Reviews - Updated on April 2, 2022

Assassin’s Creed Valhalla is a huge game, but even it has some extras. This summer, the Season Pass lets us witness the Siege of Paris, while the first DLC, Wrath of the Druids, takes us to 9th century Ireland.

To Ireland through connections

The story begins on the docks of the settlement from the main game – a woman from Dublin arrives there, who reports that the local king, Barid, wants to expand trade with England. Moreover, he wrote a letter to Eivor and claims that the main character knows him. As it turns out later, the king is her cousin, whom she had not seen for a very long time.

Ireland is a scattering of small kingdoms that have their own rulers. But above all is the upcoming High King Flann, whom Barid is trying to convince of his suitability. He wants to make Dublin a center of trade so that exotic items are available there, for which neighboring countries will be ready to part with mountains of silver. However, the plans are constantly interfered with: either someone wants to disgrace Barid in front of Flann, or they organize an assassination attempt on Flann and try to disrupt the coronation.

Assassin's Creed: Valhalla - Wrath of the Druids: Обзор

We get to know the main characters pretty quickly.

In addition, it turns out that there is another handful of villains – the dark druids. Ordinary pagans do not pose a threat, but hostile ones strive to annoy the rulers. This is a new type of enemy that will have to be fought more than once as part of the expansion. Druids are able to call on fire, teleport in different directions (and behind the heroine’s back too), and wolves often walk next to them. Of course, these are not ordinary wolves – you blink, and they turn out to be werewolves, jumping and tearing you to pieces.

The story here is not outstanding, but it is fascinating enough to make you want to start the next mission after completing the previous one. The characters can even be remembered – especially the red-haired bard girl, with whom they will inevitably offer to have an affair: she performs very beautiful melodies and often appears in commercials. It’s a pity that the Russian voice acting spoils the impression – both kings communicate unemotionally in tired voices, which is appropriate in a sense (rulers after all), but still sometimes you want to skip the dialogues.

Assassin's Creed: Valhalla - Wrath of the Druids: Обзор

Not all druids are mad.

The plot is a bit cramped within one add-on – for example, when you are asked to earn the trust of the king of one of the regions, you do not see the king himself, but only complete three tasks for him. Here Ubisoft decided to evoke nostalgia among those who miss 100% synchronization – you not only need to complete the task, but also, if possible, complete a couple of bonus tasks. Not just kill the target, but keep everyone else alive and take no damage. Not just to find treasures in a chest, but to go unnoticed. Gifts for this are insignificant (and there are no fines), but you always want to try.

This is the Viking greeting.

Stuffed pockets

In addition to the main quest chain, there are additional ones. One of them is related to trade in Dublin – you need to achieve the maximum level of fame of the city by exchanging valuable materials for overseas goods. To do this, you will have to look for trading posts and capture them, and then improve them by plundering local monasteries. When the post becomes yours, its workers begin to bring those very exotic Irish goods to the chest in Dublin, and you offer them to merchants in exchange for more useful things.

This is a great opportunity to get hold of new equipment – here and Egyptian armor, and Constantinople, and even Russian. Someone will offer decorations for the ship and images for the sail, someone will give a shield or weapon. And for each level of fame, they will give out parts of the “Hero of Dublin” set – a full set of armor increases damage from stealth attacks and in ranged combat. Things are worse with weapons, but for the first time sickles appeared – with one of them, the attack speed increases with each hit on the enemy, and this is a very good bonus.

Assassin's Creed: Valhalla - Wrath of the Druids: Обзор

Russian clothing increases armor and resilience in close combat.

Not without a new tree of strong opponents – instead of the Order of the Ancients, we are hunting for representatives of the clan of the Children of Danu, those same dark druids. You still need to look for clues by following the descriptions, but since the map here is several times smaller than the original one, you accidentally stumble upon some clan members in the process of clearing the next location. And after these sweeps, there are so many tungsten ingots in your pockets that they will be enough to improve your favorite items of equipment.

You will also be able to fight the druids in additional trials that are hidden on the map behind blue dots. These are tense battles in small arenas, after the start they are covered with an intoxicating fog that causes hallucinations. They can test fresh combat abilities, including summoning a companion wolf and temporarily incapacitating an enemy headbutt. An arrow with a smoke bomb is also useful – if the smoke comes into contact with fire, it flares up and sets fire to nearby enemies.

And I didn’t have to get my hands dirty.

Challenges are the only new type of “blue” entertainment on the map. Here, forgotten drengs are found, and legendary beasts, and altars for offerings, and the ill-fated cairns. But there are no funny mini-stories with which Valhalla is full, unfortunately, not a single one. And there’s nothing fresh on the white dots either: cursed symbols, flying leaves, treasure maps, fragments of the saga and artifacts – for a collection of the latter, by the way, they give another valuable reward.

Assassin's Creed: Valhalla - Wrath of the Druids: Обзор

Celtic and druid armor can be found in chests scattered around the world.

However, it will still take a lot of time to complete the passage. The main plot (if you are periodically distracted by other icons on the map) takes about nine hours, a few more will be spent on finding druids, capturing trading posts and other side quests. As a result, the add-on will last at least 15 hours, and then with all the stuff collected, it will be possible to return it through the atlas to England and Norway and flaunt overseas clothes there in front of the Viking brothers. And at the same time ride an unexpected new horse, which is given out almost at the very beginning.

There are a couple of annoying and illogical elements in the DLC. For example, in some small camps you find chests that can only be opened with a friend. It’s logical to start a raid in a large area where you have to knock down doors together, but when in a tiny area with five enemies you call an entire Viking ship for the sake of one chest, it looks strange. Secondly, altars to which fish or animal body parts must be brought seemed a stupid idea in the original, and here the interest is minimal. It’s better to build stone towers, by golly.

Assassin's Creed: Valhalla - Wrath of the Druids: Обзор

The druids are trying to intimidate, but the Viking is not so easy to take.

Be that as it may, the expansion turned out to be good for those who have completed Valhalla and want more content. And players who are at the beginning or in the middle of the journey can look into Ireland without the risk of catching spoilers – they are allowed to go there immediately upon arrival in England, that is, after the prologue. Wrath of the Druids isn’t an amazing add-on, but it does offer enough fresh entertainment to make you want to run from marker to marker again and lose track of time while picking up tons of valuable loot along the way.

Pros: a large new location with a bunch of collectibles; a sufficient number of quests, the passage of which stretches the add-on for more than a dozen hours; as always, luxurious scenery; a lot of new equipment for all occasions.

Cons: funny mini-stories are not enough; some controversial gameplay decisions.

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