I feel like my struggle to find a game to truly invest in for the first couple of months of 2021 is becoming fairly common knowledge. I'm set once Returnal launches, but I've been absent from our What Are You Playing This Weekend weekly Talking Point most of the time and I can't bring myself to replay games. I feel like I've had very, very little to get excited to be perfectly honest. So, what did I do this past weekend? I returned to Assassin's Creed Valhalla after dropping it 30 hours in. Picking my playthrough back up was a simple task — it plays like any other modern game, after all — and so I felt like I was getting back into the swing of things. Forge an alliance here, kill some king over there. What I didn't expect was for bugs and glitches to still be a common part of that loop.
I was in Oxenefordscire, tasked with rescuing some prisoners. Sigurd was ranting on and on about rescuing a woman named Fulke, which I largely ignored since at this point, it feels like he's turning into a bit of an idiot. At least that lent some justification to romancing Randvi. Anyway, I save these captives after slaughtering every guard nearby. Then I'm told to regroup away from the base so we can all have a nice chat, but it's here where my first issue makes itself known. I reach the destination in question, only to be greeted by the popup "You must be Anonymous". I've killed every enemy within 300 metres, looted the base several times over to make sure nobody else is there, and even put my hood up to try and conceal my identity. And you're telling me I'm still not incognito? Come off it, Ubisoft.
Upon further research, it turns out I had encountered a bug within 15 minutes of restarting my playthrough. Reloading a previous save and completing the task over again thankfully allowed me to progress, but Assassin's Creed Valhalla has been out for more than four months and this problem is still in the game. I remember encountering it back in November too. I've seen patch notes the length of small novels come and go this year and this one still hasn't been addressed? Goddamnit. Look, making games is a very hard task and I completely respect every single person whose time and effort went into producing the title, but come on.
I could look past the complication if it was the only one I encountered during the few hours I played on Sunday evening, but of course it wasn't. My horse wasn't making any noise while I was rising across the English countryside — a new bug introduced by a recent patch. And then I see that the game's most recent festival had to disable certain elements due to an increase in hard crashes. I'd hate for this Soapbox to be taken the wrong way, because I really do respect anyone who can make a game (especially during the current world conditions). But when it feels like we're reporting on a long, long list of patches and updates every other week for Assassin's Creed Valhalla, I can't help but feel a bit of frustration as what are clearly some of the game's biggest issues haven't yet been fixed. I've even noticed Push Square users continually post about how certain Mysteries continue to be bugged for them. As someone who eventually wants to unlock the Platinum Trophy, that only worries me further.
I'm probably going to return to Assassin's Creed Valhalla this evening and continue my playthrough, partly because I don't have anything else to play. But also because I think I've stumbled into what could be an interesting plot point — it's funny how I dropped the game because I couldn't get on with the story, and now I've found something cool 30 minutes after that point. But I'll do so with a touch of hesitancy. Please don't break on me again, Assassin's Creed Valhalla.
Have you encountered many bugs or glitches during your time with Assassin's Creed Valhalla? Do you believe the game should be in a better state four months in? Share your thoughts in the comments below.