After taking a few months away from the hustle and bustle of reviewing video games, I’m back to review the most recent expansion to Assassin’s Creed Valhalla – The Siege of Paris. Yes, I realise I’m about 3 weeks late to this big Viking party so if you find yourself reading this review I can only assume you’re either lost or you’re here to support me. If it is indeed the latter then I just want to say.. Hi Mum! Yes I’m doing okay and yes I’ll get my brother to ring you soon.. Sorry, on with the review.
If you want a very brief summary on whether or not The Siege of Paris is worth your time then I’d say yes, but only if you’re craving more of the same fun the base game provided in the first place because for better or worse, this expansion isn’t really bringing anything new to the table. If you had fun galloping through beautiful scenery, getting caught in the middle of warring Kings and raiding poor unsuspecting villages then this DLC will scratch the itch for more of that. However if you’re looking for something completely new and fresh to make you reinstall this gigantic game, this may not be it.
As is the case for most additional content in Assassin’s Creed: Valhalla, this story begins with a stranger visiting your homestead from a far away land wanting help from the infamous Eivor the Wolf kissed. Ever the kind gentleman (or gentlewoman) Eivor is, they of course agree to travel to Paris with fellow northerner Toka in hopes of putting a stop to the new self proclaimed King of Francia – Charles the Fat. Big respect for that nickname by the way, Charles is definitely living his best life. Eivor isn’t doing this to be a kind neighbour though as their main concern lies fully with your own homestead and the fear that once Charles the Fat has conquered all of Francia, he will then move on to England.
Much like the base game, The Siege of Paris really shines in how you interact with all these weird and wonderful new characters. Eivor isn’t about simply raiding all of Paris and taking the King’s head. Instead Eivor predicts that if Charles is taken out, another King will simply take his place and nothing will change. This results in Eivor deciding that the best course of action is to gain an audience with the would-be-king and try negotiate some sort of peace. This of course doesn’t sit will with new allies Toka and her uncle Sigfred who are both out for blood in hopes to avenge their fallen brothers. How you talk your way in and out of these situations and attempt to keep everyone happy is part of what made me fall in love with Valhalla in the first place so I’m glad there’s loads of it in this new story.
Another feature I really enjoyed was being given the choice on how to eliminate each new target. In a move that feels a bit more vintage Assassin’s Creed compared to the wild heavy hitting Viking style I’d gotten used to, the game gives the player multiple ways to take down a target. For example the first enemy you take down is a Bishop. You can either go in all guns blazing and attempt to take on him and his guards or you can follow a few simple steps to get in close to him and assassinate him in style while he believes you’re there for deliverance (get ready to hear that word a lot!). The amount of preparation you put into each assassination can result in different unique methods even if the result remains the same. The only issue with this feature is that I’d choose the sneaky theatrical kill every time because it was so much cooler and I’ve got a feeling it will be the same for most players.
New locations in Paris and the surrounding areas are a joy to explore. Once again you can massively extend your experience with the game if you choose to fall down the rabbit hole of going after all the hidden gear and mysteries dotted around this wonderful landscape. I’ve seen some sites *cough* IGN *cough* have a moan about the French landscape looking way too similar to the English and yeah I agree it does because y’know.. they are actually very similar in real life. Aside from sticking the Eiffel bloody tower in the middle of this map I’m really not sure what else could be expected to make it look more “French”. Anyway, I really enjoyed these new areas!
Gameplay is of course more of the same with a few new weapons and abilities thrown into the mix. On the weapons front you can now have a scythe which I admit is pretty damn cool but if you think for a second I’m going to swap out my precious Mjolnir after spending endless hours hunting it down in the main game then you can think again mate! There are also new abilities such as setting an explosive trap on enemies as well as using the City’s rats to your advantage and setting them on your enemies.
Speaking of the rats, oh my god they’re annoying! When I first saw the plague ridden little shits running about the French underground I got instant flashbacks to how much I enjoyed A Plague Tale: Innocence and how well that game used rats in its puzzle systems. Yeah so this really isn’t the same. The only way you can deal with the rats is to try bat them away then block them coming back by pushing an object over the area where they escaped. More times than not this was just clunky and frustrating and became more of a hindrance than a fun new puzzle game, especially when you’re having to escort another character. How come I can’t just kill them? I’m literally wielding the God of Thunder’s hammer and I can’t even take out a few rats?! Lame.
Despite the annoying rats, I really enjoyed my time jumping back into Valhalla and playing through The Siege of Paris. New features are few and far between and a bit of a mixed bag in truth, the more unique assassinations are a welcome addition while the rebels mini game I haven’t even mentioned yet feels like pointless filler that I abandoned after one go. However the main story of the game is more than good enough to give you an excuse to jump back into hammering and slashing your way through enemies and negotiating your way out of trouble with Kings and Viking clans alike. Once again, if you enjoyed the main game and have a craving for more then I highly recommend this new DLC but if you feel burnt out by the 100 plus hours it takes to compete Valhalla then this new addition may not be quite exciting or fresh enough to make it worth reinstalling. As someone who sits it the former camp though, The Siege of Paris was a joy.
I give Assassin’s Creed Valhalla: The Siege of Paris
Thank you for taking time to read this review on a game that’s nearly a month old. You dear reader, you are a superstar! If you did enjoy this review and you’d like to see a video version then make sure to let me know by hitting us up on Twitter @RespawningUK or @MikeyGalaszia and I’ll consider a return to YouTube as well. Once again, many thanks and stay safe homies.