This time of year can be the best time of year for games. I have treasured memories that go back to the first I can remember, which for me is the Sega Master System. But there is a thorn in my side this year and its name is Assassin's Creed Valhalla and there will not be any candy cane memories of it.
Valhalla came out a few years ago and everything on the surface appears fantastic. Incredible setting, stunning visuals, smooth and satisfying combat, and a rich time to immerse yourself in. Except... none of it really works.
How fantastic is this game, you think.
Who doesn't want to race around a 9th-century English countryside, right?
No. For whatever reason England has the hilliest environment on the planet and forests aren't forests and are instead fields littered with trees here and there and there, scattered Roman ruins, and wide rivers all over the place like freeways in GTAV.
I play on, and I get going with the story. My brother and I are looking for some son of such and such for reasons I've long forgotten because I spent two sessions looking around. I go of raiding again and again. Then tap out.
That was at this time of year, 2020.
It is now three years later, November 2023.
This time I get past the story of the son and really work in building up my settlement. I get to the visions part of the game and kinda dig it, but unfortunately, it is now where I think I'm tapping out.
Twice now, with this game that I feel I should love. It's hard to put my finger on why this is happening, but it is.
Sorry, Eivor. I've got Baldur's Gate 3 and Alan Wake 2 to play to awaken my holiday gaming memories. Just like you sacking your umpteenth Monastery - you've just taken too much.
(find me on xbox @ sirljownsu)