The most recent Assassin’s Creed, released at the end of the year 2020, is a huge game that can keep us busy for more than a hundred hours. Not satisfied with that, Ubisoft has not stopped releasing content and events that further extend the time we spend immersed in this Viking adventure. Only in 2021 new game modes and DLCs arrived The Wrath of the Druids and The Siege of Paris. But things did not stop there. this is the expansion The dawn of Ragnaroka new mythological adventure that increases the duration of Assassin’s Creed Valhalla another twenty hours.
The truth is that, despite its clear ties to Valhalla, The dawn of Ragnarok could be a whole set of Assassin’s Creed in its own right thanks to its durability and new elements. We already know we won’t be getting a new installment of the franchise in 2022, can this expansion keep fans satisfied in the meantime?
Let’s find out.
Where are the dwarfs?
As you probably already know, the main game of Valhalla It has a long chain of side quests that take us to the world of Norse mythology. Controlling Havi, the god better known as Odin, we explore the fantasy worlds of Asgard and Jotunheim to uncover a major Eivor-related surprise. This new expansion is the continuation of that series of missions.
Some time after returning from Jotunheim with the secret of immortality, Havi sets out to rescue her son Balder who is kidnapped by Surt (Surtur), the king of Muspelheim. This adventure takes you to Svartálfaheim
Although it doesn’t compare to the gigantic map of England that we traverse in the main game, Svartálfaheim is still huge. It is striking at first glance thanks to its golden mountains, huge statues of ancient dwarf kings, and the roots of the Yggdrasil tree on its horizon. If we dedicate ourselves only to the main missions, we can see the end of this story between 10 and 12 hours. The plethora of new artifacts, treasures, and optional events it hides can double that time for completionists. Among the new activities is the search for the dwarves’ shelters, which are not marked on the map and we must locate them by following clues in the environment.
¡Lady you hugr!
But the biggest difference between Assassin’s Creed Valhalla and the expansion The dawn of Ragnarok it is not in its mapping, but in a new game mechanic. Shortly after starting, a couple of dwarves present Havi with a tool called the Rasgahugr. With it we can “absorb the essence” of an enemy to transform ourselves into his species. Thanks to this we can walk on lava like the muspel, teleport like the Jotun, fly, freeze and even revive the dead to fight by our side.
Sounds good, but Rasgahugr has big limitations. For starters, we can only carry two powers at a time—three if we get certain upgrades—and we can’t easily replace them. We have to find another source of power to equip it and replace another. Transformations are very short-lived, and their power source—hugr flowers, enemy fights, and roots where we sacrifice health—aren’t always available when we need them most.
This mechanic could alter the gameplay in some very interesting ways, but those limitations don’t allow it to fully exploit its potential.
From Eivor to Odin
Leaving that aside, The dawn of Ragnarok it is played exactly the same as Valhalla, so you inherit both their strengths and flaws. As we said in our main game review, the combat ends up becoming repetitive. There are also not many incentives to change teams and the controls are very loose. Another big problem is that, although he is funny at times, Havi / Odin is not very charismatic and many of his actions are really reprehensible. Since Balder only appears for the first time, we also do not know the relationship between the two characters.
What can encourage us to move forward in history is the vision he has of mythology. Students of Norse legends are sure to enjoy the way this game depicts the figures, settings, and events they have read so much about. It will not necessarily be the same for scholars of the ‘lore’ of Assassin’s Creed, who will spend almost the entire adventure without revealing new secrets about the history of the Isu. Of course, an intriguing surprise awaits them at the end.
The mapping of Svartálfaheim was slightly disappointing. Despite its interesting sights, it feels somewhat empty as we travel between missions. The scenes are very repetitive. Fortunately, the optional events we come across from time to time are quite fun and never take too long. Missions that led us to reunite a Jotun with her dwarf lover or unravel the mystery of a fish that prevents fishermen from approaching a lake made us smile.
Another positive thing we can say about the expansion The dawn of Ragnarok is that the big ‘bugs’ we experience when we play Assassin’s Creed Valhalla for the first time they seem to be a thing of the past. We found a few bugs, like Havi getting up right after dying and a few visual glitches, but nothing that affected gameplay. We also appreciate that the combat zones are designed to make stealth more viable and fun.
Mind you, load times on PS4 are still insufferably long.
the power of a god
The expansion The dawn of Ragnarok is considered “post-game content” of Assassin’s Creed Valhallabut luckily we don’t have to finish the main game to enjoy it. We are given the option to “power up” our character to start the expansion with level 340 and fully upgraded mythic rarity gear.
It is also not necessary to know the end of the story to understand the plot of this DLC.
One Assassin’s Creed full?
We can say yes. Assassin’s Creed Valhalla: Dawn of Ragnarok it’s not as long as the main series games and you have to have the base title to play, but it’s a complete experience. If you enjoyed Eivor’s adventure and want more of the same, this is perfect for you. They will also have a great time if they are fans of Norse mythology, even if they know nothing about the Assassins and Templars saga.
For everyone else, it’s more of the same. Another open world adventure a market that is saturated with them and in which Elden Ring is creating a new paradigm.
Impressions based on a digital copy of Assassin’s Creed Valhalla: Dawn of Ragnarok provided by Ubisoft Latin America.