Valheim: PC Vikings!

The Viking Survival Game

Valheim is a newly released survival RPG for PC available on Steam for $20. More recently moved from closed beta to early release, I was quite surprised to find that the game was more finished than anticipated. As is with most of these early-release RPG games, there’s always something to go wrong. So, let’s start with what was done right.  

Valheim starts with a quick written story, which is appreciated. As someone who hates sitting through 15-30-minute-long intros (I’m looking at you Elusive Age), it was fantastic to get a quick cover story. The game visually is like any other PC RPG style early-release. The graphics are blocky and a little hard on the eyes, less detail more overall experience. The game itself runs beautifully on most PCs as the requirements are amazingly low.  

This aids in the overall experience of the game, allowing for a fast render as you sprint through the woods chasing after your first hunt. Valheim is pretty much Vikings in a PC game. The story isn’t about the life of the Viking, but the death and worthiness to enter Valhalla. Create longships in honor of Odin, delve into the dark arts of the gods the choices are seemingly endless. As I just started my adventure in Valheim, I cannot spoil the story too much for everyone, but there are Gods you can summon to fight and prove your worth.  

There are loads of trees, plants, and distinct biomes within the world itself. As you travel through looking for the best place for your first home be careful of your surroundings. Enemies become more aggressive and dangerous the darker it gets, making a lovely walk in the woods a dangerous escapade. There are a few different kinds of enemies that you’ll face off right away in Valheim, but none that should over level you right off the bat. As long as you follow the hints and guidelines set by the game, you’ll be able to make a home before freezing or beaten to death. There are quite a few things you can do right off the bat as well, like mine for ore and harvest enemy parts like bones.  

FIRE. MAKE FIRE.  

As most of you know playing these RPGPC games, fire is important in keeping animals away at night and cooking food. But what you may not know, is that there are special events that happen depending on how close you are to a boss ritual stone. Fire is more important than you know, as it could save your buildings and chests.  

Now let’s get down the nitty-gritty with this game. There aren’t very many serious issues with this game, as long as you can finesse a few things here and there. The most common issue that is floating around the Valheim Discord, is the listing and finding of dedicated servers. When creating a dedicated server for Valheim, it is recommended to go into the Discord and ask the right questions.  There are a few ways of creating a dedicated server, and if you are familiar with Steam, you know how difficult it can be for these to pop up in the server list search engine. It is recommended to use Valheim‘s Dedicated Server software and not the Steam CMD as it’ll make the process more streamlined.  

I highly recommend doing it this way, as I’ve been able to create multiple servers without using a ton of my PC’s resources. Then comes the next issue, how do we find you in the server listing. Some people have an easy enough time, searching the outbound IP for the specific server and hitting refresh until it populates. Others have an easier time going through the friend invites on the Steam UI. There are a few different ways to find your server, and hopefully, you do. As that is the most frustrating part of this game. As fun as it is, as beautiful it can be. If you can’t play with friends, your overall experience will go down. So, don’t get too frustrated when you can’t find a friend’s server. Take a deep breath and jump into the Valheim Discord, there are so many people there willing to help.  

Honestly, this game works as intended. It has hiccups as all early-release games do and its main hiccup is the server search/multiplayer aspect of it. Personally, I haven’t had many issues with multiplayer, even on multiple LAN connections. This game has been beautiful, time-consuming, and a lot of fun with my friends. For $20 you can’t go wrong.

Grade: 6.5/10

Indivisible Nintendo Switch review: it’s all in your head

Finding a good role-playing game is one thing; but finding one that retains that level of excellence while, at the same time, doing something groundbreaking with its gameplay…well, that’s something else entirely. Not many RPG’s take chances these days when it comes to a product outside the box. And that, friends, is where Lab Zero Games’ Indivisiblestands out.

Previously released for other consoles and PC, the game received a surprise release on Nintendo Switch, even throwing the development team for a loop. But it turned out that they had nothing to worry about, as the game retains every bit of its quality as the other ports. In fact, being able to take it on the go just might be the ticket for hardcore RPG fans looking for something off the beaten path.

A Unique Girl With a Talent For Gathering Allies

The game revolves around Ajna, a woman consistently getting battle training from her father. In fact, that’s how the game begins, before an evil warlord by the name of Ravannavar shows up to wreak havoc. In a flash, he destroys her village and kills her pop, but manages to leave behind one of his warriors – who ends up in her head.

That is quite the battle group.

It turns out that she can “absorb” these special helpers as part of her battle group, without them running alongside her. However, in the heat of battle, she can call upon them to appear out of the blue and fight, making for a great group-based experience.

Combining inventive role-playing battles and typical, well-polished platforming, Indivisible pulls off a nice trick. But we’ll talk more about that with the gameplay.

Everyone Gets In On the Fight

The gameplay revolves around a real-time battle system, where each character has button prompts that you can press to unleash attacks on foes. At the same time, you can also hold down their respective buttons to enter a defensive stance, though some boss enemies will certainly test how well you do with it. There are also special attacks, which are quite useful against those with a somewhat larger energy bar.

This is a splendid system, and it combines with the game’s platforming segments rather well. Here, Ajna runs around, using wall jumps and other moves to get to her destination, while occasionally engaging in a real-time strike to prompt a new battle with an enemy. Though not entirely exciting, these segments frame up nicely with the fights to create a worthy, well-rounded experience.

There’s something here for everyone, even those who wouldn’t normally get into role-playing games. And the fact you can grow with your characters and make them more powerful over time – a nice touch considering the odds you’re up against – is pretty cool as well.

A Strong Shift To the Switch

With the developer not even knowing about Indivisible’s sudden release on the Switch (did 505 Games not send the memo…?), there were concerns that the port may not quite be up to snuff. However, worry not, as the game looks just as good on this platform as it does the other.

One huge benefit is the game’s gorgeous art style. Granted, this is the same studio that worked wonders on Skullgirls; so with that in mind, it may not entirely be a surprise. Still, the gorgeous colors, beautiful attention to detail and stunning animations are a delight to look at, whether on the go or playing at home. The battles can be a little hectic, but the same could really be said for any RPG, so it goes with the territory.

Even the platforming segments are fun.

Indivisible also features charming music to go along with the action, along with voicework that’s nothing short of top-notch. Each character has something to contribute here; and actually gives you a reason to stick around, rather than skipping over everything (though you still can if you want). It’s a journey that’s well worth the time, from beginning to end.

Don’t Be Divisive, Get This Game

In the end, Indivisible has proven its worth on other platforms. And we’re happy to report that it does so on the Switch as well. Despite no one really expecting its release, Lab Zero Games’ work continues to shine with its innovative gameplay, sparkling presentation and well-told story. Even those that aren’t into this sort of game should find something to like – and that’s hardly something we’d call dividing. Pick it up, you won’t be sorry.

RATING: 9/10

A splendid action/role-playing tour-de-force, Indivisible puts on a show on Nintendo Switch.