Oh look, another survival sandbox! Before you close the browser tab, though, it would appear that this one has some genuinely unique hooks that have seen it leave some overall favorable impressions on players. It’s called Valheim, and right out of the gate this one is different because it’s built specifically to be co-operative and PvE-centric instead of conflating FFA PvP with “brutal” survival gameplay.
“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.”
Bringing order to Valheim will involve players building weapons, armor, food, drink, ships, and houses, and will let them summon and defeat primordial bosses to collect trophies and create powerful items. Combat promises “punishing” dodge and block mechanics with a variety of weapons, while gameplay takes place within a procedurally generated world that can be explored by land and sea. The game can be played solo, but the Steam page notes that it’s best played with three to five players.
Valheim has arrived with a great deal of fanfare, netting it an “Overwhelmingly Positive” user review aggregate on Steam; many of these reviews tout its lack of bugs despite being early access and a wealth of things for players to do. In fact, just this morning the studio sent ’round a press release announcing it’s sold 1M copies already and leaped to the top of the Steam top sellers list as the fourth-most-played game on Steam with 160K concurrent players.
On the subject of Valheim’s early access, the game expects that to take about a year. The devs at Iron Gate AB appear eager to work on new features as a recent post outlines a roadmap for 2021 that promises four different updates and additional features like a sandbox mode, moon phases, combat improvements, more multiplayer interactions, and more unique locations. You can get a look at the roadmap and watch the game in action in the trailer below.