If you’ve exhausted every last bit of content in the not-so-measly expanses of the world of Assassin’s Creed Valhalla and are still hungry for more, there’s plenty of new stuff coming your way soon. A huge new expansion is out soon with Dawn of Ragnarok, which will be Valhalla’s third and biggest expansion yet, and clearly, Ubisoft is swinging for the fences with this one. Ahead of its imminent launch, here, we’re going to take a look at a few key details you should know about it.
Set in the mythical dwarven Norse realm of Svartalfheim, the expansion will continue the Odin half of Valhalla’s story. As Eivor steps back into the shoes of Odin, players will be tasked with finding and rescuing his kidnapped son, Baldr, from the dwarven realm. Valhalla’s base game progressed the larger Assassin’s Creed story forward in some major ways, and the Odin storyline contributed to that significantly, so we’re curious to see what events will unfold in Dawn of Ragnarok.
As you’d expect from an expansion of this size, Dawn of Ragnarok isn’t just going to have new locations and a new story- it’s also bringing new gameplay mechanics. One of this is the Hugr-Rip, a new mythical bracer worn by Odin that players will be able to use to acquire powers (on a temporary basis) from fallen foes. At a time, players will be able to have two of these powers on them, which means if you pick up a third, one of your existing two gets replaced. Meanwhile, as opposed to abilities in Valhalla’s base game, which used adrenaline, these new abilities in Dawn of Ragnarok will instead remain active for as long as your Hugr meter remains filled up. Ubisoft says these new powers are going to “open new doors to gameplay and strategy”, which should be interesting to experience.
So what exactly are these new powers that players will be able to steal from foes and use for themselves? In total, Dawn of Ragnarok is bringing five new powers for players to use, and they sound quite interesting. Power of the Raven will allow you to transform into a raven, Power of Muspelheim will transform your skin into magma and allow you to walk over lava (which there will be plenty of in the expansion), Power of Winter will infuse your weapons with ice to deal more effective attacks against fire-based enemies, Power of Jotunheim will allow you to transport across short and long distances, and finally, Power of Rebirth will let you resurrect dead enemies and have them fight by your side. Collectively, one would imagine these new abilities will shake things up for stealth, combat, and exploration in some interesting ways.
Of course, new Assassin’s Creed content also means new weapons and gear- and in Dawn of Ragnarok, those new weapons will take the form of a new type. Called Viking atgeir, these new weapons are long-bladed polearms. Ubisoft hasn’t gone into too much detail about what to expect from these or how many different varieties of this new weapon type can be found in the game, but the developer does say that these polearms will allow players to use “a mix of light and heavy attacks to deal some serious damage.”
Meanwhile, players will have access to new gear to pair with their new weapons and abilities as well, though again, we don’t have an awful lot of granular info on this front yet. We do know that new mythical gear can be obtained in the expansion, coming with their own unique perks and attributes. Ubisoft says that while Odin’s new powers are, of course, exclusive to Dawn of Ragnarok, this new gear can be used with Eivor in Valhalla’s base game as well.
Vakyrie Trials are looking like one of Dawn of Ragnarok’s most intriguing new additions. On paper, these are just combat arenas where players will take on waves of enemies, but the game frames them as retellings of Odin’s past victories, which means you might encounter foes and bosses you’ve already previously fought in the story. What’s more, in keeping with the theme of retellings, before each trial, you’ll also be able to select up to 14 Boasts, which are essentially combat modifiers to make the trials more challenging or interesting in various ways. Selecting Boasts will make each trial harder, but as you’d expect, that will also lead to better rewards.
NEW ENEMY TYPES
Of course, with Odin traveling to new realms and having new abilities to use in combat, you’re also going to be facing off against new enemy types. The highlight on this front is the Muspels, who’re the lava and fire-infused new enemies that we mentioned earlier, and will be found in abundance in the expansion. Interestingly enough, one of the Muspel enemy types, called Firekeepers, will also have the ability to resurrect low level enemies during combat and have them fight by their side, similar to Odin’s Power of Rebirth, which should make fights against them quite interesting.
Stealth has been heavily de-emphasized in recent installments, much to the dismay of many series fans, but Dawn of Ragnarok is going some interesting things in this area. Two of Odin’s new abilities – Power of the Raven and Power of Muspelheim – allow him to shapeshift and transform, with the former allowing you to become a raven and the latter turning your skin into magma, like the new Muspel enemy types. As a raven, more stealth options are added in obvious ways, while with the Power of Muspelheim, you can use the fact that you look like Muspels to your advantage and walk right into enemy camps without raising any alarms. Social stealth came back in a big way in Valhalla’s previous expansion, The Siege of Paris, so we’re excited to see how this will be implemented in Dawn of Ragnarok.
A large section of the Assassin’s Creed fanbase has grown progressively disgruntled with the series for how bloated and overly long its recent instalments have been, but Dawn of Ragnarok, as an expansion, is going to feel like a much more balanced experience on this front. With over 35 hours of new content on offer, it’s certainly going to be longer than any of Valhalla’s previous expansions by a significant margin, but thankfully not as long as Assassin’s Creed experiences tend to be these days.
When Assassin’s Creed Valhalla’s season pass was announced before its launch in 2020, Ubisoft confirmed that it would include two expansions, both of which came out last year. Dawn of Ragnarok, unsurprisingly, isn’t part of that expansion pass, and will have to be purchased separately. It’s not going to cost as much as a full-fledged new game, of course, but it’s also a pretty meaty experience, which is going to be reflected in its $40 price tag.
You’re not going to require an awful lot of free storage space to install Dawn of Ragnarok, especially given how big the expansion is going to be. Its size is going to be roughly 15 GB- or that’s what it’s supposed to be on the PS5 at least. There will probably be some variation in its size across all the platforms it will be available now, though the number should still fall roughly in that same ballpark.
Assassin’s Creed games tend to be huge productions, with studios from around the world contributing to each new one’s development, but Montreal and Quebec usually take the lead on mainline games in the series. Assassin’s Creed Valhalla itself had Montreal attached as its lead developer, but Dawn of Ragnarok, interestingly enough, is being led by Sofia, which is the studio that developed Assassin’s Creed 3: Liberation and Assassin’s Creed Rogue.