A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this game.
Although the game's a fictional tale of the Vikings' invasion of the British Isles, players can encounter actual historical figures, as well as characters and creatures from both Norse and British mythology. It also represents the cultures and beliefs of both civilizations, which can encourage players to learn more of their actual history.
There are underlying themes of loyalty, honor, and overcoming obstacles. Admittedly, some of these themes are buried under the layers of violence, and some of that violence can lead to innocent people caught in the crossfire.
Positive Role Models
Players, as Eivor, have a personal code of honor instilled upon them as a child. They prefer not to fight against the weak or helpless, to fight for the survival of their people, and to help others in need when possible.
Ease of Play
The game should still feel familiar to Assassin's Creed fans, but with a host of new options that open up unique ways to play. It can be a little overwhelming for newcomers to the franchise, but adds a lot to the overall experience by allowing players to generally play the entire spectrum between stealth and brute force.
Violence & Scariness
These games have always been brutal and violent, and Valhalla is the most brutal of the series to date. Players use a variety of weapons and abilities to execute enemies in all kinds of ways, including decapitations and dismemberments. Blood and gore are constant in combat, whether it's simply Eivor taking on multiple foes alone or raids bringing in waves of Vikings for massive bloodbaths. But it should be noted that assassinations, blood effects, and dismemberment animations can be turned off in the game's settings.
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Sex, Romance & Nudity
There are scenes that show topless women in a brothel, as well as scene that infer sexual activity without actually showing it onscreen. Parents should note that there's an option in the settings to disable the game's nudity.
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Some strong profanity, including "c--t" and "f--k," appear occasionally throughout the dialogue.
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Products & Purchases
The game includes various microtransactions that offer players various cosmetic items and other additional content via purchase through the in-game store. This is the latest chapter of the popular Assassin's Creed franchise, which has spanned multiple games, movies, TV shows, toys, and more.
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
Players can eat and are affected by psychotropic mushrooms. Characters are shown to be drinking alcohol and players can participate in drinking contests.
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Assassin's Creed Valhalla is a historic action role-playing game available on the Xbox Series X/S, Xbox One, PlayStation 5, PlayStation 4, Stadia, and Windows based PCs. Players, as the Viking warrior Eivor, lead their fellow Vikings into the British Isles in an attempt to expand and find a new home for their people. There are also underlying themes tied to both revenge and to a grander conspiracy. The game's extremely violent by default, but settings can be changed to turn off more graphic depictions of violence, blood effects, and also other content such as nudity. Even with these settings changed, parents should be aware some mature content still exists, such as profanity in the dialogue and the use of alcohol and psychotropic mushrooms. Finally, the game does include an in-game marketplace where players can purchase a variety of cosmetic items and additional expansion content.
Is It Any Good?
Since the first game in this series, this franchise has skillfully merged historic events with tales of fantasy in engaging ways that also give insight into cultures and civilizations lost to the past. Assassin's Creed Valhalla takes this formula and gives gamers a look into the rich, and often brutal, world of the Norse Vikings. While at first glance, the idea of a stealthy Viking assassin might seem ridiculous, the game's more historically accurate depiction of the Viking civilization as more than just barbaric brutes makes the idea much more believable. Sure, there's a little suspension of disbelief required to accept the fact that tossing a hood over your head and standing with a few monks will suddenly make a person carrying a massive two-handed war hammer seem inconspicuous. Still, these classic Assassin's Creed elements from previous games are welcome to fans of the series, and they also seem to just fit Eivor's character and personality. Then again, so does calling in for reinforcements and joining in a brutal raid.
Assassin's Creed Valhalla feels massive in size and scope. It's a gorgeous world to take in too, with a range of environments from snowy mountains and dense forests to sprawling settlements and winding waterways. It's not just the geography of the game that gives players plenty to explore, but there's so much content packed in that there's always something for players to be doing. Many side missions are as large or larger than what most games would consider a story mission. These self-contained adventures don't necessarily expand on Eivor's tale, but they do give a greater view into the era's historic significance and the mythology that spawned forth from it. Plus, the rewards for completing missions usually help to make the side trip more than worthwhile. Best of all is that all of this content can be played just about however the player chooses. Gameplay options and a diverse arsenal of weapons and skills give players the freedom to use stealth and precision to sneak in, get the job done, and sneak out unnoticed. Or, if they choose, players can charge in like a violent force of nature, leaving carnage and destruction in their wake. Though, parents should appreciate that much of the game's more visceral and mature content can be filtered out as a part of the game's robust accessibility settings. Between the game's size and story, coupled with the fluid gameplay and customizable presentation, Assassin's Creed Valhalla isn't only the best game in the franchise to date, but it's also the most approachable entry in the series.
Did we miss something on diversity?
Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.