Back in 2020, Assassin's Creed Valhalla and Ubisoft Montreal took players into the time of Viking warriors. We're now a few months into 2022 and development studio Ubisoft Sofia is taking the baton to lead Valhalla players straight into Ragnarok. On Thursday, publisher Ubisoft revealed a fresh look at one of the biggest of Valhalla's Year 2 offerings: the Dawn of Ragnarok expansion.
While Valhalla's main story focused on Eivor, Dawn of Ragnarok will dive directly into the gods and focus on Odin, operating under one of his many historical names, Havi. In this roughly 35 hour expansion, players will live out Odin's personal saga, focused specifically on his search for Baldr, who is being held by the fire giant, Surtr. This will mean returning to the world of Asgard, but it will also introuce a realm unseen to this point in Valhalla. Odin's journey takes him to Svartalfheim, the realm of the dwarves.
Like much of Valhalla to this point, Ubisoft is painstakingly researching Norse mythology to help construct Svartalfheim. In the case of Dawn of Ragnarok, the dwarven realm's design is based on various Norse sagas. Specifically, the realm will be a war-torn one, fresh off the invasion of Muspels, which left the dwarves sent into hiding. In putting together their version of Svartalfheim, the world will look different than anything Valhalla players have seen up to now, offering new settings and new exploration opportunities. This inclues the dwarven shelters, which are filled with natural crystal structures and dwarven architecture. The shelters will act as key locations for Odin's adventure, where he can not only learn more information about where to find Baldr, but also find merchants, shops, and side quests.
However, Dawn of Ragnarok is about more than seeing new sights. If you're playing as the almighty Odin, it should be expected that he should have powers greater than any mere mortal. Sure enough, Valhalla's gameplay is being expanded significantly to fit Odin's power set. For example, Odin has the power to absorb the essence of any fallen enemies. While the Ubisoft Sofia team didn't go into detail on all of Odin's available powers, they noted that they can support various play styles. One example is the Power of Rebirth, which can infuse Odin's weapons with the power to resurrect downed enemies as allies. Certain power sets will fit different situations and players are encouraged to experiment, especially since they can't all be used at once.
Look for Odin to also have new abilities and skills available to him. Expect to see a new weapon class called Atgeir. The Atgeir is a polearm utilized by the Vikings, a ranged weapon that can unleash powerful finishers by mixing together light and heavy attacks. In addition to that, existing gear and weapons can now be upgraded to divine quality. On top of its stat buffs, divine quality gear will have a special slot for Odin Runes, which are items scattered across Svartalfheim. The Odin Runes can add some extra power, helping further Odin's godly power set.
Odin will need all the power he can muster to take on Surtr's forces. For the hands-off developer walkthrough, Havi is informed of the Muspel invasion and the dwarves' subjugation by Surtr's bastard son, Glod. Glod is a half-Muspel, half-Jotun monstrosity, able to tear dwarves in half. He is flanked by new enemy types, the fiery Muspels. The Muspels all fight together and have some dangerous variants, such as the Flamekeepers, who can resurrect fallen Muspels and force players to have to kill them all over again.
On top of his muscle, though, Odin can also use various other facets of traditional Assassin's Creed gameplay. For example, the Power of the Raven allows the Asgardian All Father to shapeshift into a bird of prey. This can be used for exploration and to access otherwise inaccessible skyward areas, but can also be upgraded to allow for airborn assassinations.
Beyond the additional campaign, look for Dawn of Ragnarok to offer a new game mode called Valkyrie Arena. This is where players can take on various characters from the Valhalla and Dawn of Ragnarok stories. In Viking spirit, boasts will be used to not only tell tales of greatness, but also increase difficulty, since those boasts will have to be backed up. Boasts can also be combined, which promise to test the player's full grasp of the Valhalla combat system.
It won't be much longer before the search for Baldr begins in earnest. Assassin's Creed Valhalla's Dawn of Ragnarok expansion will release on March 10 as part of the game's Year 2 DLC.
This preview is based on an outside playthrough exhibited to the press. The footage revealed is not final and remains a work in progress.