Author: Ed Cripps
Released: November 14th 2010
After blasting out of a wooden storage crate, you must battle your way through an industrial base, locating keys and pushing some switches, all in order to locate the exit out of this place. The usual deal.
Valhalla sets its scene within a lonely industrial style base, amongst the desert dunes of a post apocalyptic scenery, while a chilling ambient track breezes through the halls. Cripps has no doubt paid a lot of care and attention to the overall construction, neither neglecting a single area to ensure that each room is rich with detail. This is not only done through the variety of shapes in the geometry and good use of slopes, but also for the fine texturing work to show all the machinery and devices within the walls, or the clever usage of masked walls to create pipework throughout the level and other little details such as the fans and broken terrain creating additional depth. Lighting is another rich element, using a gradient approach for a smoother transition and casting dark shadows behind structures such as pillars. This attention to detail helps to further immerse the player in this environment, without too much clutter and the right tone for the mood.
For a small amount of time, the base itself is quiet once a certain switch it pulled, the place is brought to life as enemies come pouring into the area, to seek out the intruder disturbing the facility. Valhalla isn’t particularly difficult, where most fights are easy despite the author not holding back on using the tougher enemies early. This may be caused by offering powerful weapons quickly and providing a good balance of ammo and health, meaning there is little threat to the player. Progression here and there can go slightly off track after pushing certain switches, trying to figure out what it may have unlocked. Although newly spawned enemies can point you in the right direction, more subtle hints in some points would have worked well, like revealing that the gates blocking access to the blue key card have been opened. The length may also seem a little on the short side for some players with its abrupt ending, possibly due to the lack of some kind of final battle, but I felt it was a decent length to prevent the theme and design becoming tiresome.
While the gameplay can be a little on the easy side, Cripps shows a lot of attention to the design offering a very detailed and good looking environment to romp through.