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Our saga begins with a game called Valheim, where the dead are ferried to protect the most volatile of Odin's domains. It also happens that this game is all the rage right now, toppling heavy-hitters like Grand Theft Auto V and PlayerUnknown's Battlegrounds.
From Iron Gate AB, Valheim is a brutal and beautiful procedurally-generated world filled with natural wonders, like imposing mountain ranges, endless oceans, and gloomy forests. When the player washes up on its shores, it almost appears peaceful. Formidable creatures and ancient foes lurk in the heart of Valheim, and it's the player's newfound role to best these beasts in a "punishing dodge and block combat system." Forging your own weapons and building a base that keeps you protected from the elements, the game is a hit with fans of survival sims and those who love their bombastic boss battles in RPGs.
"Whether you want to brave the lands alone or venture with trusted allies, Valheim supports independent, player-hosted servers and unlimited world creation," adds the game's description. And, the art style is absolutely reminiscent of classic World of Warcraft, and its low-poly aesthetics actually emphasise its features and mechanics. It's been likened to "Minecraft: Vikings," and really, that's not too far off.
Enough from me, as the game's performance speaks for itself. In only one week, over a million copies have been sold, and that's incredibly impressive as it is still in early access on Steam. Almost all of the 36,000 user reviews are positive and recommend the game to others, and it's fortunate that there's room for more. The all-time peak player count soared to 365,000 less than 24 hours ago, and that statistic has been climbing slowly but steadily since launch. For a comparatively more modest game, the fact that it's triumphed over PlayerUnknown's Battlegrounds, Apex Legends, and even Grand Theft Auto V shows that Iron Gate AB are ones to watch.
"In just over two years what our small yet formidable studio has been able to achieve is mind blowing," said the developer recently. "Our inboxes are filled to the brims with fantastic feedback and suggestions and we are overjoyed to see how engaged our community is in Valheim's development." Next on the agenda are a whole host of updates, including Hearth and Home, Cult of the Wolf, Ships and the Sea, and a never-before-seen biome. Alongside these, the game will be supported with improvements to the game's combat, UI, and there'll even be a sandbox mode at some point.
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