back to article Valheim: How the heck has more 'indie shovelware with PS2 graphics' sold 4 million copies in a matter of weeks?

Greetings, traveller, and welcome back to The Register Plays Games, our monthly gaming column. Loath as I am to feature another early access survival-exploration-crafting adventure for the second month in a row, February's sleeper smash-hit, Valheim, has forced my hand. So onwards, now, to the 10th realm of Norse mythology. Yeah …

  1. needmorehare
    Happy

    A bit like OMORI and 20XX

    Which has totally taken off despite being indie "shovelware" with SNES graphics. It's about the heart and soul put into it. People can tell when a video game is the grinding of corpo-employed meatsacks vs. when it's made by people who genuinely care. It's one of the main reasons I no longer care about scalpers buying up PC parts and the latest consoles... we don't need the latest hardware to have fun these days!

    1. Shadowmanx2012

      Re: A bit like OMORI and 20XX

      ... we don't need the latest hardware to have fun these days!?

      A point I made to a friend just recently.

      1. Mark192 Silver badge

        Re: A bit like OMORI and 20XX

        "A point I made to a friend just recently."

        Hope you got the chance to hammer your point home?

        [sniggers]

  2. David 132 Silver badge

    Steam? Deal-killer.

    I really like the sound of this game and would love to buy it, but I have a strict no-Steam policy (don’t ask me to elucidate, my reasons are partly logical and partly incoherent).

    Anyone know if there’s a way to (legally!) purchase and play this without going through Steam?

    1. Nick Ryan Silver badge

      Re: Steam? Deal-killer.

      I believe Steam only because it uses Steam libraries for multiplayer, among other things.

      1. J. Cook Silver badge

        Re: Steam? Deal-killer.

        I'd rather Steam than Epic, to be honest, although that like asking if I want to be shot in the left knee, or right knee- it's gonna hurt either way. :D

    2. seven of five Silver badge

      Re: Steam? Deal-killer.

      Might come to gog as soon as it is out of early access. If we are lucky.

      1. David 132 Silver badge
        Thumb Up

        Re: Steam? Deal-killer.

        Yeah, I'm hoping it'll appear on GoG in due course. I've bought a lot of great games that way - DRM and hassle-free.

        And to the 4+ prats who felt it necessary to downvote my original question - bunch of cowards.

        1. conscience

          Re: Steam? Deal-killer.

          I used to be a fan of GOG too, but not since they abandoned their principles and decided to adopt DRM, limited number of installs, etc. on some titles. It seems their DRM-free ethics only stretched so far when (they say) it blocked them getting some newer - but still fairly old - titles. It's a real shame, because without being DRM-free, GOG is just a crap version of Steam.

          1. Ozan

            Re: Steam? Deal-killer.

            Which games are you tallking about?

            1. conscience

              Re: Steam? Deal-killer.

              Hi Ozan, I'm afraid I can't remember which specific titles I encountered that contained DRM and other restrictions as it was a couple of years ago at least. For whatever my word is worth, I can personally guarantee I have encountered DRM on GOG in the past though. I've seen serial keys, limited number of installs (Max 5 IIRC), mandatory accounts to enable certain features or multiplayer, mandatory always online connection etc. Not sure how wide spread these things are, or whether it only affects specific titles or publishers.

              After a very quick search around their store, I encountered things like GOG Galaxy being mandatory to enable multiplayer (on Homeworld remastered, Northgard), Two Worlds requires an always online connection to dev's official servers plus a serial key for multiplayer. I didn't find an example of limited number of installs in my one minute search, but I have encountered it before. A Battle.net account can also be required for full functionality. There are probably many more examples.

          2. seven of five Silver badge

            Re: Steam? Deal-killer.

            Unless a launcher (yes Paradox, I am looking at you, worthless bastards) is enforced by the game itself, there is no DRM on behalf of gog. Their GOG Galaxy launcher is comletely optional - you may download any installer and do with it as you like. You can even do that from within the Galaxy launcher.

