Assassin’s Creed Valhalla: Dawn of Ragnarök

Preview: Assassin’s Creed Valhalla: Dawn of Ragnarok

Ubisoft’s Assassin’s Creed Valhalla is getting a second year of new content and along with it, new worlds to explore as Odin, the Norse God of Thunder. With the next set of content getting ready to launch in just under a month now, we’re taking a deep dive into what to expect when Dawn of Ragnarök arrives on March 10, 2022.

If you’re a player and fan of the series who enjoys the more fantastical elements of the lore including new realms and mystical giants, then you’re going to feel right at home. What the new expansion immediately reminds me of is Odyssey’s Fate of Atlantis expansion that saw Kassandra head to the ill-fated world of the Atlanteans.

In this case, Eivor once again experiences visions when they were known as Havi (or Odin if you desire). In this chapter, we play as Odin as we explore the new mystical real of Juthenheim, home of the frost giants. You will also head to the Svartalfheim region to find and rescue your son Baldr but the home of the Dwarves is rife with danger and it’s clear you’re not welcome there.

To compare the Dawn of Ragnarök to any previous expansion, watching a gameplay preview reminds me of the alt-history content Assassin’s Creed 3’s Tyranny of King Washington DLC offered. For fans of the series, this was the first time the brand went for something that wasn’t explicitly tied to the main story and instead offered a what-if scenario of what George Washington saw under the possession of the Apple of Eden.

51871355460 be1782283a h

Dawn of Ragnarök dials up the mysticism to new levels and we’ve got some new details regarding the new mechanics players will experience next month.

  • Divine Quality upgrade on all equipment and rune slots
  • Valkyrie Arena – New mode
  • Sinmara (his wife) and Glod, the half-Muspel and half-Jotun (son of Surtr) will be seen in the game
  • New upgradable abilities, including Shapeshifting and Hugr-Rip.
  • New weapon: The Atgr (a long axe-styled spear)
  • Rebirth power gives you the possibility to raise a fallen enemy to fight by your side.
  • Considered as endgame content requiring a power level of 340

Ubisoft Sofia has been hard at work with the story expansion and from the looks of it, Svartalfheim is looking massive, keeping players busy with another 35-40 hours of content. What I’m looking forward to is the Hugr-Rip, a new bracer gifted to Odin. With its power, Odin acquires the power of his enemies and transforms the series’ pillars of stealth and combat with a familiar twist. At one point, Connor was able to use the power of his ancestors against the incoming Yankee insurrection to stop King Washington. Those powers have been given another chance to showcase themselves under the guide of Odin with some pretty impressive results.

51870706896 3cc80e94c2 h

The Hugr-Rip allows Odin to transform into a white and gold raven and traverse the map. The powers of each realm also offer additional coverage and protection — the power of the Muspelheim protects you from fire and you’ll master ice to overcome the realm. Similarly, the power of Jotunheim gives Odin the power to not only teleport around the map but also control downed foes and use them in battle as support.

Speaking to a group of journalists attending a preview, Ubisoft says that these new powers not only make the gameplay more exciting but also a lot of freedom to tackle the new locations and challenges you’ll face.

This wouldn’t be a new expansion without new weapons and armour sets to find and upgrade. Dwarves are known for their prowess with a blacksmithing hammer and you’ll work with them to unlock and upgrade armour.

It’s clear that you’re not meant to play as any mere mortal — while previous visits to the mystical realms have only teased the true power of Odin, Dawn of Ragnarök seems to give you the biggest taste of true power yet. Between the ability to shapeshift, resurrect fallen foes, and fight fire with ice, this is easily the most fantastical expansion the franchise has offered fans.

While I wasn’t the biggest fan of the Siege of Paris but enjoyed Wrath of the Druids, I’m optimistic that year two of Assassin’s Creed Valhalla will be exciting. For starters, Valhalla feels like the amalgamation of the older games like Assassin’s Creed 2 or Black Flag more so than Odyssey or Origins have.

Particularly, the new abilities invite players to be more offensive and tackle problems with your new abilities. Whether you teleport to an enemy or sent out a controlled minion, freedom is seemingly the new status-quo for the Assassin’s Creed franchise. And that’s all before even mentioning the new weapon class Atgeir, a two-handed axe that will surely cause some pain for your enemies.

Another thing that caught my attention and something I can’t wait to really dig into is the new Valkyrie Trials, wave-based battles against strong opponents that want to send you to Valhalla earlier than intended. The idea behind these trials is they serve as a hands-on retelling of Odin’s greatest moments in a battle where familiar faces may make an appearance. To really make things exciting, the developers have added challenge modifiers known as Boasts to make the battles even more interesting in risk vs reward situation that pays out for those brave enough to come out on top.

Assassin’s Creed Valhalla: Dawn of Ragnarök is out on PlayStation, Xbox, and PC on March 10, 2022.