Valheim is a survival simulator that stands out from the crowd, as it uses Norse aesthetics and intricate gameplay systems brilliantly. These set it apart from the hundreds of other survival games on market right now. Interestingly, the game bears striking similarities to a particularly popular 2011 RPG. Iron Gate's new Norse indie game strikes some similar chords as Bethesda's Skyrim. Both are set among some gorgeous Norse stylings, and inspire players to explore the massive open worlds in each game.
There are several ways in which the games are similar. A sense of pervasive mystery runs through both. These underlying mysteries tie into a mythology influenced heavily by Norse legends. Moreover, an ambitious map size appears in both titles. With that map size, the drive to explore the grand expanses is also present in both. Even Valheim's fanbase understand the similarities between these two games. This understanding appears throughout the mods for the game. Interestingly, many of the more popular content mods for the game add Skyrim elements to the title.
There is no biome more iconic than a Skyrim mountain. Traversing those infamously buggy mountains by way of leapfrog is a beloved pastime of many Elder Scrolls fans. The striking mountains of Tamriel are an integral part to the series' iconic skyline, so much so that it is one of the only pictures of the Elder Scrolls 6 that fans currently have. Mountains are not only an aesthetic component to the game. In fact, Skyrim's snowy peaks are absolutely integral to the title's narrative, and like the map sizes of Valheim and Skyrim, the mountains are also similar.
One of the most pivotal moments throughout Skyrim is looking up at the Seven Thousand Steps to High Hrothgar, knowing that the secrets of the Dragonborn's magic lie atop it. On the journey, players battle through tough conditions, wolves, and even an incredibly vicious frost troll. This enemy is more deadly than most in the game before that point, and gives the mountains a sense of scale and danger unlike any other biome. The same is true for Valheim. What the game really shared with Skyrim in this regard is its ability to imbue a location with a sense of scale and importance using difficulty.
Famous mod authors for the game call this "content ramping" - taking a multifaceted approach to progression blockers placed throughout the game. This is particularly true in the case of the rocky, mountainous areas of Valheim. The Mountain Biome in Valheim is when the title starts ramping towards endgame. It is where the incredibly powerful silver ore is found, alongside a whole host of incredibly powerful enemies. The hulking stone golems can easily one-shot players at that level, and when fighting alongside swarms of drakes and wolves, the creatures are particularly dangerous.
Valheim's mythology is one of its main draws for players. For months, players were stalked by a mysterious hooded figure that now seems to be playing into the game's future content roadmap. However, there are some mythological figures in the game that are a lot more common. Interestingly, they are also the most common enemies in Skyrim. In Bethesda's fantasy RPG, the Nords are a very common race. There is obvious associations with the "Norse" there, and that mythology pervades throughout the game. In particular, the Draugr appear as staple foes across both games.
In Skyrim, these corpse-like wraiths rise from various graves throughout dungeons. They mindlessly pursue the player, with some having limited magic. In one instance, a Skyrim boss is a draugr. Draugrs also appear in Valheim, but are considerably more deadly. Valheim's draugr are also arguably more accurate to the mythos, as dark dwarfs guarding the recesses of old iron mines. In either case, both seem to be semi-undead, and showcase the ways that each title use Norse mythology.