Although I found the previous two Assassin’s Creed Valhalla DLC packs to be quite boring, I was excited to jump into Dawn of Ragnarök. This could be down to the fact that I found all the mythology-inspired aspects of Valhalla to be the most interesting and was very excited to jump back into Havi’s shoes once again.
Despite the excitement to fill Havi’s shoes again, I found that given how much time I actually spent as them in the main game, I just personally struggled to get invested at any point during this DLC pack. It feels as though Dawn of Ragnarök simply adds to the ongoing bloat of Assassin’s Creed Valhalla, especially after the previous two expansions didn’t really do anything new with the game: they were different locations by name and very little else. There were a lot of map changes however, which was a welcome distraction after the slog of the Siege of Paris and the Druids expansions, which felt exactly the same as England. For the most part, each expansion hasn’t added much, so they just end up feeling like dozens of hours of repetitive content that give Matrix levels of déjà vu.
Not to really hammer in the point but the main issue I had with Paris and Ireland was that, due to the time period, you could be anywhere in Europe and it would look the same. It does not bare the same kind of care that Odyssey’s Atlantis had in creating a fantastical world, instead creating something that felt incredibly middling throughout my entire playthrough.
This isn’t the only change in the Ragnarök expansion though: early on, you unlock a bracer (the Hugr-Rip) which charges as you defeat enemies (you can also do this through shrines or flowers). The Hugr-Rip gives you shapeshifting powers and the ability to turn into an ice or fire giant – though I mostly used this to turn into a raven.
I did get a great sense of enjoyment in jumping off a cliff only to turn myself into a raven and fly across portions of the map before landing in a restricted area and calling a raid. However, whilst this was awesome it unfortunately only made up a small portion of Ragnarök’s gameplay.
In fact, the only thing that’s great about Ragnarök is the Hugr-Rip: alongside turning into a raven, I also enjoyed shapeshifting and sneaking up on the aforementioned giants as one of their own before plunging cold hard steel into their spines.
This is about the extent of what Dawn of Ragnarök brings to the table in terms of any kind of innovation. It also happens to be the only thing that makes Ragnarök a little interesting.
As I mentioned above, being able to turn into different species was quite fun but part of the DLC marketing promised that Dawn of Ragnarök would have a new enemy type. Whilst we certainly got that in two bosses, the vast majority of enemies were just normal men… but with a red tinge COZ FIRE.
In terms of story progression, so much of the game is still made up from walking behind really slow NPCs that would completely stop walking if you went too far ahead and all this succeeded to do was make me mentally check out at regular intervals, sometimes going on my phone for so long that my PS5 turned itself off due to power saving settings.
This review was difficult to write. Ragnarök really doesn’t bring anything new to the table or any sort of innovation and instead opts to be more of the same. As I wrote this, I found I was just going over the same two or three points again and again – but this is what it felt like to play through Ragnarök.
If you absolutely loved every second of Valhalla and just want more of the exact same gameplay then I can completely recommend Dawn of Ragnarök. However, if you want any kind of change or innovation then this DLC would simply be a waste of money. With this in mind, I give Assassin’s Creed Ragnarök