Assassin's Creed Valhalla Ragnarok DLC Review 2022

DLC Special | Assassin’s Creed: Valhalla – Dawn of Ragnarök – It was November 2020 when we got to meet Eivor in Assassin’s Creed: Valhalla . This tough Viking already had many adventures during his conquests in England, but could not rest on his laurels afterwards. Thanks to two expansions (‘ Wrath of the Druids ‘ and ‘ The Siege of Paris’) we were able to spend a little longer in the company of our favorite Vikings after the launch of the successful game, but it’s not quite over yet: Ubisoft is now spoiling us with another expansion, and what a one! Dawn of Ragnarök is the most ambitious expansion in the franchise’s history and brings us a ton of new content. So it’s time to discover whether this expansion is worth it.

The lost Son

Assassin’s Creed: Valhalla’s historical accuracy may be questionable, but Ubisoft is resolutely throwing all realism overboard with ‘Dawn of Ragnarök’ and opting for a completely mythological experience. Earlier in the base game we were already presented with a deep dive into Norse mythology and this expansion now takes that a step further. Eivor returns to drugs and travels in his subconscious to the world of the Norse gods where he experiences the dreams of Havi (another name for the supreme god Odin). However, this turns out to be a nightmare: the giant Surtr kidnaps his son Baldr and humiliates Havi in ​​a way you wouldn’t wish on your worst enemy. Of course, Havi can’t let that go unpunished!

Ragnarök

So we’re getting a classic revenge story here, which is a welcome change after all the politicking of the base game and the previous two expansions. The plot of the story is simple: Havi must find allies in Svartalheim, the mythological world of the dwarves, to eventually destroy Surtr. This story lacks the depth of the previous storylines, but this is not necessarily a negative. The story does what it’s supposed to do and that’s just fine. Dawn of Ragnarök, however, lacks well-developed characters, something that Assassin’s Creed: Valhalla did well in earlier. Most of your companions are cardboard plates and emotional moments don’t come as hard because your bond with the characters isn’t strong enough.

The Power of the Gods

Since you go through this adventure as one of the most powerful gods there is, you should of course also get the feeling that you are actually playing as a god. Ubisoft wants to give you that feeling through the ‘Hugr-Rip’; this magical bracelet can absorb powers from enemies around you, which you can then use yourself. There is one power that allows you to walk through lava, one that turns you into a raven, and so on. In total there are five powers to collect and you can in turn upgrade them with two upgrades per power. These are surprisingly fun and also an innovative feature for the franchise. Assassinations from bird form: check! Assassinations via a teleporting bowshot: also check! Epic battles in the middle of a lava pool: check for sure!

Ragnarök

It’s been a long time since we’ve been able to experiment with new features in an Assassin’s Creed game and Dawn of Ragnarök deserves credit for this! Unfortunately, you cannot use these divine superpowers continuously, because to activate them you must first replenish your ‘Hugr meter’. You can do this by taking out enemies, but also by looking for a kind of flowers that can be found in many in the world or by praying at special altars. You also use these powers to solve puzzles, so there is also some innovation in the gameplay. However, you can only actively use two powers at any one time, so if you just happen to need that one power, you’ll need to find an enemy with that specific power first so you can absorb it. This can sometimes irritate

A new(?) world

As befits an Assassin’s Creed game, here too you get a new expanded world with a lot of activities to discover. And Svartalheim is certainly extensive: you can easily spend about 20 to 30 hours enjoying everything this mythical place has to offer. The environments themselves are again very beautiful to look at: vast plains, gigantic statues, floating monoliths in the distance and imposing fortresses on high rocks await you. As enchanting as the world may be, a strange nagging feeling popped up in the back of our minds. The feeling that we’ve seen this world before, despite a mythological lick of paint. Déjà vu, even though Ubisoft would have us believe that this expansion really does consist of brand new content.

Ragnarök

What we’re trying to say is that Dawn of Ragnarök is really just more of ‘Assassin’s Creed: Valhalla’. Let’s take a closer look at the various activities: Viking raids and world events were already known and are here again. The ‘Jotun Blight’ activities, where you have to free a room from evil magic, are just the cursed symbols from the base game, but with a different name. You can also collect paper rolls with hero stories or cosmetic adjustments, but this was also already in the base game under a different name. And yes, the aforementioned Hugr-Rip powers that you have to apply to puzzles are fun, but in the end you have to use them every time to get into locked buildings or to find keys for chests.

Conclusion

Assassin’s Creed: Valhalla – Dawn of Ragnarök is the most comprehensive expansion an Assassin’s Creed game has ever had. The mythological setting lets go of all realism and throws you into the battle of the god Havi who seeks revenge on the giant Surtr. The story is okay, but characters lack depth, making it a lot less memorable than previous stories in the franchise. The nicest addition is the Hugr-Rip, a divine bracelet that gives you all kinds of fun powers to experiment with. Still, we can’t get around the fact that Dawn of Ragnarök is really just more of the same. This isn’t bad per se, but if you’re already tired of the gameplay loop of the base game, Dawn of Ragnarök is probably not for you. However, if you just want to spend a little longer in the world of Assassin’s Creed: Valhalla,

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