Assassin’s Creed Valhalla Siege of Paris Review: A Good Time

Assassin’s Creed Valhalla Siege of Paris Review: A Good Time

Viking warrior Eivor is sitting in a church with her hood on.

Screenshot: Ubisoft / Kotaku

Assassin’s Creed Valhalla has always been a huge game, and yet Ubisoft continues to expand it. Its latest DLC, The Siege of Paris, finds Viking assassin Eivor facing off against a mad king, aiding a French rebellion and saving a viking clan whose leader is determined to wage endless war and bloodshed. Needless to say, she is very tired of it all, but I am not tired of Valhalla. This latest DLC breathes new life into the game, even though it suffers from annoying performance issues.

The siege of Paris begins with a few Danes visiting the growing colony of Eivor. They come to bring gifts, build a house and have a big feast. Everything is very beautiful, maybe a little too beautiful. Visiting Vikings say they need help fighting a growing French army led by a dangerous and mad king, Charles the Fat. Though hesitant at first, Eivor realizes that this deadly monarch could pose a threat to his clan in England one day, and agrees to travel to France to help the Vikings and rebels topple the big royal cat. However, once you get there and you start talking to people on both sides of the conflict, it becomes clear that anger, revenge and bloodshed have blinded many in France. Eivor must therefore balance the different actors of the conflict, while trying to save both the innocent people living in Paris and the Vikings looking for a place to live in peace.

Charles the Fat, a mighty king, sits sadly in his chair.

Screenshot: Ubisoft / Kotaku

If that sounds a bit complicated, it is, but fear not. The roughly 10-hour campaign in Siege is well-written and expresses its complexities in an easy-to-follow way, even if the situation Eivor finds itself in is a mess. It’s also worth noting that Siege of Paris spends a lot of time explaining how, whether the Vikings settling in England are peaceful or violent, their presence means that generations of families will lose land and resources. Eivor herself seems tired of it all, at one point telling her pet crow that she didn’t expect to end up traveling the world just to see more kings and thegns complaining and killing each other. As someone with over 130 hours in this game and its DLC, I can relate. Same, Danish. Same.

But if you don’t care about the storytelling, character arcs, etc., then don’t worry. headquarters of Paris, unlike the latest DLC set in Ireland, is more alive and full of things to do. You’ll find side quests, plenty of hidden areas to explore, and a whole system where you help the rebels topple the kingdom. If Wrath of The Druids and its Irish setting were too calm and boring for youParis Headquarters will probably be more in your wheelhouse. There are more people to meet, kill, and talk to, plus a chance for a light romance.

The big star of this DLC is the return of ““Black box” missions last seen in older, stealthier AC games. These missions feature large areas and a single target or objective that is hidden somewhere in space. You have to explore and find out how to kill your target or reach your goal. These missions offer great freedom in your approach, letting the ninja super assassins fight their way and leaving the goofy fools to punch and stab until the messy end. I really like these missions; they felt more like classics Assassin’s Creed. There aren’t too many of them in the DLC, but enough that I think players who miss the more underhanded action of past games will be satisfied.

Viking warrior Eivor jumps from a rooftop onto a burning rooftop.

Screenshot: Ubisoft / Kotaku

The real siege of Paris is awesome too, involving multiple quests and exciting build-up to an explosive climax. When the siege begins, it’s loud, exhilarating, and unlike any other questline featured in the main game. From that point on, all of your decisions and actions quickly head to a memorable finale. I’m not going to spoil anything, but trust me, it’s a great standalone story worth experiencing on your own.

I wish I could end the blog here, saying that I liked this DLC a lot and think it is worth buying it if you still want to play more Assassin’s Creed Valhalla, or if you miss the more stealthy action of the classics. However, this new DLC has been working like crap for me since I started playing it a few days ago. I played on PS5 using the game’s 60fps mode, and it often dipped well below that point. Screen tearing and audio slowing were also prevalent in certain areas of the map, such as Paris. Others have also reported these problems.

It’s a shame because Valhalla and its first DLC performed pretty well in 60fps mode. Hopefully a future patch can fix some of these issues so that this excellent expansion can shine brighter.


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