Viking mythology is something that has always piqued my interest to the highest degree. It always seemed like a magical touch of something greater than I would know – something I have done some considerable diving into to try and gain some understanding of this magic.
When Valheim came out last year, I was a little unsure about whether or not I should play. Which is strange – it’s a sandbox game, I love sandbox games! But I suppose sometimes, when we’re faced with something new (even if it’s as small as a video game release) it can be a little daunting to try it.
But I did, and I became pretty enthralled with it shortly after the early-access release last year. I jumped off the proverbial bandwagon for a bit, and then, about a month or so ago, I found myself in the Viking world once again.
The hard-fought Viking life
Valheim gives you the flavour of living as a Viking in the afterlife with real gusto. You craft weapons and armour, steer massive ships, fight creepy ass monsters and build castles to your best creative ability – all in the name of cleansing the realm of evil.
Personally, I have gone a bit crazy with the building. I am running a server with my SO – and in style, he’s taken to hunting and bringing me resources so I can create some truly wild buildings that are entirely unnecessary. I am talking a moat, a house on a hill, and bridges across said moat and the river we set up alongside to make a small village for two people to enjoy. He’s even reared some boar and we have tiny piggies running around – the cute is too much.
And honestly, I am dangerously addicted right now.
See, the thing about Valheim is that they open a world that you can make your own. Want to build an excessive house? Sure, got you. Want to make portals to the ends of the massive map? Of course, you can do it. Want to build a castle inside a mountain? To your heart’s desire.
However, this game is not made for the weak hearted. Especially when you start in each of the given areas – black forest, swamp, mountains, you will struggle to find your way through comfortably until you make use of the resources Valheim has to offer. Right now, we’ve only made it to the swamp and got pretty comfortable there (but we are yet to fight what is said to be the most difficult boss in the game – Bonemass).
And trust, if you don’t prepare accordingly, the boss fights will pull out that angry gamer.
But you learn from it.
The most annoying thing that happened to us was when we had just defeated the Black Forest boss, the Elder, and we had made our way back home. I hadn’t built a portal yet – as this guy was quite the trek from our base – and we immediately got attacked by some swampy baddies when we arrived back. We died and promptly spawned, butt naked, back at the spawn of the Elder.
Needless to say, we learned our lesson pretty quickly on preparing not only for the boss fights, but actually getting back from them safely.
The Viking magic
Valheim got me incensed because, quite frankly, it’s a beautiful game that lets you live out the stories of raiding new continents, coming back to your hearth (loot in tow, of course) and creating something majestic from next-to-nothing.
Seriously, you spawn with nothing and you end up with something that looks like it came straight out of Skellige (yeah, I’m making that connection). You effectively bushwack your way between the biomes enforcing that you are the true warrior and your story didn’t end when you died back in the real world.
The comfort of Valheim lies in the way you can craft your own story in something you may have not existed in previously – setting a new precedent for what it means to exist in a world where you craft your own belonging.