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Viking open-world survival game Valheim enters Early Access

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After a promising Alpha release on itch.io back in 2018, the day has finally come to enter purgatory in Valheim.

"A battle-slain warrior, the Valkyries have ferried your soul to Valheim, the tenth Norse world. Besieged by creatures of chaos and ancient enemies of the gods, you are the newest custodian of the primordial purgatory, tasked with slaying Odin’s ancient rivals and bringing order to Valheim."

Check out the release trailer below:

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Features:

  • Huge procedurally-generated world - explore and inhabit mystical lands, from mysterious forests to imposing snow-topped mountain ranges and stunning meadows, complete with their own creatures of legend to battle and wildlife to hunt.
  • Co-op PvE (2-10 players) - - Whether you want to brave the lands alone or venture with trusted allies, Valheim supports independent, player-hosted servers and unlimited world creation. We recommend playing co-op with 3-5 players.
  • Punishing dodge & block based combat system with a wide range of weapons
  • Build & sail ships - from flimsy rafts to imposing warships, build legendary vessels to conquer the seas and discover new lands.
  • Summon and defeat vengeful primordial bosses of myth and legend, and collect trophies to progress and craft new powerful items
  • Flexible house and base building system - raise mead halls, farms, settlements outposts, castles and more.
  • Intuitive item crafting - forge the finest weapons and armour, and craft food and mead.
  • Dedicated server- for players who want to run a persistent server. If you prefer not to run a server on your PC, consider renting a server at G-Portal.

I've personally spent some time with it thanks to the publisher providing a key and it's quite something. The mixture of graphical styles with 3D low-res textures, plus plenty of modern lighting and effects gives it a really unique feel. I've been repeatedly blown away by the scenes it can offer!

Just look at this, it really can look incredible at times:

These types of huge open-world games can be a little on the overwhelming side when you first get into them, with Valheim being no different there. However, the early game has been carefully tuned to give you a small hands-off tutorial in the way that your friendly raven appears when you do something new to give you a couple of tips. It's not much but it's a nice little guide to feel a little less alone.

Valheim isn't exactly a plain sandbox though. While it's true you can mostly do whatever you please, there is a goal you're working towards other than just surviving. You're trying to please Odin and there's various special Forsaken One creatures, which are basically boss battles you activate throughout the world as you progress.

It probably has the deadliest gathering system around too, thanks to the physics system. Want to chop down that tree? Make sure it doesn't land on your head…or your house. Quite fun though seeing a big tree fall, taking down multiple more with it - easy wood. It's the little things.

For the Linux version it seems to run well overall. Built with the Unity game engine, and the developer actually uses Linux as their main computing environment too so it's not a surprise to see it working well. It's Vulkan by default, with a launch option picker on Steam to select OpenGL instead if you need it. There are some dips when new parts load in, which is expected from an open-world game and you would be hard-pressed to find a game where that doesn't happen. Overall though, I'm happy with the performance.

Looking forward to seeing a lot more from this over the Early Access period. Their current plan is to be in Early Access for at least one year. Over this time they're planning to add in new biomes, new enemies, new bosses, new materials and expand the crafting system too.

You can buy Valheim with Linux support on Steam.

Article taken from GamingOnLinux.com.
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16 comments
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Nanobang 2 Feb
I'm a cheapskate and buy everything on sale, but not Valheim. I've bought two copies just now. (The last game I remember buying day one at full price was Fallout 4.)

WOO HOO!!! I am so stoked!


Last edited by Nanobang on 2 February 2021 at 4:28 pm UTC
Xpander 2 Feb
So far pretty good. Wish it would run a bit better, but its Early Access, so things can improve.
Combat seems pretty nice, simple but impactful. Just quick first test atm, will give it longer run soonish.

quick gameplay vid:
https://youtu.be/lDCwEMF7CCY
WorMzy 2 Feb
Day one purchase? Check.
Client installed? Check.
Flagon of mead? Check.

Game on.
g000h 2 Feb
Asking about the Server side of things in this game:

If you launch the game, planning to play in single-player - Is the server hosting the game world part of the single-player process, or do you need to separately set up a server to host the game-world which you then connect to ?


Last edited by g000h on 2 February 2021 at 8:07 pm UTC
einherjar 2 Feb
Very recommendable IMHO.

I play it with my son and in 6 hours of gameplay we had no bugs or crashes.

The lighting in the game in very well made. Thunderstruck and fog is incredibly good for example.
One should disable bloom and Depth of Field and Chromatic Abberations. They all do make the graphic worse IMHO (in all games).

Only thing that I can criticize is the low FPS I get. With a 1070Ti on 1440p I get about 50-70 FPS.

But the game is very cheap for what it offers.

HAIL ODIN!

PS: It is my first purchase on release day since Gothic 3, and I am pleased :-)


Last edited by einherjar on 2 February 2021 at 9:53 pm UTC
Reminds me of Outward, and that's a great thing.
Icefinity 3 Feb
Quoting: einherjarOnly thing that I can criticize is the low FPS I get. With a 1070Ti on 1440p I get about 50-70 FPS.

PS: It is my first purchase on release day since Gothic 3, and I am pleased :-)

It has some limitations cause of the Unity game engine in regards to performance.
I see they optimised the game decently tho , using small size textures (hence the stretch/low quality look on rocks,far skybox, bushes etc) and also low poly environment coupled with grass sprite and not grass meshes (that look more realistic but consume more resources).
They tried to compensate by adding post processing effects like blur/depth of field, bloom etc to make the environment not look so low poly/low sized.

I'm curious if they used LOD groups to cull each individual object or if they used the built in occlusion culling system of Unity.
From my experience on mobile game development with Unity , the built in system is worse in regards to performance but it's way faster to use/set up than to manually adjust lod culling of each object.

On the other hand don't understand why they put in some more resourse hungry physics features like trees having rigidbodys to roll with gravity or another questionable performance degradation of spawning new objects (creating wood on the ground after destroying tree and not automatically adding wood to inventory)

For me also the game gives a sense of Gothic series style and I enjoy it.
beko 3 Feb
Quoting: g000hAsking about the Server side of things in this game:

If you launch the game, planning to play in single-player - Is the server hosting the game world part of the single-player process, or do you need to separately set up a server to host the game-world which you then connect to ?
You can do both. In fact single player also just runs a server in the background.

You can transfer the world saves to a dedicated later and vice versa. In fact that's currently the only way to get a specific SEED to a dedicated server.

(And your character is saved locally and can hop between servers, inventory included. If you want to make sure do backups of your character file).

I love this very open approach that let's you just have fun wherever and however and with whomever you want :)
einherjar 3 Feb
Quoting: Icefinity
Quoting: einherjarOnly thing that I can criticize is the low FPS I get. With a 1070Ti on 1440p I get about 50-70 FPS.

PS: It is my first purchase on release day since Gothic 3, and I am pleased :-)

It has some limitations cause of the Unity game engine in regards to performance.
I see they optimised the game decently tho , using small size textures (hence the stretch/low quality look on rocks,far skybox, bushes etc) and also low poly environment coupled with grass sprite and not grass meshes (that look more realistic but consume more resources).
They tried to compensate by adding post processing effects like blur/depth of field, bloom etc to make the environment not look so low poly/low sized.
[....]

So is that more a problem with the Linux version?
I was thinking to try proton, but my character and world does not appear when I switch to proton. So I went back without testing, because I do not want to override my character accidentally.

EDIT: Tried Proton. It is worse , I get about 30-50FPS in Proton. So all HAIL the native version :-)


Last edited by einherjar on 3 February 2021 at 9:27 pm UTC
LungDrago 3 Feb
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