Leading up to the launch of Assassin’s Creed: Valhalla – Dawn of Ragnarok, I cannot help but wonder how much juice Ubisoft can still squeeze out of the game. Valhalla launched back in 2020, it has had two DLC packs released, loads of seasonal event drops and free content. It is the biggest Assassin’s Creed game ever and is about to get even bigger with Dawn of Ragnarok.
One thing that Ubisoft has going for Dawn of Ragnarok is its fantasy theme. Because let’s be honest, how much more raiding and real-world activities can they put us through. Dawn of Ragnarok isn’t trying to be a new Assassin’s Creed game but at the same time its new world, abilities and creatures might just be enough to make this expansion feel unfamiliar.
In Dawn of Ragnarok, you take the role of Odin on a quest to save his son Baldur who has been kidnapped by the immortal fire giant, Surtr. This leads Odin to the dwarven kingdom of Svartálfaheimr which is one of the Isu Nine Realms. Given that Svartálfaheimr is a Dwarven realm, you can expect to see a fair share of mines, fiery volcanoes and a lot of blacksmiths. Svartálfaheimr also has that checklist of cliche fantasy elements nailed down like sprawling forests, floating rocks, giant trees and frozen hills.
While Odin explores all of these wonderful-looking locations, he also meets unusual characters to stir up a conversation with. Some conversations will lead to new quests and others to interesting backstories on the region.
Ubisoft has also made exploration a lot more enjoyable than just galloping around on a mount. Odin can now kill one of the many Ravens scattered around the world and turn their spirit power into a flight ability for him to use. This spirit power, also called the Power of Muspelheim lets him transform into a Raven and take to the skies. Here, he can navigate around to scan for new places to explore and loot to find but he can also dive from the skies and assassinate a poor fellow on the ground below.
These spirit powers aren’t unlimited which means you will need to land sooner or later before the timer runs out. Each time you use a Power of Muspelheim, it consumes a bar of energy that also needs to be regained over time. Odin can also only carry two types of Power of Muspelheim at a time which means you’ll need to decide which two you’ll need for each situation. You can easily find a new one and replace it with the one you’re not using as they are easy to come by in the world.
Another Power of Muspelheim is called Social Stealth. This can be consumed from select fallen enemies and once used, transforms Odin into a fiery being with cool lava all over his coat. Because he looks like a ball of fire, he can then walk past certain flame enemies without being detected. This is great for infiltrating strongholds. These powers are also upgradable thanks to how they are implemented into combat and exploration. For example, Odin can use the Power of the Raven to fly around and upgrade it to assassinate enemies from above.
There are also other abilities that let him imbue his weapons with certain elements such as fire and frost. This comes in handy during combat and also provides quite a nice visual flair to his attacks. He can burn enemies and even freeze them resulting in an opportunity to shatter them with enough damage. Odin can also use the Power of Rebirth to bring the dead enemies around him back to life and force them to fight for him in combat. All while using his new weapon type added into this expansion – the polearm.
These few changes are the only ones I know about right now but I have been told there’s a lot more to it. Ability upgrades will also play a significant role in enhancing these powers in and out of combat. Odin is a god after all so it makes sense he can do godly things and this is what is drawing me to Dawn of Ragnarok more than anything else.
Don’t get me wrong, I loved Valhalla but I wanted more fantasy. Given the game’s Norse theme, this expansion pack might finally deliver on that need. It seems to be on par with Origin’s Curse of the Pharaohs DLC and that is enough for me. Will it deliver more exciting questlines than the past Valhalla DLC packs? I have my doubts but at least the combat and world will feel new.
Assassin’s Creed: Valhalla – Dawn of Ragnarok is set to launch on 10 March for PS4, PS5, Xbox One, Xbox Series X/S and PC. Catch up on the latest trailer below.