In Norse mythology, the end of the world culminates in a battle between the Gods and demons known as Ragnarök. Fire and flood overwhelm the heavens and earth as the fate of the Gods concludes with their death. It is a famous prophecy, one told in the poem Völuspá. Odin is slain by Fenrir, the giant wolf and child of Loki. Thor defeats the world serpent Jörmungandr, but dies from the venom coursing through his veins. Freyr, the God of fertility and harvest, is killed by a fire giant known as Surtr, and it is this Jötunn that serves as the main antagonist of Assassin’s Creed Valhalla: Dawn of Ragnarök.
The sheer wealth of source material Ubisoft has at their disposal is liberating. They have already featured Norse mythology heavily in AC Valhalla, but this expansion is much larger than anything that has come before. Eivor takes on the role of Havi, more commonly known as Odin. Your son has been captured by the fire giant Surtr, and it is up to you to traverse Svartalfheim, realm of the dwarves to find him. It’s an ambitious expansion, but by far one of the best Ubisoft has released so far. While there’re still the same sort of side stuff to do and find, the combat has improved drastically with the inclusion of Divine Powers.
Assassin’s Creed Valhalla: Dawn of Ragnarök: Special new abilities
These new powers all you to embrace the Hugr-Rip. It’s a new piece of kit that feeds of fallen foes and fills up a new gauge. Once the gauge is filled, a range of new abilities can be used. These new abilities range from shape shifting into a raven; rising fallen enemies to fight by your side; teleport to specific areas; embody the identity of the Muspels and walk across lava; and freeze foes, breaking them into tiny pieces. Holding R2/RT will bring up the Hugr, then pressing left or right uses up the powers you’ve equipped. You still have access to powers assigned to the trigger buttons. It just means you’ve got even more abilities at your disposal.
Playing around with them and working out your favourites is only part of the fun. Instead of raiding monasteries, there’re Mylnas (or mills) scattered around Svartalfheim. In these Mylnas is Silica, a new kind of material that helps to upgrade your Hugr-Rip. There are tons of other materials, too, and by collecting them you’ll add further improvements to your Divine Powers. An unreachable area can be visited as a raven. A doorway surrounded by lava can be walked across when embodying the Muspels. You get to use them all throughout Assassin’s Creed Valhalla: Dawn of Ragnarök.
A brave new world
On top of the awesome new abilities, the realm of Svartalfheim feels unlike anything before. The dull and dank towns of England pale in comparison to the wanders of the dwarven world. Huge monoliths float in the sky. Statues of the great dwarven ruler Motsognir stand tall throughout the land. Incredible feats of dwarven architecture made from gold, and lush forests fill up Svartalfheim. There’re also dangerous strongholds and snow-capped mountains that threaten Havi’s journey as well. It’s a dense and wonderous realm that make you realise previous locations in the game don’t even compare.
Dwarves play a huge roll in Assassin’s Creed Valhalla: Dawn of Ragnarök. Not just because you reside in their home, but the stories they tell and how they’re entwined with the tale of Odin. You work alongside the dwarves and become their friends. Find solace in their shelters and upgrade your weapons at their blacksmiths. There’re new tattoo designs, weapons, armour, and so much more. Befriending these new allies is not just about progressing the story. They’ll provide you with some great gear and items if you take the time to immerse yourself in their home.
Assassin’s Creed Valhalla: Dawn of Ragnarök: A battle to end all battles
Some of the hardest battles I’ve ever fought in Assassin’s Creed Valhalla take place in the Dawn of Ragnarök expansion. New enemies like the Muspels are fire-based monstrosities. There’re also the Jotnars who wield ice to their advantage. Then there’re the boss fights. One of which proved so difficult, but thanks to the range of Divine Powers I was able to defeat her. These enemies are challenging, but I was grateful for it. It made the stakes feel high. It made the journey to save Baldr worth it.
Assassin’s Creed Valhalla: Dawn of Ragnarök is packed with content. From the new abilities to the engaging story, this expansion is the best yet. Delving into Norse mythology and getting to live among the Gods and explore the dwarven realm of Svartalfheim was a dream come true. At times it feels like more of the same, but with such an interesting environment and new enemies to fight, I thoroughly enjoyed my time with it. Ubisoft continue to build upon the foundations of Valhalla with yet another great expansion.
Divine Powers are excellent
Svartalfheim is gorgeous
A great take on Norse mythology
Familiar side content