DLC REVIEW: The ‘Assassin’s Creed Valhalla’ X ‘Assassin’s Creed Odyssey’ Crossover Stories are Awesome (XSX)

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Assassin's Creed crossover - But Why Tho

I think every Assassin’s Creed fan has wished their favorite assassins could meet one another, or show up in each other’s games somehow. Ever since Altair and Ezio met in Revelations, I have always wondered how more of our brotherhood members could somehow cross paths. The first-ever Assassin’s Creed crossover gives us one more example, as Assassin’s Creed Odyssey and Assassin’s Creed Valhalla each receive new DLC.

First off, returning to Odyssey was a pleasure. It remains one of my favorite Assassin’s Creed Games, and certainly my favorite of the recent editions, and having an excuse to dive back into its gorgeous islands was an unexpected surprise. Kassandra’s ultimate epilogue “A Great Escape” sees the misthios taking a much-needed vacation, only to be interrupted by a quest for an extremely important artifact. The story is a fond reminder of how much Kassandra’s humor, power, and relationships made her such an amazing character.

The mission itself entails one of the most challenging exploration puzzles I can recall, as well as a whole new type of challenge in that Kassandra loses her special abilities midway through the story. Having to fight with only your attacks, dodge, and parry is far more challenging than I anticipated and made the relatively brief DLC mission much more engaging gameplay-wise than I was expecting. I also really, really appreciate that the developers recognized that the controls and mechanics in Odyssey are totally different than Valhalla. so a brief refresher course starts you off to get re-accustomed to the scheme.

The story itself can be enjoyed whether you’ve completed Valhalla or not, but it does tie well into Kassandra’s ultimate fate as revealed at the end of the Fate of Atlantis and as her legacy unfolds in Valhalla. It left me desperately wanting to see future stories told about Kassandra and her missions after the end of Odyssey.

In Assassin’s Creed Valhalla, Eivor is called to the Isle of Skye to uncover the cause of nightmares and madness. In the DLC mission “A Fated Encounter,” Eivor meets Kassandra in what is easily the most incredible and epic cinematic in Assassin’s Creed history. For as much as I wish I could have faced off myself against the legendary warrior, this scene was truly incredible. It also set a tone for the animosity between the two characters that would eventually dissolve into a well-deserved friendship.

This mission was a mixed bag, the combat moments where I could team up with Kassandra were novel, and there was a truly challenging puzzle, but the fetch quest that made up half my playtime was simple and not particularly enthralling. This story’s biggest issue was that it refused, like all of Valhalla’s DLC, to place itself at any particular point within the story. I wish that Kassandra and Eivor could have had a more earnest conversation about their journies and the things they’ve seen. I’m glad Kassandra was at least a bit upfront and they could discuss, albeit briefly, the Hidden Ones. But there are so many interesting places they could have gone if Ygdrisil could have at least come up in conversation.

“A Fated Encounter” does have the same strong ending though that most of Valhalla’s DLC had. The fact that most of the game’s stories end in celebration always adds an emotional high no matter how memorable what ensued before it. While this story can easily be played without playing “A Great Escape” first, I would definitely recommend playing both back to back if possible to give more context to “A Fated Encounter.”

After playing both, while neither were especially powerful on their own, this Assassin’s Creed crossover has me deeply excited for wherever the franchise decides to go next, in both its games and its multimedia. There’s a lot to love in this franchise, and the deeply complicated and interweaving stories of the Isu, their artifacts, and the factions working throughout history to protect various interests will always be at the top of that list. The expansion of that mythology and the willingness to try something totally different in this Assassin’s Creed crossover event make me confident that whatever comes next, at the least, the lore will continue to get richer and richer.

The Assassin’s Creed crossover DLC for Assassin’s Creed Valhalla and Assassin’s Creed Odyssey are decent on their own, but make for a strong reminder together of how great Assassin’s Creed’s storytelling has been for more than a decade.

Both DLC are available now as free updates on Xbox, PlayStation, PC, and Google Stadia.


Assassin's Creed Crossover Stories
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    Rating - 7/10
7/10

TL;DR

The Assassin’s Creed crossover DLC for Assassin’s Creed Valhalla and Assassin’s Creed Odyssey are decent on their own, but make for a strong reminder together of how great Assassin’s Creed’s storytelling has been for more than a decade.