Assassin’s Creed Dawn Of Ragnarok DLC Review: Good, But Clunky
Ubisoft hasn’t finished updating and expanding Assassin’s Creed Valhalla. The latest and largest expansion, Dawn of Ragnarokout today on all major platforms. And unlike previous DLC packs, Ragnarok completely focused on the more fantasy elements of the game. It tells a new story about Odin, Loki, and all the other Norse gods and monsters previously featured in the main game’s side-adventure. While this new expansion feels like a brand new game at times, it also feels clunky and creaky. It’s like the base game is coming apart at the seams as Ubisoft cram another huge world and DLC into it.
This basic setup is that you play as Odin, who is also Eivor, the main character from Valhalla. (No, sorry, I won’t explain it here. Go read this instead. Perhaps this will help to understand all this.) Odin is looking for his son Balder, kidnapped by Surtur, the leader of the fire demons. Surtur, his children, and his army of magma warriors have invaded Svartalfar, home of the Dwarves. After failing to save Baldr at the start of the expansion, Odin teams up with the remaining Dwarves to help them free their world from the demon army, kill Surtur, and save Baldr.
I’ll be honest with you all (unlike the way I usually lie to you all on most of my blogs), I wasn’t thrilled with this new extension. Already after completion of Valhalla’s main campaign most of the side content, and two previous DLC expansions idea to go back to Viking piercing simulator which Valhalla seemed like a scary future. But Kotaku a citizen Assassin’s Creed expert, I knew I had no choice. Damn being a video game blogger.
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At first, I wanted to rip my hands off and tell my editors that I can’t play this DLC. Ragnarok starts with boring walking, talking, walking, and talking. In the end, I just ran ahead, past the slow dwarf NPCs and other Viking gods, because I was so bored! Not a very good first impression. But behind that dreary and terrifying introduction, the game opens into a massive fantasy-themed adventure featuring gnomes, frost giants, lava warriors, and new magical powers.
If you played Assassin’s Creed Valhallayou will be familiar with Ragnarok. You run, sneak to different places, hit people, climb towers and use various skills to fight enemies using axes, swords, and shields. A big new addition to Ragnarok is the ability to absorb various magical powers from dead enemies and use those powers to solve puzzles, explore the world more easily, or takedown villains more effectively.
For example, you can find a power that will allow you to turn into a crow and fly a little, which will allow you to reach hard-to-reach places without having to climb. More useful power is that you disguise yourself as a lava-covered demon warrior, allowing both of you to slip into their camps undetected, while also allowing you to walk through the lava without taking damage. (This is very useful as lava pools and rivers dot the large new open-world found in Ragnarok.)
You can only have a select few of these abilities saved at the same time, so if you need a new power, you will need to find an enemy with it and take it again. It’s a little annoying, but luckily the game provides you with plenty of tough enemies to kill. You will always have multiple powers within striking distance.
The point is that although this new addition has a beautiful and fantastic world and new magical powers, it is still Assassin’s Creed Valhalla. The expansion’s storyline and even the side quests don’t really unlock much. Similarly, the gameplay feels a bit old and tired. I also ran into a lot of tiny issues with Eivor getting stuck on terrain, enemies not moving correctly, and abilities not seemingly working properly. The whole experience feels tense and yet barely contained. I swear, if Ubisoft adds another sword or mount to this game, it could turn into a digital mess of code and scattered quests.
If you haven’t played any Assassin’s Creed Valhalla…well, I would still recommend playing the base game first. Then maybe it’s an extension later. Dive into this expansion first, without the core context of the original game, seems doable, but I wouldn’t recommend it. And if you are someone who, like me, has spent over 150 hours in Valhallathen look for your feelings. If the idea of playing more seems terrible or tiresome, trust your intuition. You are not paid for this.