Die for Valhalla PC Review with Stream
Lots of classes and replayability
Humor is off
In a great many of the well-known SideScrollingBeatEmUps (SSBEU) character choice was a way to stand out, to play with your friends and insist that you had the cool one, while they had the much lamer one. But more than that, which avatar you chose said more about you than you might have realized. With that in mind, Die for Valhalla has taken that idea one step further, with implementing a system that lets you play as a Valkyrie and possess different classes on the fly without the need for dying or starting over. With many classes to choose from, you battle the undead, goblins, trolls, and all other types of baddies of Norse mythology.
Check out my embedded stream below:
When you begin, you are indeed a Valkyrie and technically, you don’t have to ever change that. You could play that way, but it would be challenging to say the least, and a great disservice to the gameplay. You are essentially a ghost and have to possess whatever class of warrior you can find near you. You can also possess inanimate objects like barrels and then move them near enemies and explode for great effect. It’s a different take on the SSBEU formula, that works better than you might first assume. Not only does it let you play like you want to play, but it also helps to decide how to take on certain enemies, so it’s not a superficial change, but a tactical one.
Although SSBEUs are not anything new, you can’t play this game and not see at least some “inspiration” from Castle Crashers. They are both SSBEUs in a more natural setting with medieval weaponry and armor, and both go for a cartoony, flash animation type of aesthetic. Both try for a lot of subversive or low level humor or jokes, and even the character models are reminiscent. That said, it’s very clear that CC does the humor much much better, with better timing and visual aids. Die for Valhalla ends up sounding like dad humor or bad puns thrown in at the wrong time, or just falls flat. It is admirable to attempt that, but the visuals are flat when compared, the character models are bland, and the action is just not the same frenetic pace, so it just comes off as a bad copy. Not to mention the dull background music when compared to the catchy but odd music you might find in Castle Crashers.
In the end, Die for Valhalla had some decent ideas to bring to the genre, and that has not gone unnoticed. But one good mechanic does not a good game make, and they need to brighten up the visuals, check the soundtrack, and concentrate more on gameplay. It’s not a terrible game by any means, but there are others that do it better, but if you want something on the cheap side of steam, and love the SSBEU style, and happen to like Viking mythology then this is the one for you.
Also available on Xbox One, PS4 and Switch.