            1. conscience

              Re: Steam? Deal-killer.

              seven of five: I wasn't specifically speaking about the Galaxy launcher being DRM in itself, like some other clients are, though some titles do require Galaxy to be installed to enable certain features like multiplayer. I know GOG have always said Galaxy was optional, but it seems not to be the case if you wish to enable full functionality of some of the games you buy. That is not the only DRM either... I've seen serial numbers, limited number of installs, always online connections, etc. Also sometimes accounts are needed for full functionality, such as a Battle.net account being used for full functionality and multiplayer on some titles too. PS Couldn't agree more about Paradox. :)

    3. karlkarl Silver badge

      Re: Steam? Deal-killer.

      "Anyone know if there’s a way to (legally!) purchase and play this without going through Steam?"

      Post an envelope containing cash to the developers (preferably with a cover letter) and then grab a copy off torrents.

      We notice that this is becoming strangely common for our own games and frankly, if I really want to play something, I will do the same. We know legally it doesn't stand up (yet!) but it certainly does morally and most importantly, it isn't like we could track them down and force them to log into Valve's DRM platform anyway ;)

  3. ecofeco Silver badge

    OK, but how DID they sell millions?

    Good game review, but the million woolong question is still: how did they sell so many? How long did it take to develop? How much did it cost? How big was the team? How did people learn about it?

    1. Psy-Q

      Re: OK, but how DID they sell millions?

      The team was 1-5 people depending on the stage of development, and IGN's guess on why it was such a success is as good as mine (probably better, since they interviewed the developers): https://www.ign.com/articles/valheim-how-a-5-person-team-created-the-most-popular-game-on-steam

      1. ecofeco Silver badge

        Re: OK, but how DID they sell millions?

        Thanks.

        It looks like the two biggest things are that it's fun, not ridiculously hard to play, and there is little to no griefing from strangers. Which makes it it more fun right there.

        I will never understand the game philosophy of allowing strangers to screw your gameplay and gameplay control to be stupid hard.

        1. martinusher Silver badge

          Re: OK, but how DID they sell millions?

          It works on affordable hardware as well. A lot of those players will not be able to afford thousands for a state of the art rig.

          1. ecofeco Silver badge

            Re: OK, but how DID they sell millions?

            Even better.

        2. Loyal Commenter Silver badge

          Re: OK, but how DID they sell millions?

          Ah yes, griefers, there so you have to put the game in single-player mode. Elite: Dangerous I'm looking at you. Oh well, at least it's not Eve Online, which is griefers and spreadsheets, for when one full-time job isn't enough.

  4. Michael Hoffmann
    Thumb Up

    No mention of Ark Surviva Evolvedl?

    Said game did it with dinosaurs, so what's not to like?

    Well, what's not to like is that the makers were too busy just rolling out more and more subscription-based expansions, moving further and further away from the pre-historic setting into scifi. Oh, and ignoring game-breaking and gear-destroying bugs for years.

    Let's hope Valheim does better. I still run my own private Ark server for fun (so I can rollback to a backup when yet another bug wipes out weeks of work). Wonder if Valheim allows that?

    1. Noram

      Re: No mention of Ark Surviva Evolvedl?

      Your comments about Ark are so spot on.

      My clan loved playing it when we started out on a nice "PVP enabled" server, which was relatively quiet due to things like log of who'd destroyed property.

      Then they removed that log so the griefers could break into your base and kill all your dino's without any repercussions,

      Then they did the cross server transfers which combined with the bugs meant a reasonably well organised group could drop into a server in the small hours of the morning and destroy hundreds of hours of work by each of dozens or hundreds of players and wipe everything before heading off to another server.

      It was a fun few months but it killed the game for us.

      We're looking at Valheim with an expectation to start playing it together in the near future, but waiting until it gets a bit further along, 3 of us have bought it so far to be ready for it..

      1. juice Silver badge

        Re: No mention of Ark Surviva Evolvedl?

        I used to play an online browser-based game called Planetarion, which was essentially a stripped down 4x strategy game[*]: you were given a planet and a tech tree and built things up from there; the system then had an hourly "tick" where everyone got updated.

        The problem was that other players could raid your planet. So it was pretty much unplayable as an individual, since your nascent civilisation would be ground down to the bedrock long before you were in a position to build defences which could fend off probing raids. Not least because the ticks continued overnight, so you'd often wake up/finish work, only to find that your planet was once again a smouldering homage to Gallifrey Falls No More.

