In the year since its launch, Assassin’s Creed Valhalla has proven to be one of the more robust and popular installments of the long-running franchise. Recent entries like Odyssey received an impressive amount of post-release content in its first year. But even after releasing several successful, large-scope expansions in 2021, Valhalla is going strong and appears ready to outpace its predecessor by continuing its Viking voyage into a second year.
The Dawn of Ragnarök is the centerpiece of that ongoing rollout, a major new expansion set to be released in late winter, aiming to add a considerable chunk of new missions, environments to explore, and even gameplay-altering new character powers. That major expansion is steering toward launch in March, but you don’t need to wait that long to get a new injection of Assassin’s Creed fun. Launching tomorrow, December 14, the brand is exploring a fascinating new initiative, with dedicated story content that crosses over between Valhalla and Odyssey.
The new Crossover Stories encompass distinct content drops in both Assassin’s Creed Odyssey and Assassin’s Creed Valhalla. The free content releases help tell a new linked aspect of the broader Assassin’s Creed fiction, touching on the elements of Isu culture that Odyssey’s fiction explored in its late-game and post-release storytelling. In the Valhalla sequence, we’ll even see Eivor meet Kassandra in person, thanks to events that shouldn’t be spoiled from the tail end of Odyssey. In both the new Odyssey and Valhalla content, expect to uncover entirely new missions that feature new as-yet unseen locations.
As for the larger expansion coming in March, players can look forward to an especially large adventure. Both Origins and Odyssey previously set a precedent for expansion content that veers into the mythological realm. Those concepts were so successful that the core Valhalla game implemented several significant ties to Norse mythology, including extensive exploration of the realms of Asgard and Jotunheim, where important revelations established the link between Eivor and Odin. Dawn of Ragnarök is continuing that narrative thread as Odin sets out on a journey into the realm of the dwarves, called Svartalfheim. His mission? Rescue his son, Baldr, from the clutches of Surtr, the god of the Fire Giants.
Svartalfheim is a vast new gameplay space, described as roughly one-third the size of the entire England area in the base game. Early glimpses of gameplay reveal a sumptuous fantasy playspace, from sprawling underground dwarven forges to towering snow-capped peaks, along with plenty of appropriately stern dwarven statues and monuments scattered across the landscape.
Fighting as Odin, players must confront various enemies, including the frost-tinged Jotnar previously seen in Jotunheim. The new arrivals are the flaming forces of the Muspels; these fire giants have their own dangerous battle capabilities and have driven the dwarves out of their homes and into hiding, where you must find them to request aid.
Part of that help comes in the form of the Hugr-Rip, a magical bracer gifted by the dwarves. The new artifact lets Odin take on the power of the foes he defeats. Several of the new abilities sound especially powerful. Odin can shapeshift into a raven to descend on enemies from high and far away for a devastating assassination kill. Weapons can be infused with ice. A bow power allows players to teleport to the location they shoot. And you can also raise fallen enemies to fight for you.
Dawn of Ragnarök is boasting 35 hours of new content – if true, that’s larger than many early Assassin’s Creed games were in their entirety. And beyond the big new mythology-focused storyline, Ubisoft also promises a new arena, where players can hone their combat prowess against an escalating series of challenges.
The new expansion details arrive on the heels of a surprise new content piece you can play right now. The new Crossover Stories is a fascinating experiment in which new missions have appeared in both Valhalla and Assassin’s Creed Odyssey. The linked stories offer fresh revelations about the broader Assassin’s Creed fiction when played in tandem. We see Eivor and prior hero Kassandra meet up in person, thanks to events we won’t spoil from the conclusion of Odyssey.
Based on the release cadence from previous games, it would have been easy to presume that Assassin’s Creed Valhalla was beginning to wind down. But this announcement proves that Ubisoft is still investing heavily in the game, both with the soon-to-release crossover stories, as well as the upcoming March expansion. Whether we’ll even more from the game after that remains to be seen, but Viking warriors should rejoice that we’re not quite done with Eivor’s adventures yet.