Survival games are here, there, and everywhere. You don’t have to go far down Steam‘s best-seller lists to stumble across games with survival mechanics, and Valheim is now up there with the best, selling one million copies in its first week of Early Access.
Though once you dive into the game, it’s no surprise the reviews have been so favorable and the game so popular. The first thing you notice is the game’s unique art style. There’s a sort of fuzzy loveliness to it, with a mix of pixel art and rendering that is both old-school and fresh at the same time. Check out the trailer to see what I mean.
Though it’s not just the art style that has everyone raving about Valheim. One of the first awesome aspects of the game I noticed was the way in which you level up skills. Cutting down trees with your fists boosts your unarmed skill. It’s like a crossover of Mount and Blade, Runescape, and Oblivion. Much more intuitive than a complex skill tree.
The scale of the game is also impressive, and you’ll notice it even before you take down the first of the several bosses in the game. With a download size of just 1GB, you just don’t expect the world map to be as big as it is. Each world is procedurally-generated, giving you a new experience each time you play.
Valheim is probably best described as a Minecraft, Terraria, Souls game. That’s a lot to take in. Valheim combines the 3D base building of Minecraft – although with the mechanics of Rust – with the material grind and boss-fight mechanics of Terraria. And the combat has definite Souls-like vibes.
I’ve played for around 25 in-game days. Each in-game day is around 30 minutes – roughly, I didn’t count – so that’s quite a few hours already put into the game. I have a beehive, a boat, and lots of materials. I also haven’t fought the first boss yet.
Is the game a grind? Not exactly. It’s pretty immersive. I haven’t paid much attention to time, I just sort of got on with collecting resources and trying to progress. Is the game best played with friends? Probably, yes, most games are. Although this can be enjoyed as a solo player.
For the game’s current price on Steam and the fact it’s in Early Access, Valheim is a surprisingly polished gem of a game. Worth checking out if you like survival games, base building, and boss fights. What’s not to like?