        Obviously, the way around this was to engage in a meta-game of forming alliances and the like, but newcomers were rarely given enough time to get to grips with the game - or to build up enough resources to have something to offer to an alliance. And either way, once you start engaging in that sort of metagame, you're getting into heavy timesink time...

        Surprisingly, the game's still going, and looks to have expanded and changed things with multiple races, etc. But it's still way too much effort

        [*] I suppose you could draw closer parallels to the old Play by Mail games which I used to read about in ye olde game magazines, too...

        1. Paul Kinsler Silver badge

          Re: your nascent civilisation would be ground down to the bedrock l

          I played a game of Diplomacy like that - first ever game, first turn, immediately attacked and crippled by an opposing alliance, ceased to exist shortly after. Put me right off, I can tell you. :-/

          1. juice Silver badge

            Re: your nascent civilisation would be ground down to the bedrock l

            > I played a game of Diplomacy like that - first ever game, first turn, immediately attacked and crippled by an opposing alliance, ceased to exist shortly after

            It's a tricky one - after all, what's the point in working through a tech tree, building up forces or forming alliances if you then can't use them?

            Unfortunately, I don't think anyone's really come up with a good solution, though MMORPGs have tried various things. In the end, some people just like attacking anyone weaker than themselves, especially online.

            I can't remember if they had it at the time I was playing, but looking at the wiki page, Planetarion now has a 3 day period for newbies, during which they can't be attacked. Which I suspect means that they just become ripe pickings after 3 days, unless they use that time to build up their defences and get some alliances sorted.

            Personally (and with the caveat that my memories are very faint, after twenty-ish years of pouring alcohol over the old brain cells), I think that they should have made attacking more expensive and given the defender a boost - e.g. by either giving their defences a multiplier or letting them claim any scrapped resources from destroyed ships, so they could quickly rebuild.

            But hey. All that sort of stuff is a complex juggling act, as we've seen with EVE Online and the like...

            1. yetanotheraoc

              Re: your nascent civilisation would be ground down to the bedrock l

              "It's a tricky one - after all, what's the point in working through a tech tree, building up forces or forming alliances if you then can't use them?"

              Don't go asking what's the point. That's a dangerous line of questioning.

        2. Aaiieeee
          Happy

          Re: No mention of Ark Surviva Evolvedl?

          Yes! We played this in school; there was a bunch of us who would go to the IT class after school and during lunch to log in and do what we could. For a brief moment our maths teacher was ranked #1 in the world :)

      2. Michael Hoffmann
        Thumb Up

        Re: No mention of Ark Surviva Evolvedl?

        Just did a quick search and Valheim *will* allow private servers. This just bumped the game on to my "awright, this I gotta play" list!

  5. Shadow Systems

    Being blind sucks. =-(

    I wanna play! Waaaaahhhh!

    *Giant arcs of rainbow sparkly tears of anguish*

  6. Anonymous South African Coward Silver badge

    I've said it somewhere and will say it here again.

    Graphics doesn't matter. Storyline does. And a good, simple play mechanism, with simple rules.

    If you have got a good storyline, people will play the game.

    Make the graphics better, drop a junk storyline in, and add horrible play mechanisms (game controls) in, people will not play. Simple as that.

    1. Steve K Silver badge

      Colossal Cave

      Absolutely agree here.

      I have introduced my 12-year old son to "Colossal Cave" on his RasPi400 and he loves it.

      Quote: "Your imagination is the best graphics card you can get" (although neither of us would say no to a RTX 3070 at some point.....)

      1. Andy Non Silver badge

        Re: Colossal Cave

        I never got to finish that game. Played it on a mainframe during my college placement forty years ago. It was fun as I remember. Though I recall being stuck underground in a tunnel for a long while. Vaguely recall needing oil for something and water to make a plant grow? Wasn't there a wand and a code XXYYZ or something like that?

        1. Steve K Silver badge

          Re: Colossal Cave

          Yes! We discovered the code and have started using it - it seems to have some sort of teleportation powers

        2. MJB7

          Re: Colossal Cave

          I _stopped_ playing Colossal Cave rather more than 40 years ago - and the code was xyzzy, doesn't *everyone* know that?

