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Why Valheim is more into role-playing than survival

In an interview, the Valheim developer talks about his inspiration from single-player games like Zelda and Skyrim, which Valheim makes different from other survival games.

Valheim and Zelda have more in common than you might expect from a surivival game.

Valheim is a phenomenon that is currently difficult to escape. The Viking game even sneaks into the hearts of players who previously had nothing to do with survival – such as colleague Natalie, who turned from an avowed survival hater into a Valheim fan . But why is that?

Developer Henrik Törnqvist now provides an exciting reason in an interview in PC Gamer : Valheim draws significantly more inspiration from Zelda and Skyrim than from known survival games .

Inspiration from Zelda and Skyrim

In an interview, Törnqvist reveals that the five-man studio would actually hardly take a look at well-known survival games when developing Valheim – instead they look at solo role-playing games like Skyrim.

“We wanted more of a feel of an old school single player adventure like Zelda. In which you get new gear by defeating bosses. And we thought it would blend in nicely with the survival aspects of the game. And apparently it did is working!”

A special thing about Valheim is the way bosses are the key to progress . For example, we can only craft our first pickaxe after we have defeated the first boss Eikthyr, who kindly drops the required antlers for us.

As a result, Valheim remains a sandbox at heart, but also drives us forward with clear goals that open up further mechanics or parts of the world and gives us clearly recognizable progress. Sounds a bit like Zelda – and it is.

In addition, Valheim never really punishes us for our mistakes. Unless a troll is trampling our fortress , we never experience serious losses. Törnqvist says:

“The simulation shouldn’t get in the way of the gaming experience. The food should help players improve their performance, but it shouldn’t kill you if you don’t eat. You could say it’s more of a reward mechanism.”



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