Released from nowhere in early February, Valheim Mobile has quickly conquered the hearts of gamers, becoming one of the best selling games on Steam in a very short time. Does this survival game developed by Iron Game Studio and published by Coffee Stain Publishing, which has already released Satisfactory and Deep Rock Galactic, have all the arguments to impose itself on the long term or will it only be a flash in the pan?
Welcome To Valheim Mobile
Set in the heart of Norse mythology, Valheim Mobile is the world in which your Viking, whose features you can vaguely customize at the beginning of the game, is dropped by a huge Valkyrie, with the aim of proving his worth to Odin by defeating the forces of chaos that populate this green purgatory. This is the embryo of the scenario developed to give some context and thickness to the exploitation of the Viking universe in Valheim Mobile that certainly won’t shine for its storytelling qualities. Of course, some runes placed here and there give you some cryptic sentences to explain the past of this (huge) world and the game has a main thread punctuated with boss fights to find and summon, but things don’t go much further, but who cares, Valheim Mobile interest lies elsewhere and still manages to go a little further than the traditional “sandbox” very often proposed in the genre.
It is first of all the artistic direction that strikes. Quite sharp and surprising, the aesthetics of Valheim Mobile oscillates between very pixelated and finally quite retro design while proposing really sumptuous lightings. Each world created here is procedurally generated, but will logically always propose the same biomes, distributed differently, each of them enjoying its own atmosphere and following each other with great naturalness, making the exploration in the game very pleasant thanks to the changing atmospheres and the varied and consistent weather effects. Often very pretty, stable and quite bug-free for an early access survival game – the genre has accustomed us to much worse – Valheim Mobile could seduce only by its visuals, but fortunately, it is not an empty shell and shows real know-how in the field of open-world survival, but tries to combine a classic approach with a little personality.
Softened And Not Totally Classic Survival
Indeed, you should know that on some points, Valheim Mobile is not as punitive as many of its colleagues. Thirst, for example, is not managed by the game and satiety is certainly to be taken into consideration, but it conditions more your level of life and your maximum stamina rather than your pure performance. Indeed, you can eat three different dishes in one go. For example, you can’t expect to eat two freshly-cooked types of meat in one go, you’ll have to wait for the effect of the first one to wear off before you can eat a second one. However, you can combine several types of food, each of which has its own statistics and will give you a certain amount of extra health and stamina. It’s up to you to decide which fruits to harvest and which animals to hunt in order to obtain the most efficient statistical combination, which is essential to survive in the hostile world of Valheim Mobile and, above all, to progress.
You know the music, you start the game in the centre of the random world you just created (or joined with friends) and have no tools to make equipment. So you’ll have to go on a quest for wood and stone to carve out your first rudimentary axe to attack slightly larger trees. The way crafting works in Valheim Mobile is fairly traditional and doesn’t completely reinvent the wheel. As you crack new tools (with a handful of patterns already known at the start of the game), you unlock more, allowing you to access more valuable resources, then opening the window to new builds and so on. In addition to the various equipment (bow, leather equipment, etc.), it is also your first shelter and reappearance point which will be very useful in case of death, because the world of Valheim Mobile is terribly vast, but some prerequisites are required before you can really multiply the beds and storage spaces. Indeed, you will always have to build a workbench before being able to make a bed, which will have to be located next to a campfire and the whole thing will have to be systematically covered with a roof. Although it is easy to understand the need to have a building that is at least somewhat covered so that rest can be restorative, this covering constraint sometimes puts a brake on the player’s mobility, especially since the construction, as rich and varied as it is, sometimes lacks precision.
Many Opportunities For Development
Once you’ve mastered the basics, you’ll realize just how rich Valheim Mobile is. From the small straw hut, you can, as you progress, move on to the bronze age and multiply your constructions. Your little raft can be swapped for a Drakkar so you can conquer the oceans without fear, and you can also quickly return to your fortified base if you take the trouble to build portals if you have already collected the appropriate resource and boss. Valheim Mobile is indeed an exploration game, but, as mentioned above, there is a thread that requires you to defeat several bosses. If the first of them is indicated on your map, it will be up to you, after a rather vague indication from your Valkyrie and guide (a bit shy) in the game, to explore the lands of Valheim Mobile and summon the next creature in order to defeat it and also to benefit from some permanent attributes once your mission is accomplished as well as additional equipment sometimes unlocking new accesses in-game. A rather clever way to encourage players not to stay still and to vary the pleasures to discover all the secrets of the world.
Of course, exploration, although rewarding, is not without danger, and a whole bunch of creatures from Nordic mythology are present in the Valheim Mobile universe. Draugrs, Trolls, Dwarves, Skeletons… the game’s opponents are more or less tenacious depending on where you meet them, so you’ll always have to make sure you have good equipment (which can be repaired for free on any workbench you’ve built – a little bonus for players) before embarking on an adventure or entering one of the game’s many dungeons, which, due to the procedural generation, are not particularly exciting to go through, but are rewarding to progress in your construction tree.
Valheim Mobile Fights That Lack Precision
So to make your way through the dark alleys of these dungeons, you will inevitably have to resort to combat, which is clearly not the point on which Valheim Mobile shines the most as it is. Stamina system, single shot, counter and dodge roll are the mechanics adopted here and the whole thing turns out to be rather unintuitive, as much because of a camera not always impeccable as of hitboxes whose diameter is hard to determine. However, with a bit of caution – and adequate equipment – the exploration of Valheim Mobile is not insurmountable and offers, for early access, a very varied journey and many perspectives of evolution. In fact, it is by forging that you become a blacksmith, because, rather than opting for a talent tree in which to allocate experience points, Valheim Mobile favours simple evolution through practice. Handle the knife, the axe or the stealth, and you progress in level in each of the grabbed tools, thus increasing your performance (damage, stamina) when using them, giving also a real feeling of the increasing power of your character. To finish on the combat register, we could complain about the aggressiveness of the monsters, which have a tendency to stick to you for many meters, not always giving you the margin to prefer escape.
Overall, it is difficult to say that Valheim Mobile revolutionizes the formula of open-world survival, and shows, in its early access, some glitches inherent to the format. However, its structure, which makes life easier for both survival veterans and novices, means that the title can appeal to a fairly wide audience. Quite playable for solo players, who will be able to create their own world, Valheim Mobile takes on more depth and fun in cooperation, on dedicated servers that can host up to 10 players, who can also choose to activate or not a PvP mode. A rather good idea to vary the experience even more, which should expand quickly, as much in view of Valheim Mobile dazzling success as the roadmap already unveiled.
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