On March 10, 2022, Dawn of Ragnarok will be the latest DLC for Assassin’s Creed Valhalla. After about 13 hours of playtime in this magically compelling and orgasmic environment, I am truly saddened to say that the story was lackluster at best.
Now I still have more games to get through, so I am hoping that changes my mind but being that this is supposed to be an end-of-the-world event, I just didn’t get the feeling that hell is about to be unleashed and I must do everything in my power to prevent it.
With that being said, I have to state that the visual aesthetics of this game never let me down. From first loading up the world to the first boss fight to traveling from city to city, the experience was fantastic. The soundtrack helped motivated me and I just was in awe multiple times with the experience.
Now if you loved Assassin’s Creed Valhalla as much as I did, and you have to have more of it, then Dawn of Ragnarok not only brings you back into the fold but also gives little additions to keep you there.
At the start of Dawn of Ragnarok, Eivor receives a vision that is drenched in blood and horror that pushes you as a player to a prompt meeting with the Ravensthorpe’s seer, Valka. With her help, Eivor’s whisked away into a dream state where he embodies Havi, one of the many names of Odin, Lord of Asgard.
The expansion’s story occurs after the Asgardian content in the base game. Luckily if you never partook in that part of the content it is fine and you don’t need to have experienced the storyline to understand what’s going on now.
Dawn of Ragnarok gives new players a lot of consideration. Anyone not up to the power level requirement will get boosted to item level 340 and already have skills, armor, and weapons of the appropriate level when entering the vision, allowing them to jump straight into the action. However, Ubisoft’s consideration for first-timers makes the start of the expansion noticeably mundane for those that have taken to battle in the previous game.
The first few opening sequences feel like a tutorial with narrow paths to help get everyone up to speed on the mechanics. It’s also in these first hours of play that we learn the plot of the expansion. Baldr, the son of Odin and Frigg, has been captured by the Muspel King, Sutr. The fiery giant is right in the middle of conquering the Dwarven realm, so the angered parents travel to Svartalfheim to get their son back.
The storyline does a fantastic job of encouraging new and returning players to explore the land, which is breathtaking in all manners of speaking. The landscape is rich with beauty beyond mere mortal words. From the deep green hillsides to the blue skies with hints of grey and cobalt. Not to mention how the sun filters through the foliage of the forest and you can get to see flicks of color that shine brightly from the light.
The monstrous and magnificent mountains with such detail as if they pulled them from Reddit’s Earth Porn subreddit to use in the game is just as magnificent. And let’s not fail to mention the monumental statues of Dwarven figures from something out of storybooks of old, just begging to be scaled. Enormous fragments of igneous, sedimentary, and metamorphic rocks and liquid hot magma reside all around the realm, and then there are the red branches of the World Tree spread like an eagle’s wings over the horizon. For me as an adventurer and nature lover in the real world, this alone is worth the game’s value.
As I mentioned earlier, the additions to the game that make this more satisfying for me come in a set of magical bracers called Hugr-Rip and the powers it bestows on the wielder. These bracers grant Odin the ability to rip powers from his fallen foes. The powers that it can provide to name a few are the ability to walk on lava, fly or glide through the air for a limited time and even acquire an undead army for a very limited time. Thankfully, if you don’t have the powers it does not change the game in one iota. Now I will say it was easier to fly to certain synchronization points by transforming into a raven, but it is not required to complete anything. These powers just add more to the mythos of the game, that is all.
As I stated earlier I have only played for about 13 hours or so, so I have not completed the game yet. Ubisoft has reported it will take players around 35 hours or more to explore everything in the expansion. From finding new abilities, discovering unexpected side missions, picking up different collectibles, and even winning Valkyrie Kára’s approval in the Arena.
With all the exploration and twists of trying to collect everything, it is easy to see that this DLC has a lot of content shoved into it. Now I have heard that if you don’t want to complete everything and just want to see how Dawn of Ragnarok ends, then you can beat the storyline in about 16 hours or so, but that is not my cup of tea. Plus, you have to get out and explore and enjoy the game for what it is.
Assassin’s Creed Valhalla: Dawn of Ragnarok’s story and mythos has kept my interest to see how it all ends. The captivating and realistic landscape to the action and power stealing capabilities, and the new elements added a creative twist on the base mechanics. I truly believe that this is a fantastic addition to the base story of Assassin’s Creed Vallhala for a small price of $40 for the pre-order on PC, Xbox One, Xbox Series, PS4, and PS5.
This review was written based on a digital review copy of Assassin’s Creed Valhalla: Dawn of Ragnarok for PC provided by Ubisoft.