Game Review: Assassin’s Creed: Valhalla – The Siege of Paris (DLC)

Release date: 2021
Version played: Xbox Series X in 2021

The second planned downloadable content from the season pass of Assassin’s Creed: Valhalla, The Siege of Paris was released in 2021. As more new arrivals find themselves celebrating in Ravesthorpe, Eivor is summoned to France to aid in the impending war with King Charles the Fat. While the new king rises and engages the Toka- and Pierre-led Norse in open battle, and crows gather again over the city of Paris, the near fortress once sieged by Ragnar Lodbrok for a fortune of silver and sorrow.

+ the only redeeming factor are the new, sandbox-style hub assassinations dubbed ‘Infiltrations’. You can eavesdrop drunken guards to find a password, or steal a key from a patrolling monk to gain a backdoor to find your target. Though I admit most of my attempts went from faux stealth to blunt-force bloodbaths very quickly, these were the highlights of the game and it’s a shame there is no way to replay them. Some semi-randomized variants put into the main game’s Reda missions would be hugely appreciated
+ as always, there are some new armour sets and weapons to have fun with. The new weapon type, two-handed Scythes, have quickly become a favourite of mine and replaced the two-handed axe, at least for now. Like last time, however, there was no real impetus to change out my fully upgraded armour set for something new
+ I appreciate the attempt at new abilities (including one that rips off A Plague Tail: Innocence‘s major gimmick, however far less effectively) but there is just no reason to deviate from what works

– it is frankly ridiculous that I am making this point for a third time, but there is so much wonky geometry, such as holes you fall through the world into or that launch you miles into the sky, and glitching assets — be they hairstyles now appearing, mugs of mead floating in thin air or flickering in and out of reality, that if you told me there was no beta testing on this at all I’d believe you outright
– the story is boring, and takes so many cues not just from previous Assassin’s Creed stories, but the most recently released DLC pack. If the game as a whole feels like an asset swapped mod, then this story was just crossing out the names from The Wrath of the Druids and adding in some French monikers instead
– the new side missions, “Rebel Missions” are boring, repetitive slogs that gain you almost nothing once you grind out a new armour set. Maybe I missed the appeal, but I can already solo a dozen heavy grunts, and doing it nearly 50 times didn’t appeal to me once
– this may be a petty complaint, but there didn’t seem to be enough fast travel points near key areas. I don’t mean we should be able to teleport to exactly where the story mission starts, but traveling the same road a half dozen times just because the closet synchronisation point was five minutes away does not make for a fun game

> at least there was a thicc redhead to save the previous DLC pack; this one had nothing of the sort

Should you play this game: No. There was nothing at all on offer here that was any different from the main game, and worse still, nothing wacky like the werewolves in The Wrath of the Druids. Unless an unannounced and free DLC packs takes us to Helheim and beyond, then this game and the DLC from the season pass have been a huge disappointment.

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