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  • kissybyc
    Original poster 6 posts

    I don't want to [censored] on the developers. Thank you all for your hard work. But I personally find Valhalla's combat system to be the worst I've played in the AC franchise so far, and I feel the need to share why.

    Combat in previous AC games for me had at least been either technically challenging or visually satisfying. AC 3 and Black Flag, for example, have very easy but visually cool combat, with all those cool finisher moves, and Origins with its hitbox system is less visually cool but more technically challenging. I can see the good in each system. Valhalla, though, is the first game that achieved neither.

    Valhalla did not deliver on the technical challenges. On-screen prompt for blocking is inconsistent; some attacks are mysteriously unblockable, despite having no on-screen prompt and looking fairly weak, while some other attacks have hitboxes that do not match their visual. Normal enemies are way too weak, yet brutes and bosses often cheat by being both super tanky and lightning fast in their reflexes, making counters or dodging meaningless. My greatest gripe is that hit reaction registration is clunky as hell. Sometimes enemies (esp. brutes) have zero hit reaction even against heavy attacks, and sometimes hit reactions are registered after a weird delay. Besides pressing block or dodge at the right moment, which is a standard feature in any action game nowadays, the combat really doesn't offer that much more depth.

    Given the lack of technical challenge, is the combat at least visually rewarding? Nope. Somehow I find the combat to be the least visually rewarding of all the AC games. Not only are there much fewer finisher moves (one per weapon type I think?), they are also incredibly hard and inconsistent to pull off. At least in Origins and Odyssey you get to see a cool finisher for the last enemy you killed, but not here. Attacking a blocking enemy often triggers zero hit reaction, making attacks feel like feather instead of the weighty swings they are supposed to be. Stun attacks are also a huge missed opportunity. Who came up with the idea that Eivor sheaths his own weapon, and picks up the enemy's weapon to do a stun attack? Not only does this makes no sense combat-wise, it also means that the weapon I chose to equip on Eivor, and the weapon I put in so much resource to upgrade, doesn't get as much highlight as a random enemy's random sword. Valhalla also has one of my biggest personal pet peeves, which is slide-on-the-floor dodging. Eivor is not Ciri, please don't make him/her teleport.

    Ubisoft is usually great at making action games, but with Valhalla's combat I don't know what happened. I sure hope this is not the future of AC combat. Personally I want to see AC returning to a paired animation system instead of the hitbox-based one they are doing now. If all that's gained by using hitbox is pressing block and dodge at the right moment, then it isn't gaining that much. Ghost of Tsushima, in my mind, is a good example of combining a paired animation system with technical challenges, and when I played that game I found myself thinking "this combat would work well in an AC game!" For me Unity's combat came the closest to that, although needing many more tweaks. Anyway, that's my feedback.

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  • ADarklore
    175 posts

    @kissybyc I agree! Let alone some of these huge brute's chasing you down! Excuse me, but in reality, a guy his size is not going to be able to chase down someone so much smaller than he is. Further, many of these enemies are unnaturally fast, it makes fighting them irritating instead of being fun. I loved the combat in Odyssey, it all seemed to fit together well... Valhalla, not so much. I think part of the problem is they introduced far to many different enemies that they clearly cannot balance them all. But instead of fixing this problem, they decide to level scale bosses and Zealots. ::eyeroll::

    I'm guessing that the team that created Odyssey was not the same team that created Valhalla... because Odyssey's team knew what they were doing, Valhalla it doesn't seem to be so.

  • ctgt06
    5 posts

    I feel the combat in this game is very clunky compared to previous ones. A couple things I think affecting it are one the over the shoulder slightly off center view angle feels like your not aiming correctly. Two is the overswing on even the light attack (1 handed axe), even when breaking crates or whatever the light attack is a huge handed swing the character practically falls forward and to the left in his mechanic. The light attack should be a decently quick swipe or chop. Its a little better using a dagger since its a short forward jab but these little issues with swing mechanic and camera angle i feel are the worst cause of it. I noticed with the camera style like it is i find my self stuck to brush or walls or accidental parkour, as well as trying to loot bodies or item i feel like im swaying the camera all over to get just the right angle to highlight the loot option.

    If I may add one other gripe the timer to hold button for odins sight is uncomfortably long its like 3 10s of a second too long i find mysef releasing to early for what should be a natural pause time. Oddyssey's was much better in respect to its instant ping.

  • katzenkrimis71
    223 posts

    I don't want to [censored] on the developers.

    =======

    Me neither, since I do find this game to be somewhat entertaining console cheese. This game excels in several areas of game design but I do feel that the combat and skill trees are the weakest points of Valhalla. Without going in to detail, If I think about the hundreds of hours that I spent playing this game, the first thing that comes to mind is how shoddy the combat is. It's very buggy, and at times, just over-the-top ridiculous. If some of the moves were any more absurd it would be an Asian MMO.

    And the bugs, my god. I'll be killing a wolf and the camera will have a shot of Eivor from underground, looking up.

    As far as the skill trees go, it's just a spam-fest of points. Nothing feels meaningful. Not only can you be an awesome tank, rogue and archer all at the same time, but you'll be sinking points into stuff that you don't even care about. Nor are you certain if any of it is even functioning as intended. 50 points here, 25 points there, another 25 points over there...who really freaking cares.

    As far as difficulty levels go, that depends on the player from what I've read around here. Some people just plain suck at gaming. Others are so damn good they should be intentionally crippling themselves to make things more challenging. I refuse to use the abilities in this game because they are so goddamn overpowered. That makes the game a lot more fun for me. But really, level 427 with 6 rations playing the Wrath of the Druids expansion? I'm unstoppable.

    Gone are the days when we'd play Lotro and struggle to solo certain areas of Middle-earth. Have to get my friends online to help me beat a boss. With these console games it's a free-for-all. Handicapping yourself is the only way to fly.

  • ctgt06
    5 posts

    I agree the whole skill tree thing seems like its for looks its such a cluster F... half the time i cant remember where i last put points in, and i spend pounts on crap ill never want to use because its the only way to get an ability i want. I did like oddyssey for simply allowing me choose what i wanted to use without a ton of prerequisites needed, then allowing me to stash points into stats i actually want. This new system feels likes it has no meaning just there to appease some sort of rpg style stat distribution without anyone really laying them out in specific order. I dont need 2 handed weapon damage so i can get ignore hit interuption when i play with a 1h weapon.

    They need to work on some stealth, there are no stealth detection modifiers besides manually putting your cloak on which turns off on its own all the time. The ability to chain assassinate is about usually because it fails when detected and your always detected it seem from even far away. Either improve detection, add stat modifier for it, or allow me to throw my freakin axe weather a guy sees me or not.

  • kreutzgang
    635 posts

    @ctgt06 the game is definitely clunky. The camera is all over the place in combat, and the annoying finishers swing it around to make sure someone if battering you before you can react your way back into the game. Not that you die, because you are a god, but it's still freaking annoying. IDK if it's only me, but aiming is terrible. Even with aim assist on, my bow will just snap from one side of what I'm aiming at to the other instead of to the actual target. I also kept getting stuck in ability mode for some reason, where moving around would make me use abilities and only completely shutting the game would stop it. The game starts off reasonably challenging but eventually gets trivial and it's the only AC game I've ever played on the hardest setting (the others are considerably harder for me on normal, lol). Why we had to return to quick time events is also beyond me. I loathed them in AC3 and Black Flag and I don't like them any more in Valhalla. Also, the Valhalla devs seem to equate not being able to see anything with challenge. All the various "features" involving fog etc are really taxing on the eyes and give me a headache.

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