Reviews - Updated on April 11, 2022

You all know very well that there are games that stick to you like a fly to a sticky tape – although they are no more useful than the same fly. They are quite monotonous, routine, you yourself perfectly understand that you are wasting your time on them, but you spend it again and again, because it is very difficult to break away. That’s about the same can be said about Niffelheim.

Dead viking wants to Asgard

This game, created by the Russian studio Ellada Games, has been in early access for several years. And it is understandable why she immediately attracted increased attention. The authors exploit two popular topics at once – Vikings and survival. Yes, and in the format of a two-dimensional RPG. In Niffelheim, we play as one of the glorious northern warriors (a Viking, a berserker, a shaman plus a Valkyrie), who, after death on the battlefield, went to Valhalla, but due to the cunning of demons, they got stuck in the world of darkness, that is, in the title Niflheim . This is where Helheim is located, the abode of the dead, which is ruled by the ugly woman Hel.

No matter how dead and dark these lands are, there are trees, stones, mushrooms, berries and herbs grow, bunnies, wild boars and sheep run around. Yes, here we will have to cut down trees, collect stones and other resources, hunt game, build various useful buildings and survive in every possible way. And all in order to gradually collect fragments of the portal leading to Asgard, and from there to Valhalla.

Hope for the dragon, but don’t make a mistake yourself

We build a forge, a kitchen, a sawmill, an alchemy laboratory, a greenhouse, a sheepfold, a chicken coop. There you can produce more advanced building materials, boards, various ingots, resin, equipment, doors, potions, food, and so on and so forth. And all these buildings need to be improved.

But most importantly, you will have to strengthen your shelter, rebuilding it to the state of a citadel with shooting towers. Indeed, with the onset of night, local skeletons are very fond of attacking him in droves. And if, after an ordinary death in battle, your hero revives, having lost some of his health, money and received some other fines, then in the event of the destruction and looting of the castle, the consequences will be much sadder.

Niffelheim game review

In a fight, you can switch between a melee weapon and a bow.

Skeletons, spiders, zombie wolves and other muck are also found in the dungeons. The “bosses” also live there, from which we mainly collect fragments of the portal to Asgard. In some catacombs, you need to go down through pre-prepared doors lower and lower towards some large-caliber troll with a club, in others we cut passages ourselves with a pickaxe, collecting building stone, clay and other useful materials along the way.

In the dungeons, among other things, we find chests with useful items and resources. In addition, things can be bought in the Temple City. There is also an option in the temple to call on a real dragon to help you, but this requires a lot of money, two sheep trapped and another rare item. So basically you have to rely on your own strength.

My monotonous days flash with the same pain

All four heroes of Niffelheim differ in the level of health, defense, damage dealt, resistance bonuses to certain influences and metabolism. The latter is responsible for how often the character will feel hungry. In fact, all of them, even if they are dead, constantly want to eat – satiety is spent on every sneeze, on every active action in battle, and in hunting, and in construction work. Niffelheim game review

The artists, of course, want to say a special thank you.

And if health can be restored by sitting on the throne in places specially designated for this, then only a cooked or purchased dish will remove the feeling of hunger. Therefore, here you constantly have to kill bunnies and other game, collect cabbage, beans, mushrooms and berries. And constantly craft equipment – weapons and armor become unusable very quickly.

All this quickly becomes a routine. Moreover, the battles are implemented primitively (you just need to click one button and sometimes use a shield), the tasks that are given out by local lords and spirits are even more primitive (collect 10 mushrooms, bring 5 spider mandibles, and so on), and each of the four worlds of Niflheim, where we decide to go at the start of a new game, differs little from others.

Yes, and the pumping of the hero goes automatically. We swing a pick in the mine – the level of mining skill increases, we actively chop enemies – we become stronger as a warrior, we bake pies and dishes in the kitchen – we improve the skills of the cook.

The only thing that can really cheer you up in such a situation is if you add three bots as opponents that will act as other heroes and periodically attack you. Even better if they are live players. Yes, Niffelheim can be played online by creating a server or joining someone else’s session. They are also allowed to survive in a cooperative – and this, of course, is more interesting than in splendid isolation. Another question is that the routine is also felt there sooner or later. Yes, and there are more errors of a purely technical nature in multiplayer, although the project seems to have left early access.

Niffelheim game review

That’s how “exciting” we are fighting here.

***

Nevertheless, as I said at the very beginning, Niffelheim is worth playing despite its monotony. Moreover, everything here is beautifully drawn, there is a gloomy northern atmosphere, which is emphasized by the appropriate landscapes and well-chosen music. You just need to play intermittently – in this case, the severity of the routine is not so pressing and the process of feeding the dead Viking does not have time to get bored. Well, in the company of friends, you will definitely be drawn into the gloomy world of Niflheim for at least a couple of days.

Pros: rich and elaborate survival system; the presence of multiplayer; nice picture; atmospheric music.

Cons: primitive battles; a lot of monotony; there are technical errors.

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