          1. yetanotheraoc

            Re: Colossal Cave

            Yes, I use xyzzy as test input for my hello world-simple user interactions. My code responds: Nothing happens.

            I spent a few hours exploring Colossal Cave. It was mildly interesting figuring out how things work by trial and error. Then I got stuck at a gorge I couldn't cross. Stuck for a whole session. So I asked the guy who told me about the game, he said just say xyzzy. I did that and "a bridge magically appears" or some such. I never played the game again.

            I do the same with people who play the game "guess what will make me happy today", when there's no hope of guessing right.

        3. Loyal Commenter Silver badge

          Re: Colossal Cave

          A hollow voice says, "PLUGH"

      2. Anonymous South African Coward Silver badge

        Re: Colossal Cave

        Hah, when I got my Speccy, the bundle included Adventure A - and I played that game to bits.

        Took me 10 years to solve that one.

        It was frustrating.

        But, looking back at that experience, I just laugh and, well, what can you say? I enjoyed it, trying to solve the puzzles. Some was easy, some was.... not so easy.

  7. Jonathan Richards 1 Silver badge
    Thumb Up

    Graphics don't matter

    Just so. After all, nobody looked at Doom or Elite and said "I think I'll stick to chess until the graphics are better".

    1. Anonymous South African Coward Silver badge

      Re: Graphics don't matter

      Occasionally I trot out the original shareware DOOM and shoot a few imps and assorted stuff up just for the fun.

      I also purchased DoomII (Hell On Earth) when it was released.

      Great fun bashing a couple of monsters on days when you need to do some IDKFA.

      These games are portable, so I can take them anywhere I want, and play them almost instantly. Heck, you can even copy them to dropbox/onedrive/google drive if you want...

      Try doing that with the newest releases...

  8. TeeCee Gold badge

    ...gameplay and design reigns supreme.

    A lesson most vividly illustrated when the Xbox 360 and PS3 came out with all the HD wonderfullness, only to have the Nintendo Wii clean their clocks in the market.

    1. juice Silver badge

      > A lesson most vividly illustrated when the Xbox 360 and PS3 came out with all the HD wonderfullness, only to have the Nintendo Wii clean their clocks in the market.

      Not quite the same. Nintendo looked at sales of the N64 and Gamecube and realised that they couldn't compete directly with Sony and Microsoft. So they went back to their "toy company" heritage and produced the Wii.

      And it sold bucketloads:

      * Nintendo fans bought it for the Nintendo games

      * Non-gamers bought it for the motion-based peripherals

      * Gamers bought it for the motion-based peripherals

      Sadly though, the non-gamers got bored of Wii Sports and dropped away. As did the gamers, as the various efforts to make games which didn't rely on motion gimmicks were generally either hideously mis-targetted, underwhelming or simply better played on other consoles with better hardware. E.g. Resident Evil 4, Madworld, House of the Dead Overkill, Conduit.

      And that just left the Nintendo fans.

      Still, all credit to Nintendo: they were able to identify an underserved sector of the market, and pivoted very successfully to take advantage of it - and did so by using technology which was far cheaper/more profitable than their rivals. But I'd argue that by doing so, they've deliberately and perhaps permanently moved away from targetting the "hardcore" gamers who play PC, Xbox and Playstation games...

  9. Boris the Cockroach Silver badge

    Dont knock

    unity

    KSP was made in it... including squad re-writing some of it to get KSP to work better.

    Then again, like all thing, there have been some right abominations made it in too..... all depends on the skill of the creators...

    1. Esme

      Re: Dont knock

      Given the limitations of my PC kit, KSP on a good day will only run at about half real-time speed. And I use quarter-res graphics. So my expeirence of the game doesnt include ultra-realistic graphics. And it doesn't matter one bit, because even so, the game is incredibly fun to play and I remain stunned by how darned good the graphics are even so, shadows from multiple light sources etc. The graphics are more than adequate for the purposes of the game, and "improving" them wouldn't add to my enjoyment of the game - indeed if they made the game unplayably slow on my PC, "better" graphics would be a decided negative. Another important point in KSP's favour is its modability and the ease of adding or removing mods.

