CHENNAI: It appears that videogame developers are onto us. They have discovered our interest in playing games with a Nordic mythology theme, and noted that references to ‘Odin’ would instantly mean greater concurrent gameplay. This week, I played Valheim. The game is still in Early Access. It is marketed as so: “Valheim! Nordic Mythology: Now in a co-operative, survival edition!”
A valkyrie throws me onto the centre of a peaceful stone circle. I name my warrior ‘Quofles’ (to intimidate enemies) and strike up a conversation with Hugin the raven. Hugin tells me to do things. I do not really listen to him, because I do not care much for reading in games. Valheim yields to my unspoken request. The environment is filled with symbols and icons that propel me forward. Conversation is redundant. I am lone human in new land. Why use big word when my hammer speak?
Quofles (me), as a lonely human, realizes that she needs to innovate to survive. The map is undiscovered, and the murky forests hold dangerous creatures in them. Warrior need rock, wood, and berry. Sometimes, warrior fight. It would be unavoidable. But the creatures are initially easy to deal with, and they give her craftable items. She realizes night is cold. She makes a torch that keeps her warm. Hugin flies towards her, but as Quofles has adopted the personality of a non- conversational warrior, she pretends to listen till he flies away.
The comforting music and the picturesque environment aside, there is one other reason I play Valheim. The game is omniscient. Let me explain. A thought would pop into my head, like, ‘It would be nice to have mushrooms now’. And then, mushrooms would appear. After this happened several more times, I concluded that life in Valhalla was infinitely better than real life. Not because it was heaven, but because it gave me control over almost everything around me.
However, the moment I reached this conclusion, the game ceased to meet my expectations. I was hoping for a PS5 to manifest in front of Quofles, which did not happen. The game also did not allow the warrior to nap during the daylight hours.
Although I played solo, I now look forward to a future where I can take my friends on my freshly crafted longboat and find bosses that we will destroy together. I sacrifice all 32 out of 32 of my inventory spaces to rate this game, where I will create many server universes on. TO VALHALLA!
(This economics graduate spends her leisure time preparing for the zombie apocalypse)