Assassin's Creed Valhalla: Dawn of Ragnarok review and tested 2022

Ubisoft continues to shower us with content for its latest Assassin’s Creed, exploiting it to the hilt. And it’s starting to show.

For the first time in the Assassin’s Creed saga, a big expansion is available for the latest episode. Called Dawn of Ragnarok, it is the direct sequel to the adventure told in Valhalla. And although it is possible to embark on this DLC without having done the main story, we advise you to complete it before embarking on this new epic.

An epic, the word is not too strong to describe what awaits players in Svartalfheim, a new area that will delight fans of dwarves. Because these little creatures teach you that they have to face a new threat, the invasion of an enemy who can use both fire and ice. In the guise of Odin, the ancient Viking god, the objective will be to help them, but also to free your son, Baldr, captured by what the game describes to us as our greatest enemy so far.

An increasingly massive world

Were you tired of Ireland, Scotland or England? This is Svartalfheim! Behind this unpronounceable name (and even less easy to write) hides a kingdom, that of the dwarves, where mountains and green forests sit. Despite the weight of the hours spent so far in the company of Eivor, the discovery of this new place to explore has had its small effect. The developers have indeed not forgotten the “Breath of the Wild” sequence, where our hero lands on the side of a mountain before the area is displayed.

Massive flying rocks, a little snow here and there, roots of Yggdrasil in the background, mountains that are way too high and endless forests, not to mention the multiple caves containing dwarves, we can say that Ubisoft always knows how to do it when it comes to offering a complete open world.

But what awaits us in Svartalfheim isn’t all that different from anything we’ve experienced before in Assassin’s Creed Valhalla, or simply in the franchise’s many open worlds. We find the same secondary objectives to accomplish, and this is even more visible when they are linked to the main quest.

Assassin's Creed Valhalla: Dawn of Ragnarok review and tested 2022

A writing on the go

Despite a regular feeling of déjà vu, Dawn of Ragnarok does not disappoint when it comes to writing. This was one of the great qualities of the original game, and this expansion continues in the same vein. From the rescue of Baldr to the side quests in the company of facetious dwarves, we never tire of multiplying the dialogues, however optional.

Learn more about the life of certain inhabitants, discover a side mission in the course of a conversation, it is above all that motivates to do the same thing in this extension. If the packaging is therefore substantially the same as Valhalla, Dawn of Ragnarok still has an interesting script aura as a whole, with a few surprises on the horizon.

Not So Divine Powers

On the gameplay side, Dawn of Ragnarok revolves around two major new features, one of which is accessible to us very quickly within a twenty-hour long adventure: the Hugr. This crown given by the dwarves allows us to take the power of some of our opponents to benefit from it on the field, provided we have enough energy to use it.

You can only have two at a time, and if you separate from one of them (to take another), you will have to kill the enemy with the lost power again to relearn it, and therefore unlearn the one that is no longer useful to you. For example, if you want to fly (for about thirty seconds), you will have to kill a bird, if you want to walk on lava, you will have to attack one of the expansion’s new adversaries.

The problem is that despite a very correct number of enemies with a dedicated and usable power, we very quickly find ourselves using only two or three. And even with that in mind, you won’t be surprised if you are told that you will very quickly return to the basics of Assassin’s Creed, forgetting your new abilities which are not so important given the difficulty that is too often non-existent.

Assassin's Creed Valhalla: Dawn of Ragnarok review and tested 2022

The second notable novelty is a weapon that allows you to customize the combos that you can acquire. On paper, it’s interesting, especially for those complaining about the heaviness of Eivor, but we are still very far from a Kassandra or an Ezio. And even the addition of a new type of rune or an arena, whose combat conditions are fully configurable, will not really find favor in your eyes if you are looking for an obvious novelty.

Assassin’s Creed Valhalla: Dawn of Ragnarok

If you enjoyed the 150 hours you may have spent on Assassin’s Creed Valhalla, you probably won’t find anything wrong with Dawn of Ragnarok. But behind this first major expansion in the history of the saga hides in fact more of one more DLC for an original game whose ramifications are seriously beginning to smell musty from repeating the same formula over and over again. An “ambitious” expansion? No. A way to continue in the Viking universe of Ubisoft? Barely.

Most

  • It is very beautiful
  • dwarf writing
  • An ever-expanding world
  • The powers of the Hugr

The lessers

  • Anecdotal novelties
  • A formula that cannot be renewed
  • More bugs
  • For the madmen of Valhalla only

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