Assassin’s Creed games are interesting: you either love them or you hate them. As somebody who stepped from the Assassin’s Creed wagon after Black Flag, going back to the franchise is both intriguing, notable and disappointing. In the span of nine years since Black Flag, dramatic changes happen to be designed to Assassin’s Creed: Valhalla just like a focus on RPG characteristics. Changes aside, Assassin’s Creed: Valhalla Dawn of Ragnarok, the newest expansion towards the newest game, holds many of the same frustrating Assassin’s Creed DNA that weakened its previous entries.
Since this is a review of Assassin’s Creed: Valhalla Dawn of Ragnarok, I will avoid commenting around the core of Valhalla and instead focus solely on Dawn of Ragnarok. I won’t be discussing core gameplay because it plays exactly like Valhalla. If you liked how Assassin’s Creed: Valhalla played, you'll enjoy Dawn of Ragnarok. I will be addressing ongoing issues inside the majority of Assassin’s Creed games since those issues will also be prevalent in Dawn of Ragnarok. There's also minimal spoilers throughout, but particularly in Personal Ragnarok (The storyline and Setting), so be warned. After discussing the story, setting, quests, collectibles, mythology, and Powers of Dawn of Ragnarok, you’ll know for yourself if this is one to skip or pick up.
Personal Ragnarok (The Story and Setting)
The story of Assassin’s Creed: Valhalla Dawn of Ragnarok is a that starts immediately, that is good if you’re up to date, but confusing should you aren’t. For those who have never played the main Assassin’s Creed: Valhalla game, you won’t know the context that most of Dawn of Ragnarok is based upon. Also, Dawn of Ragnarok will not make any effort to catch beginners up to date through cutscene or dialogue options, that is a bold move considering the innovative hoops it jumps through to ensure every degree of player can dig directly into the development. The game’s story still works, just know that you’ll have no idea why Loki is imprisoned or why your company name is Havi.
For better or worse, Dawn of Ragnarok uses the Norse Mythological event of Ragnarok as a backdrop towards the personal Ragnarok that takes place in the center of Havi throughout the story. In both setting and story, Ragnarok feels more like an advertising and marketing lure accustomed to attract the present Norse Mythology moment instead of accurately capturing the story from the game. Either way, the adventure that Havi experiences is really a dark one that feels a bit too familiar.
From start to finish, both story and setting of Dawn of Ragnarok feel a little too familiar. With so many popular and successful Norse Mythology games released recently, Dawn of Ragnarok needed to bring something new in terms of story and environment for it to be enticing. Unfortunately, it doesn’t. The story and also the setting of Dawn of Ragnarok happen to be done, and been done better, in games like God of War, Valheim, Hellblade: Senua’s Sacrifice, Tribes of Midgard, and many more. It feels like I've played the same story with the same setting and the same characters a half dozen times previously few years, and Dawn of Ragnarok adds not new or worthwhile towards the formula.
Two Steps Forward, Two Steps Back (The Mythology, Quest Quantity, Quest Quality, and also the Collectibles)
Assassin’s Creed: Valhalla Dawn of Ragnarok seems like it takes two solid steps forward and 2 significant steps back, which makes it difficult to know if the brand new expansion positively expands the series.
The mythical realm of Svartalfheim is an exciting world for Assassin’s Creed to understand more about. Although Svartalfheim and Norse Mythology is myth and The Animus should really replay historical events, I’m willing to go beyond it for more fictional worlds coming to Assassin’s Creed’s future. My ultimate wish is for a futuristic, sci-fi world with space ships and moon bases. But, Svartalfheim is a great initial step.
Another part of the best direction may be the streamlined quests in Dawn of Ragnarok. The expansion isn’t that big, featuring no more than ten main missions without any side quests. It had been refreshing to have completed every mission when I had finished the campaign. Side quests aren’t always a bad thing in games, however in the world of Assassin’s Creed, they notoriously have been. Cutting the quantity of quests to focus on quality is what Assassin’s Creed needs (although the quest quality is still questionable).
One from the big steps back that Assassin’s Creed still faces may be the quality of the quests. Time and time again, Assassin’s Creed sticks using its linear, antiquated quest designs. There are seventeen plus Assassin’s Creed games and quests in which you consume a character around continue to be a thing. And it’s not only that, Dawn of Ragnarok continues exactly the same quest pattern from previous AC games of go here, kill these people, examine these clues, fight in charge, and repeat. These games are slowly morphing right into a third-person open-world form of the yearly Cod carbon copy releases, that is an unnecessary shame. Taking a page out of how Ghost of Tsushima, Horizon Forbidden West, Red Dead Redemption, or even Uncharted handles its story and quests would do wonders for that Assassin’s Creed formula.
The last step backward worth mentioning is Assassin’s Creed’s incessant use of collectibles. Much like side quest, collectibles in video games aren’t inherently bad, it is the way they are used that can make or break them. Consider Red Dead Redemption 2. The collectibles for the reason that game are expertly divided into categories, each using its own unique story and reward. Players can collect Dinosaur Bones, hunt for Legendary Animals, find Treasure Maps and so much more, all of which feel varied, exciting, and also the exact opposite of filler. On the other hand, Assassin’s Creed Valhalla: Dawn of Ragnarok falls prey to old Assassin’s Creed habits of creating each collectible feel indistinguishable and inconsequential. Hiding special armor and upgrades in with the pile of other collectibles never has but still doesn’t feel great.
Some Powers are Powerless (The Powers)
A new addition to Assassin’s Creed: Valhalla Dawn of Ragnarok is Powers. Early on in the game, you will receive the Hugr-Rip from the dwarves which lets you steal the powers from your fallen foes. You will find five Powers as a whole and, with no upgrade available, you can only carry two at any given time. A few of the Powers include transforming to some Raven, frost attacks, and taking advantage of the enemies you defeat to battle for you. Adding Powers creates fun, new methods to fight and traverse the world, however, many are clearly better than others.
Though each Power is fairly situation, the strength of Muspelheim, which provides you the capability to blend in with the Muspel Giants and walk on lava and fire, can be used in the most of open-world puzzles, quests, and boss fights. Another Power that is extra useful may be the Power the Raven. Transforming right into a Raven to ascend huge mountains in which the High Points are is essential and makes traversing the world considerably faster. The other three Powers are still useful and fun, however the story and also the open-world don’t need you to rely on them as much causing them to be less important.
Assassin’s Creed: Valhalla Dawn of Ragnarok is an expansion that oozes potential. Though familiar and sometimes senseless, the story of Dawn of Ragnarok is enjoyable and also the setting of Svartalfheim, while oftentimes one note, is gorgeous. The dreadful Assassin’s Creed pattern of dull, linear quests and unfulfilling collectibles persists in Dawn of Ragnarok, but new additions such as the Powers spice up how you accomplish said tasks. Assassin’s Creed: Valhalla Dawn of Ragnarok, for which it's and just what it could’ve been, continues to be an enjoyable expansion. Using the recent influx of incredible games paired with the ample amount of innovative Norse Mythology games released recently, Assassin’s Creed: Valhalla Dawn of Ragnarok serves as little more than a well-recognized midnight snack for those searching for something to nibble on among better games.
Assassin’s Creed: Valhalla Dawn of Ragnarok is available now on the Xbox One, Xbox Series X/S, PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, Google Stadia, and PC.