Assassin's Creed Valhalla next-gen impressions: Odin's blessing

Ubisoft's latest Assassin's Creed game brings the series with a host of new upgrades and enhancements.

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Assassin’s Creed Valhalla is the third title in the franchise following a soft reboot with 2017’s Assassin’s Creed Origins. Taking the series to ninth-century England, Valhalla brings the action to next-gen with an optimization patch for the PS5 and Xbox Series X. Though an already formidable entry in the classic franchise, Assassin’s Creed Valhalla’s next-gen version improves the vast RPG.

New destinations

Right off the bat, fans will appreciate that Assassin’s Creed Valhalla requires no additional purchase to upgrade from PS4/Xbox One to PS5/Series X. Through either Smart Delivery or PlayStation’s equivalent, players can immediately begin downloading the next-gen optimized game. Once upgraded, players are even able to pick up where they left off as saves will also transfer across generations.

On both next-gen consoles, Assassin’s Creed Valhalla sports 4K quality at a consistent 60 FPS. Ninth-century England is absolutely gorgeous with all of these new bells and whistles. I found the character models to be incredible as well. Ubisoft is often criticized for graphical quality, specifically with face models, but in Assassin’s Creed Valhalla’s cutscenes, characters look exceptional. 

Deceptively quick

Being quite the expansive RPG, load times in Assassin’s Creed Valhalla were pretty lengthy on last-gen systems. However, those times are cut all the way down on the Xbox Series X and PlayStation 5. It’s particularly noticeable when first loading into the world or fast traveling, as I never found myself waiting longer than a handful of seconds.

 This is even sweeter on the Xbox Series X, as the game utilizes quick resume. I paused the game in the middle of a mission to switch over and play a couple matches of NBA 2K21. After switching back I had to wait no longer than 10 seconds to be right back in the middle of my raid, with little to no apparent performance drops. It’s moments like this that truly feel “next-gen.”

Outside of quick resume on the Xbox Series X, Ubisoft doesn’t really add any new features to Valhalla on next-gen. It would’ve been neat to see more added to make the game feel like a significant leap from its original launch version. The next-gen optimization also doesn’t squash a lot of the smaller bugs that were present on PS4 and Xbox One, though I never experienced anything major during my play time, such as a full crash.

For Valhalla

Assassin’s Creed Valhalla is at its best on the next-gen consoles. With stunningly beautiful visuals coupled with incredibly convenient load times, it’s hard to be upset with the latest outing for Ubisoft’s premiere franchise. Though it’s optimized version isn’t able to address all of the cons listed in our Shacknews review, Assassin’s Creed Valhalla is quite the superb next-gen release.

Contributing Editor

Donovan is a young journalist from Maryland, who likes to game. His oldest gaming memory is playing Pajama Sam on his mom's desktop during weekends. Pokémon Emerald, Halo 2, and the original Star Wars Battlefront 2 were some of the most influential titles in awakening his love for video games. After interning for Shacknews throughout college, Donovan graduated from Bowie State University in 2020 with a major in broadcast journalism and joined the team full-time. He is a huge Star Wars nerd and film fanatic that will talk with you about movies and games all day. You can follow him on twitter @Donimals_

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