      Would I like to be able to run all the KSP mods that improve the graphics, add clouds to Kerbin and dust-storms to Duna? Hell, yes! But they aren't necessary to my enjoyment of the game. A few days ago, I EVA'd from a prototype interplanetary ship in low-Kerbin orbit, which had a fancy docking system I'd designed that could retract the docking arms to haul ship's boats that had just docked in snug to the ship. Except that when tested , they had proven abject failures. Which didnt bother me, as I get a lot of fun from working out why thigs I think should work don't in practice, then trying to create a better vesrion until I either find how to make it work properly, or conclude that it's just not doable.

      So there I was, KAS screwdriver in hand, detaching the fancy-schmancy docking equipment sometimes in sunlight, sometimes with only helmet lights for illumination. I marvelled as the shadows of the detached bits now drifting away fell across the ship, changing shape as the debris spun slowly; at the quality of the graphics even when up close and personal to the components of the ship; and at the beautiful blue-green world below. Then I got back to work, and installed some plain old (but utterly reliable) Clampotron docking ports to replace the failed docking system, and returned from EVA with a huge grin on my face, and the feeling of a job well done!

      The day when Esme Kerman will set foot on Duna for the first time is drawing ever closer!

  10. Binraider Bronze badge

    Played a couple hours this week. It's OK, if somewhat grindey. Says me that's played a game of factorio to completion with the research cost set to 1000x.

    1. seven of five Silver badge

      uhhh, Factorio. Also a very fine crew at Wube.

  11. Bottle_Cap

    It's great to see a linux version OOTB! I'd pretty much burned out of this sort of game on WoW years ago but for the price (and a native 'Nix version) I'll probably get it just to support the Devs.

  12. JoeTheAnnoying
    Thumb Up

    Minecraft with vikings

    After two weeks of suffering through Red Dead Online (beautiful graphics, but over 100 GB to download and enforced always-on PvP, even if you put yourself in "Defensive" mode), we decided to give Valheim a chance last night.

    Four hours passed in an instant, it was WAY past our bedtimes, and we were wondering what the heck happened.

    It's pretty much a Minecraft redux, but with better graphics and vikings. And you set yourself on fire ALL THE TIME.

    What's not to like?

    1. Jellied Eel Silver badge

      Re: Minecraft with vikings

      It's pretty much a Minecraft redux, but with better graphics and vikings. And you set yourself on fire ALL THE TIME.

      Fear not, as you get further in, other things will also set you on fire. There are many things that will attempt to murderise you. One of the most dangerous being your axe. Chop tree! Tree falls! Tree rolls! Tree falls or rolls on you. Sometimes chopping one tree can result in a cascade of potential death as trees and logs head for your head. Or those pesky trolls. Congrats, you dodged their swinging log. But failed to dodge the tree the troll just felled.

      On the plus side, once you get better at troll kiting, trolls can be utilised for wood production.

      But that's just one element of the game that amuses me. It's been a lot of fun. It's pretty polished for an EA title. T'other day I was happily exploring the coast in my boat. Dwarves noticed me and started swimming after me. They have swimming animations! They also would occasionally pause to throw rocks at me. Dwarves obviously aren't that smart, swimming with pockets full of rocks.

  13. Glen 1 Silver badge
    Go

    Obligatory Factorio recommendation here. I have heard good things about SatisFactory, but not played it myself.

    When you sink hundreds of hours into a game, it limits the number you can do justice.

    1. Kaltern

      Re: Not here

      SatisFactory just as good as Valheim - which for the uninitiated isn't a surprise as it's the same Swedish development team, Coffee Stain.

      Both games are pretty epic. I can see a lot of similarities in many ways between the games, and both are far more entertaining than pretty much any 'AAA' shovelware released in the last .. I dunno, decade...

      And don't pick on Unity folks - it's a great system that, among other things, teaches you how to code efficiently lest you lose half your fps....

      1. BinkyTheHorse
        Headmaster

        Re: Not here

        Valheim isn't being developed by Coffee Stain 'though - they're only the publishers.

        As mentioned in the article, the devs are called Iron Gate, a very small (and also Swedish) indie team.

  14. Dapprman

    World of Warcraft was never about the graphics ...

