The Assassin’s Creed franchise has dominated the gaming world for years. But, if fans had to choose, which one is better: Odyssey or Valhalla?
By Arnab Rakshit
Published Mar 04, 2021
Ubisoft, the publisher of Assassin’s Creed,?has taken a detour from the action/adventure roots of the game and turned towards providing gamers with an action-RPG package. With the release of Assassin’s Creed Origins, the action-RPG?foundation of Assassin’s Creed has been well established.
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The recent additions to this list of ARPGs include?Assassin’s Creed Odyssey, and the recently released Assassin’s Creed Valhalla. However,?fans of the?franchise have had a lingering question as to which aspects make these games good or if?Odyssey is better than?Valhalla.
While both of the games have qualities that make them individually brilliant, certain areas have been handled better by Odyssey, while Valhalla takes the cake in other areas. For a gamer who is confused between these two titles, it would be worthwhile to know which qualities are better in each of the games and then decide for themselves.
One quality that has always been a highlight of Assassin’s Creed is the characters that the game has created. Over the years there have been many memorable assassins, as well as side characters that have excited gamers. Valhalla is no different, with Ubisoft creating a rich dearth of well-written characters that do not seem one-dimensional. Each of the characters, inside Ravensthorpe and even outside of it is imbued with unique personalities, motivations, habits, and limitations.
The game sees the player having to create meaningful alliances throughout England. With every sub-plot, gamers are able to meet a list of exciting characters that provide the player with useful information and a clearer picture of the land. Although Odyssey,?too, has a myriad of characters, Valhalla appears to be more complete compared to its predecessor.
The plotline involving the clash between the Assassins and the Templars has been a driving force in the Assassin’s Creed games. However, similar to the 2016 movie?that took this stereotype to a whole new extent, (an aspect that would hopefully be changed by the Netflix series),?this trope can prove to be hugely monotonous for players who have been loyal to the franchise since the beginning.
Therefore, a shift to family-oriented dynamics and numerous romance options, all set during the Peloponnesian War,?proves to be a welcome change. The game provides the players with the choice to fight on the side of Athens, or on that of Sparta. Being set in a time period that is probably and slightly more popular than the Vikings plot of Valhalla, the storyline of Odyssey just about ranks higher than its successor in this department.
Making a game based on Viking history, and not including the iconic raids that these group of Norsemen carried out, would have proved to be a complete let-off. Thankfully, Valhalla considers this important aspect of history and includes an exhilarating Raid mechanic into its gameplay.
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The raids are important because they allow the player to collect money and resources by killing and pillaging, but also make for action-packed gaming sequences. As the difficulty levels rise, orchestrating a raid by simply attacking the enemy forces headfirst starts becoming futile. The use of covert techniques and stealth makes the completion of these challenging raids, all the more fruitful.
Despite being a game that was released two years before Valhalla, Assassin’s Creed Odyssey fares higher in terms of graphics than its 2020 counterpart. Although it cannot be argued that Valhalla also has incredible graphics, it is sadly plagued with ill-constructed character models, as well as frustrating bugs and glitches.
Playing Odyssey in Ultra-High settings is an enthralling experience, which turns the archaic Grecian mainland into a dream-like paradise. With conceivable character modeling, hardly any awkward angles, and a healthy balance between in-game animation and cut scenes, Odyssey is graphically more appealing than Valhalla.
Valhalla hugely?triumphs over Odyssey when it comes to combat.?It is probably the best rendering of combat in the action-based RPG formula that the recent games of Assassin’s Creed have adopted.
While the battle sequences in Odyssey seemed outlandish, owing to the superhero-esque abilities characters like Kassandra and Alexios were capable of, Valhalla is able to depict more realistic and enjoyable combat sequences, (courtesy of its huge variety of weapons and combo options). It is also accurate with the brutality that the age of Vikings experienced, while also being adequately challenging to force the gamer to stay alert during combat sequences.
Assassin’s Creed has always been praised for its stealth techniques, and Odyssey is probably the game that best delivers this aspect in the present ARPG scenario that the game finds itself in. There are many things that fans had no idea they could do in Odyssey, and stealth is one such?department?that promises?innumerable possibilities. The free-climbing mechanic allows players to sneak up to advantageous positions and execute impressive aerial assassinations or stealthy headshots with a bow and arrow.
Furthermore, the demi-god-like attributes of the game’s protagonists, Kassandra and Alexios, provide a dearth of abilities that can be unlocked and promote an intoxicating gaming experience. Great examples include sudden camouflage, a combination of spear throw, an instant teleportation to execute unsuspecting enemies, as well as overpowered infiltration techniques.
This is one aspect that might have takers as well as haters. While some have applauded the naval gameplay sequence that Assassin’s Creed Valhalla has re-introduced, taking its cues from Origins, others had hoped for a naval gameplay sequence that was more akin to Odyssey or Black Flag.?
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While the aforementioned installments of Odyssey and Black Flag had ship-to-ship combat, Valhalla focuses naval gameplay to be solely meant for the purpose of exploration and traversal. This makes great sense since the entire game is filled with combat, which can soon become tedious.?Valhalla’s naval gameplay creates an enjoyable balance between combat and exploration, which is undoubtedly one of the best features of this game.
Upgrading skills and weaponry is an integral part of any good ARPG, and where Odyssey shines with regards to this aspect, Valhalla fails.
The problem with Valhalla is that, instead of making the skill tree and weapon upgrade interface simple, it tried to add too many things that eventually led to players losing interest. However,?Odyssey?took a more simplistic approach and actually advocated improved gameplay, with each and every upgrade or skill acquisition.
Assassin’s Creed Valhalla is a huge game and, therefore, understandably, it is divided into sub-plots. What makes the game remain interesting and immersive to players is the quality of side missions that Valhalla has to offer. While some of the side missions are quite easy and might encourage a wry chuckle, players will soon realize that they have to get their game faces on and try hard when faced with challenging side-quests.
Completing these side-quests will enable the player to find legendary items, increase their loot, and horde on resources. Although Ubisoft still has eons to go with regards to building a highly fulfilling and immersive world for the ARPG versions of Assassin’s Creed, Valhalla is arguably their best attempt.
Eagle vision is probably one of the worst when it comes to Assassin’s Creed Valhalla. Apart from the horrible compulsion of having to rely on bird-companions to detect targets, the bird itself has been changed to a raven instead of an eagle in Valhalla. Furthermore, the player also needs to pinpoint the location by themselves, thereby forcing players to question as to why the eagle vision has even been included.
On the other hand, Odyssey?still has the bird-companion aspect in place. But, at least it does a better job as a useful ability by allowing players to?detect hidden locations and important characters, which would otherwise have consumed a huge chunk of time.
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About The Author
(77 Articles Published)
Arnab Rakshit is an avid reader, writer, movie-buff, and comics fanatic residing in Kolkata, India. He is a graduate of Asutosh College, Calcutta University, with a Bachelor of Arts degree in English Literature. Having worked in the field of content development for myriad clients since 2016, he is confident about creating meticulous and informative content for ScreenRant readers. He also enjoys a competitive game of Table Tennis once in a while.
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