value to it, considering at its core, it’s very simple and kind of understated. Now again, it is early access.
So what does that mean exactly? Well, we know from the developer’s words on that that uh feature-wise, this game is 75 complete and content-wise. It is about 50 complete, that’s what they say. There are five biomes but they’re planning on rolling out a total of nine, more items, more enemy types, more bosses, more armor and clothing, different weapons and, more importantly, different weapon types to mess around with are apparently planned to be continually added, as well as way more Building options, which is cool. Apparently, this is going to be over the course of a year or more depending on player feedback which to be fair so far, the devs seem to be pretty transparent and listen to the community, especially as it rapidly explodes good luck, guys.
Uh, they also recommend between three and five players as like the ideal experience and after squaring off with more dangerous enemy types and some bosses. I definitely agree that that would probably be the ideal lineup, but even if it’s just you and one other goofball, i think you’re going to have some fun here. I also want to add personally as someone who has a bit of like a love hate relationship with survival games. Sometimes i appreciate them. Sometimes i don’t understand why people play them.
I go back and forth, but never really fully committed to one in particular other than minecraft back in the day. This one so far has really made an impact on me and i’m gon na find myself playing this quite a bit more. I completely understand why it’s been blowing up after diving into it for the last few days, and i would say that for you guys out there, maybe if you’re like me, consider this one. I think the way it kind of gives you a rough framework where it gives you some guidance but without holding your hand at all, like you’re, still very much dumped in the world and you’re desperate to figure things out, and it can be pretty rough and challenging. There are slight vague, waypoints and actual things to do that can string you along a little bit, it kind of hooks you into figuring [, __, ] out and banging your head against the wall and actually progressing in some meaningful way without repeating myself anymore.
I do think it’s cool now might be the time to get in as it’s only 20 bucks and you’re not getting like a mess of a game you’re getting something that feels like it’s been properly worked on and is already pretty satisfying and might become even better Down the line, but this has been out and a lot of people have been jumping into it. So we want to hear from you guys if you were curious and you jumped in we’d love to hear your opinion, but also if people are jumping onto this video and hearing about this ambitious game, maybe they’re curious about starting it out. Maybe you guys can leave some tips for other new players that might stumble upon this video any tips. You got any tricks, any guidance for jumping into the world of valheim we’d love to hear from you, and maybe, if you enjoyed this video, if we steered you in the right direction or informed you, you can click the like button. That would really help us out, but also it’s worth saying, consider subscribing if you’re new, maybe hitting that notification bell, because we put out videos every single day dude.
But as always, thanks for watching and we’ll see you guys next time, [ Music ], you