Tyr: Chains of Valhalla is inspired by Norse mythology – the Ragnarök! In a technological world where humanity depends on mega-corporations like Yggdrasil, big companies know no limits, competing the global monopoly. Robots are at the order of the day and someone has to put a balance in the city. Tyr, a creation of Professor Oswald Din, a.k.a. O.Din, has the mission to prevent Lemuz Oki, a.k.a. L.Oki, from destroying the world order and creating a new realm of chaos to seize the most significant technology company, as well as control of the entire world.
Tyr, with the help of Huginn and Muninn, and his Sleipnir, will take the summit of Valhalla to stop the evil plans of L.Oki. In this Nordic cyberpunk universe where there is a struggle between big corporations to destroy the world.
For myself, the Story was a fantastic premise. I am a massive fan or Norse Mythology and Cyberpunk. The story was good and it had me hooked.
Tyr: Chains of Valhalla is a challenge and a half, but not for the reasons you would expect.
With a game based off of Contra and Megaman, I had a reasonably good take that it was going to be hard. If not hard, then a decent challenge. It is a fair assessment that this is indeed a ‘challenge.’ Unfortunately, not in a good way.
For starters, the enemy placement is all cheap shots for most of the game. You WILL get hit by every enemy the first time. It is not that I am bad at the game, I played almost every MegaMan and beat them, but the enemies here shoot you from off screen and you will get hit as the AI knows you are there, but you have no idea anything is just off-screen. Tyr can only shoot straight and up, making killing some enemies even harder, especially when they can shoot diagonally.
On top of the fact that every enemy will hit you leads to my second point, Tyr has a pitiful health pool and will die within four hits to start. To add salt to the wound, there are only set health stations within the levels, and destroyed enemies do not drop health. The bosses can wipe Tyr out with almost no effort if they get you in a combo, making the slog back just that little more depressing after doing it ten times before.
Now for the really ‘challenging’ stuff: the environmental puzzles combined with the jump and dash mechanics. Some puzzles need Tyr to jump over and then dash. For whatever the reason, the jump sucks. You press jump then Tyr will drop like a lead balloon, also, the double jump seems useless in some parts of the game. When combining jump and dash, the game gets frustrating. I died too many times trying to clear puzzle parts.
I have, however, purposely let this bit till the end: each level has a time limit. Granted you get an hour to finish the level, but soon it disappears, making playing more stressful
Tyr has access to three types of elements that can be swapped on the fly. Each element will damage the enemy but using the opposed element will increase the damage. The health bar shows the element that is aligned to by its colour, making shooting more tactical – being a positive for the game. There are upgrades to discover that will change how Tyr shots. These can be swapped again whenever the player likes. If Tyr takes a hit, he shall lose an upgrade, and considering that Tyr gets hit too many times, sometimes upgrades just felt pointless.
As stated before, its lousy gameplay and the issues of Tyr’s lead boots make this game more annoying and frustrating rather than a fun experience. It is a shame as the premise was terrific.
The soundtrack for Tyr: Chains of Valhalla is outstanding. It has a heavy rock influence that gets you in the mood for a fast-paced game.
The sound effects are majorly lacklustre due to the soundtrack audio being so high while shooting. I could not hear the shots or the explosions over the music.
With that said, it is a shame as it could have enhanced the immersion – being able to hear everything going on.
Visuals & Performance
The game’s opening cutscene is impressive. The art style and how it flowed was high quality. It would not work for gameplay, but wow what an opening! This gave me some hope it was going to be a stunning game.
Once into the game, it was not to be the stunning affair I was hoping that I was going to get. Set in a 2.5D perspective to give that sense of space, it lacked a bit of polish, more so in the background. The foreground was nice looking. Tyr looks lovely and highly detailed as well as the enemies. It’s just that the world seems to be like the same spark.
For the performance perspective, it was all around good. No slowdowns when there are lots of things happening on screen. Both handheld and docked mode ran fine, and look good. I played mainly docked as I felt the Pro controller was better for me.
At $9.99, Tyr: Chains of Valhalla is a fair price, well, if you like a ‘challenge.’ Unfortunately, it is not on the EU eShop, so unless you buy it from the US eShop, you will miss out on this one for now.
Looking for more shooting action? Check out our Review for Gunman Clive HD Collection.
Soundtrack is ace
A Cyberpunk Norse story
Poor jump mechanic
Soundtrack is too loud