War. What is it good for? Absolutely nothing. It seems Assassin’s Creed Valhalla‘s latest DLC, “Siege of Paris,” may be the first Assassin’s Creed story to learn this lesson. Bringing Eivor to the heart of Francia to aid a fellow Danish clan and protect her own against Frankish incursion in England, this DLC is, mostly, a reiteration of what has already come in this grueling long saga.
If you like what Assassin’s Creed Vahlhala has to offer in the first place, as I do, this DLC will certainly satisfy you. However, if you were bored with the story or the gameplay before, the DLC does little new to persuade you. The two main new aspects of the game introduced in “Siege of Paris” are Infiltrations and rebel missions. Infiltrations are somewhat of a return to a mechanic done best in Assassin’s Creed Syndicate. During key assassination missions, you are given several different possible ways to complete them. Some are more straightforward and obvious than others, requiring stealth or sheer force to steal keys and uncover hidden passages. Each assassination requires a specific set of conditions to complete in earnest, lest the assassination fails, and you must fight the enemy outright. You miss a cutscene this way, but you do also get a good fight out of it.
The mechanic, unfortunately, doesn’t feel nearly as novel as it wishes it did. Instead, it’s a pared-down version of something that had been built upon and refined since the original game. There are no longer any creative ways to complete your takedowns, like poisoning food or creating a riot. The paths are still generally linear, and the assassination itself binary. At least it shook up the formula, but you can’t even do wicked aerial assassinations anymore, and that’s a shame.
The rebel missions are basically just repetitive tasks that serve no purpose but to accrue currency to purchase gear and cosmetics. It’s a good way to prolong your time in Francia, but it doesn’t even come with the creative types of tasks that the trading post quests did in “Wrath of the Druids.” It’s worthwhile for achievement hunting and cosmetic glory, but little else, unfortunately.
“Siege of Paris” has a unique plot among Assassin’s Creed stories, though. It delves into arguments over righteous rule, defending one’s people and their sovereignty, and who the aggressors are in the varied wars the Norse fight across Europe. For once, the game has you explicitly questioning whether all your raiding and colonizing is truly just. It’s explicit and makes for a much more interesting plot than I anticipated.
Francia itself isn’t anything special. Unlike Ireland, there’s nothing to really distinguish this DLC’s setting from anywhere else in the main game, besides maybe that it’s a bit more dreary and a bit uglier. The new skills you can unlock in this DLC are some of the most powerful yet, including health and stamina-regenerating passives. They’re almost a tad game-breaking, but fortunately, they’re up to you whether to turn on or not.
If you’re a fan of the base game, then Assassin’s Creed Valhalla: Siege of Paris is more of what you’re already excited about. But it’s a weaker DLC than “Wrath of the Druids,” to be sure, despite higher levels of marketing hype. Hopefully, as the announced Year Two DLC takes shape, it can take more after the outstanding Assassin’s Creed Odyssey: Fate of Atlantis DLC with mythical wonders and entirely new realms. Until then, take solace in this unique story and continue conquering all the lands this game has to offer. They’re all worthwhile in their own rights.
Assassin’s Creed Valhalla: Siege of Paris is available on Xbox, PlayStation, and PC via the Ubisoft Store and Epic.
Assassin's Creed Valhalla: Siege of Paris
- Rating - 7/107/10
If you’re a fan of the base game, then Assassin’s Creed Valhalla: Siege of Paris is more of what you’re already excited about. But it’s a weaker DLC than “Wrath of the Druids,” to be sure, despite higher levels of marketing hype.