Assassin’s Creed Valhalla: Dawn of Ragnarok - Review

Assassin’s Creed Valhalla: Dawn of Ragnarok - Review

The third in a row, by far the largest and most ambitious Ubisoft expansion for Assassin’s Creed Valhalla has recently seen the light of day. After two minor expansions, Wrath of Druids and Siege of Paris, Dawn of Ragnarok boasts about 35 hours of storytelling, side quests, raids as well as other side activities.

The new expansion is a continuation of Eivor's previous mythological visions, so we return to the dream world like Odin or as most call it - Xavi. The story takes place in Svartalfheim, the mythological world of dwarves who found themselves under the invasion of ice giants (Jotnara) and fire giants (Muspela) led by Surtra. To save his abducted son Baldr, Xavi finds himself at a disadvantage and must find cleverly hidden shelters to seek the help of the dwarves.

The concept of the narrative line in this expansion is a little different from what we are used to, almost refreshing. So in the beginning the only task is to find shelters, and only then do you discover the rest of the story by solving dwarf problems and discovering the locations of other shelters.

The map itself is not much different from anything seen so far in AC Valhalla. The pattern is the same, and you can find the same elements as before: viewpoints, raids, mysteries, weapons and armor locations, treasure locations, artifacts… If you expect some amazing changes in this regard you will be slightly disappointed. 

Assassin’s Creed Valhalla: Dawn of Ragnarok - Review - PIC1

What is refreshed are Xavi’s skills. From the very beginning, the dwarves give him a special bracelet - Hugr-Rip - with which he can steal the skills of his enemies when he defeats them. Thus, the player has five new skills, of which he can use a maximum of two at a time. Raising fallen enemies back to life, turning into a crow, walking on burning lava, or teleportation? At first, it sounds good.

Although the game in many situations forces you to use Power of Muspelheim to be able to walk on lava, only in one situation did the game make me use Power of the Raven to land in a nest in a tree. Other skills are nowhere near as significant. Although they are useful in certain situations, the game will not make you have to use any of them. Too bad, because in the end, it turns out that in most cases you will use the same power, which quickly becomes boring.

Assassin’s Creed Valhalla: Dawn of Ragnarok - Review - PIC2

As for the enemy, in the world of Svartalfheim you can meet two races: ice giants (jotnare) and fire giants (muspele). We have already met the Jotnars in the first part of Eivor's visions, but the muspels essentially bring absolutely nothing new, unfortunately, they look like reskins of races seen so far. The only kind of enemy that knocks you off your feet are mad crows that from time to time perform some weird attack similar to winged Pokemon.

Unlike ordinary enemies, boss fights seem more interesting and better conceived. The only complaint about boss fights is the weight, it turns out that a certain boss somewhere around the middle of the main story has better elaborate mechanics and is noticeably harder and more complicated to kill than the last boss fight expansion. Strange? It seems almost like Ubisoft has run out of inspiration halfway through the expansion.

Assassin’s Creed Valhalla: Dawn of Ragnarok - Review - PIC3

Simply put, it would be an arena type of struggle in which Xavi relives some of his most significant battles. Before each fight, you can choose a combination of modifications that should make the fight harder, and bring the player more reward points. It also sounds like an interesting twist on the classic fight arena, but… over time it becomes repetitive and tiring, and the rewards you should be fighting for are, to put it mildly, not god knows what.

It cannot be said that Dawn of Ragnarok is not the biggest and most interesting expansion of AC Valhalla so far, which at times takes its breath away with its beautiful landscapes. But it is far from a rounded and innovative expansion that delights with every component. It does bring some interesting innovations, but their potential is poorly developed, and compared to most recycled ideas they simply do not come to the fore.

Verdict
So far, Assassin's Creed Valhalla's biggest and most ambitious expansion has fallen short of expectations. Interesting but underdeveloped ideas and mechanisms have drowned in a sea of previously seen stuff, and a well-told story just lacks a quality balance.
7
  • The mythological story fits perfectly into the story of the main game
  • Svartalfheim looks stunning
  • New Hugr-Rip-related skills
  • The music is still great
  • Lack of major innovations that would raise expansion to a higher level
  • The enemy system is the same as before
  • Lack of inspiration in boss fights towards the end of the expansio
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