Jaw dropping beauty and a hefty challenge await you in in the hallowed realm of Jotun.
Quick and Dirty JOTUN Review
Jotun Valhalla Edition Quick and Dirty Review by Uncomfortable Game Shorts (UGS)
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Norse mythology mixed with some pretty visuals; Jotun was light on combat and exploration and the puzzles never really surprised me. I was really hoping for better combat but at least some of the large bosses provided a fun spectacle.
-Pretty visuals, large locations, huge/unique bosses, nice story and voice acting.
-Overly simple combat, little replayability
Developer: Thunder Lotus Games
Composer: Lena Raine
Designers: Maddy Thorson, Noel Berry
Platforms: PC, PlayStation 4, Wii U, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch, Stadia
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This game lured me in with it’s intriguing and pretty visuals. The hand drawn art definitely gives the game a unique look and the vast vistas help to remind you that you are a mere Mortal passing through a world of Viking Mythology. Like look how detailed this healing well is and …
What the heck is that, put that eye away Mimir
The game has some creepy and bizarre visuals but I guess it’s all part of trying to be unique.
You play as Thora, a Viking woman who recently died an ignominious death and is now forced to travel across the realms defeating Jötunn like the plant giant Jera, the lightning giant Hagalaz, the ice giant Isa, the fire giant Kaunan, the warrior giant Fé, fee? Fey? Man, Old Norse words are so hard to pronounce, and you’re doing all this to impress the Gods in order enter Valhalla.
To reach these larger than life bosses, you must find Runes on the maps preceding them and each map has its own challenges and aesthetics. You’re also be free to explore and find hidden power ups in each area like these God Shrines, where Thora can unlock and upgrade God Powers like Frigg’s Healing, Freya’s Speed, Thor’s Hammer, Odin’s Spear, Loki’s Decoy, or Heimdall’s Shield. There are also secret trees with Ithunn’s Apples on them. Collect these to permanently increase your health.
Despite the maps being massive and pretty to look at, I found them rather linear and desolate.
You see, the devs decided to focus more on environmental puzzles and travelling rather than combat. In the few maps that you DO get to attack something, the experience was a little underwhelming. The only other things you need to attack are objects that bar your way or trees and rocks that create new paths.
In stark contrast, the boss fights are mainly won by relentlessly attacking a giant’s toe while it lumbers around and tries to poison, crush, shock, or impale you.
Thora has a very slow light attack and an EVEN SLOWER heavy attack. You can also perform a short dodge roll which can be combined with an attack for a lunging axe stab but all these moves were so slow that it was common to whiff an attack and be stuck watching your character slowly animate back to a ready position.
In the end I feel this game isn’t for everyone but I’m hesitant to simply dismiss it for being somewhat unique.
If you love Norse mythology with good voice acting, large maze-like maps with simple combat and exploration elements, and some puzzling boss battles which get harder when they are near death forcing you to risk life and limb to find avenues of attack, then you might want to pick up Jotun.
If you don’t like large maps which refuse to show your current position, would rather spend your time grinding enemies and leveling up your character than walking in circles trying to find your way around, and prefer games with hours of collectables and replayability after completing an area, then you can probably skip this game.
For my part, I definitely enjoyed the sights and sounds but felt the experience fell a little flat for me.
The void acts like a hub where you can access the 5 main areas and bosses before the final battle and it was pretty handy to see areas you’ve completed as well as having Odin’s ravens pointing out your next destination. When the game zooms out like this, you really get a sense of your quests weight and scale…however, some attacks lacked that visceral effect I would expect from being sliced by a blade as large as a house and that ruined the immersion for me.
I beat the game playing on and off over the course of a week but a lot of this time was spent walking from point A to point B or scratching my head trying to figure out how to get there. I also noticed that there was little reason to go back to previously explored areas once I collected the nestled rune, apple, and God Power.
Review: Jotun – Valhalla Edition (PlayStation 4, Xbox One & Wii U) – Defunct Games
Defunct Games reviews Jotun: Valhalla Edition, available now on PlayStation 4, Xbox One and Steam.
Despite being on the short side, Jotun: Valhalla Edition is a stunning adventure that you won’t soon forget. There are times when I wished it offered more moves and bosses to fight, but there’s more than enough content here to warrant the asking price. It’s worth it just to see the giant jotun creatures in action. I want to see more games like this.
Jotun Valhalla Edition Review
In Jotun Valhalla Edition, you play as the Viking warrior Thora who died an inglorious death, and must, therefore, prove herself to the Gods, so she can enter Valhalla. You do so by traveling around the different realms in order to solve puzzles, collect Idun’s apples, and visit the shrines so you can be blessed by the gods. This makes you stronger and it will help you beat the next big challenge that the game throws at you.
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