    People forget that when WoW went public with it's game play (late alpha ?) is was accused of having cartoonish graphics and game play. Public access was first to the beta and USA only (and as with most betas limited access which had to be applied for and being granted to known gaming reporters and experienced MMO players). I was fortunate to have a try through the account of the US based father of a Dark Age of Camelot clan mate and at that point it did seem like a weak game and my experience mirrored the early reports - the game was most likely to be another one of the high hype but complete failures that we were seeing at the time.

    I was fortunate to get in to the UK/European beta by which time the game play was much improved. Graphically it was still poor compared to it's established rivals, but the game play made it.

  15. juice Silver badge

    I fired up GTA5 for the first time yesterday...

    I've been meaning to play GTA5 for ages; I've got fond memories of the original GTA on the PC, briefly dabbled with GTA2[*] had huge fun with GTA3, loved zooming around in Vice City and got a fair way into the story mode for GTA4.

    And since I'd picked it up when Epic offered it for free, I finally got around to spinning it up.

    Sadly, that's when it all went a bit meh.

    First, you're dumped into the middle of an armed robbery setpiece, where you have to perform specific tasks in a specific order as part of the "tutorial". Which also involves throwing lots of meta-game actions at you, such as using your mobile or switching to a different character.

    Which TBH, I didn't really want to do, seeing as these initial characters are violent and obnoxious. As is quickly demonstrated by the way that they brutally mow down dozens of police officers as part of their escape.

    Having completed this set-piece, the action switched to a cut-scene, which eventually segued into some hands-on action where you take control of an african-american character, who has to follow his mate in yet another tutorial revolving around delivering a car to a car showroom.

    And so I delivered said car, complete with dents and a few bloodstains from when various pedestrians didn't get out of the way quickly enough. I'm guessing these artisianal, hand-crafted and unique additions to the car will increase it's retail value!

    From there, I got to drive back to said character's home, while listening to yet more smack-talk from his mate, liberally peppered with swearing, vulgarities and the N word.

    And at this point, I'm thinking I might just give up, hit one of the modding sites, and fire GTA4 or Vice City back up with a load of mods.

    Because when all is said and done, I don't want to playing the part of some sociopathic criminal, or an urban kid with a vastly different cultural background and a tendency towards vulgar conversations. Nor do I want to be pratting about with mobile phones, haircuts, switching characters, or any of the other role-playing meta-activities the game seems to assume I'm actively interested in.

    I just want the sandbox experience of exploring a vast city and doing crazy things with vehicles. As was the case in GTA3, and (to a lesser extent), GTA:VC.

    To be fair, I know I'm something of a minority, since GTA5 is still a spectacularly popular game, some seven years after release. But even so, I'm guessing that it's mostly popular because of the GTA Online, where you don't have to do all the role-playing malarky...

    [*] I've been meaning to get back to this, seeing as Rockstar offer it for free on their website, there's various mods to make it work on modern hardware and a recent article reminded me that it's actually got something of a cyberpunk vibe to it...

    1. ecofeco Silver badge

      Re: I fired up GTA5 for the first time yesterday...

      Many, many popular games moved toward bloat over the years. Much like all software.

      And they wonder where the glitches come from. *facepalm*

      1. juice Silver badge

        Re: I fired up GTA5 for the first time yesterday...

        > Many, many popular games moved toward bloat over the years. Much like all software

        I'm not sure how far I'd agree with that. Games need to evolve in the same way as anything else; if they didn't, we'd still be playing Pacman and Space Invaders.

        And as with anything else that's evolved, in any given situation you're probably only using 10% of the features. As is everyone else. The problem is that everyone uses a different subset of the features...

        I mean: some people actively enjoy taking their virtual character for a haircut, or spending time in a virtual gym and picking virtual clothes to go on a virtual date with a virtual character. Or they'll enjoy planting fields, building houses, etc, etc, etc.

        Me, I just want to drive around, listen to the radio stations and do the occasional mission.

        Arguably, the problem is more that games like GTA5 aren't actually games any more. They're simulations with gamification elements - and ones where you have to play a specific role (or roles,in GTA5's case).

        And I don't want spend time learning how to fit myself into a simulation. Nor do I want to assume the role of a career criminal or a gangbanger[*].

