Jotun: Valhalla Edition is an action exploration game set in Norse mythology. Explore vast regions of Norse Purgatory to find runes to unleash the Jotun, giant Norse elementals. Is Jotun: Valhalla Edition worth a buy? Read our review below to find out..
In Jotun, you play as Thora, a Norse warrior who has died in a way that she has been denied entry into Valhalla. Given a second chance by the gods, Thora must venture through Ginnungagap and defeat the five Jotun to gain entry into Valhalla. There’s no hand holding when you start playing, not even any prompts as to what the controls are, although they’re pretty straight forward and easy to pick up during the first section of the game. There’s no waypoint either, so you must rely on exploring the world that you visit. This in turn will reward players as there’s hidden things to find such as health upgrades, often after solving how to get to them via some sort of puzzle.
Once the first section of the game is done players will have access to all the game’s levels at once, and is up to them as to which direction they take. You’re not stuck and forced to struggle on if you do find yourself in a difficult fight, you can always return to Ginnungagap and venture off into one of the other areas of the game to see if you can find any powers that may aid you in your fight.
A few of things that will stand out straight away when playing are the visuals, music and the authentic Icelandic voice overs. The visuals are all hand drawn and give the game a classic cartoon vibe, giving it a personal feel that runs nicely with the story. The music is fantastic, with a piece for each and every part of the game, adding to the atmosphere set by the art style. All topped off with a sub-titled Icelandic voice over that just adds to the immersion.
On to the mechanics of the game and as previously stated they’re pretty straight forward, you have two attacks, weak and strong, used for fighting and chopping through obstacles, the ability to roll which is great for getting out of the way during boss fights, and the use of powers once collected, such as attack boost or healing, these can be cycled through using the left and right bumpers.
There’s nine realms within Jotun, all of which vary massively both in style and content. For example you can be off in the clouds searching for the power of Mjolnir and have to deal with evading lightning whilst solving puzzles based on creating constellations, or off into the mines where you’ll encounter dwarfs who will run away from you when there’s small numbers, but will gather together and charge at you when there’s a few ten’s of them.
The main focus of the game though is the fights against the Jotun, these are tricky, but also fun to do. You’ll fail a couple of times but will want to come back and keep having a go until you’ve defeated whichever one you’re taking on. A factor in this may be knowing that if you are failing miserably at killing one, you can (as mentioned before) travel back to Ginnungagap and try your luck elsewhere or go looking for a power to come back and have a go with.