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Valheim: Why you should play Steam’s third most played game

By Ella Harvey Mar 13, 2021
Credit: ValheimPhoto courtesy of Iron Gate Studio.

Valheim was released on February 2, and despite being an early-access game only being available to players for a month now, it is the third most played game on the Steam platform.

The Viking exploration and survival game has surpassed fan favourites such as Apex Legends and GTA 5 in terms of current players, and doesn’t seem to be slowing down.

So why should you consider playing Valheim?

With current lockdown ruining social lives, boredom slowly draining us, and hating the mundane everyday life of being stuck inside, gaming can fill a hole in terms of filling time and interacting with friends (or random gamers).

Valheim is available to play solo, or you can set sail and explore the lands with nine other Vikings. This social aspect of the game differentiates itself from the overdone Teams meetings with friends, as it gives you something to do whilst catching up – and there is certainly a lot to do.

Seafaring in Valheim. Photo courtesy of Iron Gate Studio.

With over 40 hours on the game so far myself, I have not even scratched the surface on what else there is to find, fight and explore.

There are lands I have not ventured to and creatures I have not even set eyes on yet, and this is no surprise when taking into the account the mammoth map. Valheim is still just an early-access game too, meaning there are most probably more updates for more content coming.

The visuals in the game are simply breath-taking albeit slightly confusing. From far away, the world of Valheim is beautiful – the skies change and have clouds that lap over pretty pastel sunsets. The magical tree in the sky changes with you as you move on the map (so you don’t see the same thing wherever you adventure to), and the water mechanics in the game beat many I have seen before.

It is a beautiful landscape, which is why it’s so interesting and slightly comical to go up things like trees and see they do not look the same up close. The characters and items in the game have somewhat of a minecraft-esque look to them when up close, but the combination of this and the landscape somehow really works and gives the game its own kind of charm.

A player’s base at night-time. Photo courtesy of Iron Gate studio.

Now, taking in all of this into account – the awesome visuals, the seemingly limitless gameplay, and the massive map – it seems as though this may be out of reach for many students who probably just have a standard laptop to do their university work on.

But here is where the real enigma of Valheim comes in – the game, somehow, only takes up 1GB. This is definitely not a lot of space to sacrifice for such a brilliant and content-filled game. It also doesn’t take a lot to run, meaning your laptop might just be able to run it (but you should check to see if you meet the few system requirements first).

Another reason why Valheim is so popular, and a good game for students, is because it’s cheap, and an absolute bargain when you consider all of the elements I’ve mentioned above. The game is £15.49, much cheaper than many other adventure survival games on the market.

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