        Because to play the game properly, I'd need to put myself in those sociopathic and/or misogynistic mindsets, and that's not something I find enjoyable.

        Instead, I'd much rather have my own character and play according to my own principles and ethics. Which is why I actively targetted Ceasar's Legions in Fallout New Vegas: they were slavers (and the loot dropped by their entertainingly incompetent hit squads was a welcome bonus ;) ).

        Admittedly, in some ways my preferred approach is even more complicated than as per GTA5, as the simulation then needs to be able to handle a far greater variety of player choices.

        Equally, given that GTA is all about crime and murder, there's definitely some ambiguity around the concept of playing it according to "my" principles as opposed to an in-game character's principles.

        But hey ;)

        [*] To use the term from the wiki page about GTA5!

    2. ortunk

      Re: I fired up GTA5 for the first time yesterday...

      Bought the game gave to two nine year olds, few hours later all city unlocked and missiona done so I can loiter and ride motorbikes all day

      1. This post has been deleted by its author

      2. wobball

        Re: I fired up GTA5 for the first time yesterday...

        That'll teach 'em right, innit!

    3. Loyal Commenter Silver badge

      Re: I fired up GTA5 for the first time yesterday...

      Yeah, I got bored half way through GTA 3 to be honest and haven't bothered with the later iterations, which I'm assuming are the same game but with a larger map and prettier graphics. Nothing I have seen online has disabused me of this notion.

  16. Imhotep Silver badge

    I've Got A Treasure Map Here

    Fun! I imagine there are still people gathering around a table to play Dungeons And Dragons with no graphics and having a great time.

    Once the brain is engaged and imagination takes over, you've probably got a winner.

    I remember seeing my daughter and her family off at the airport and giving my grandson, who was a pirate at the time, a 'secret' map. It was a reproduction of an old map, aged brown with place names in Latin and buildings, landscape features and creatures drawn in. Told him it was a secret treasure map and not to share.

    Of course, he shared as soon as they were on the airplane and had everyone involved in trying to locate the treasure.

  17. Tsu

    First appeared on my radar when I noticed my friends list starting to fill up with people playing it. So I thought looks interesting, bought it, then had two more friends enquire about the game, I had only just started punching tree's. They bought it, the whole thing snowballed, as the week went on more and more friends have been adding it to their collection and playing it. AAA game developers could learn a lot from playing this game..

    There is plenty of great reasons why this game is popular, they have taken all the fun things in survival games, and removed nearly all the barriers that get in the way of the fun. Food doesn't spoil, eating food is beneficial but not eating food doesn't punish you and you can survive on no food if you are caught without. If you die, you lose a few skill points, but gain two buffs, one gives you a bit of a stamina boost to ease the pain of running back to your stuff, the other "no skills drain" ensures if you do die on the way back, you don't lose any additional skills.

    There is enough real world physics to make chopping down trees, sailing rafts, building buildings fun and interesting. Instead of just "giving you the wood" for hitting a tree, it falls over, potentially taking out more tree's or enemies or you. Chopping down trees is a legit way to kill enemies, such fun.

    Actions are rewarded and feel satisfying; shoot your first arrow, hit a deer, instant award bow level 2.

    One thing you seemed to miss in your review is, you have to build a chimney to let smoke out of your house, if not SMOKE builds up and starts choking you. Also don't forget to cover that chimney otherwise when it rains the fire is likely to be put out!

    Then there is co-op you can enjoy all this together with friends, playing at whatever pace you like without griefers. My friends and I have done the first boss, and then spent our time building a base, farming boar, gathering resources. Hours later and now we're thinking about going after the 2nd boss. We haven't felt the need to rush it, it's so much fun doing the other stuff too.

    One change I would like to see, is the ability to hold mouse button down to repeat action (eg. chopping), repeated clicking isn't that much fun. :/

    As for story, I really cannot stand games that have massively long FMV intro's, if I wanted to watch a film I'd watch a film thank you. These videos are a cop-out for good game design, bring back loading screens with a few lines of text explaining what happens. Oh wait, that's what Valheim does, a brief into, flown into world then helpful tips as you work it out. Brillant!

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