The Siege of Paris is an exceptional expansion for AC Valhalla. We have all-new enemy types, weapons, and a whole new map of Francia to explore. If you are expecting a drastic upgrade in your experience, you might not be satisfied. But if this is a stepping stone to the upcoming expansion Ubisoft promised us for next year, then you will find it interesting. The Siege of Paris proves that AC Valhalla, entering its second year, can bring additional game mechanics and intriguing villains that we all love to see in the series. So let me share with you my AC Valhalla The Siege Of Paris Review and why I think it is one of the best expansions in the series yet.
AC Valhalla The Siege Of Paris Review
The Setting – l’Histoire Revisitée
If history taught us anything about Vikings, then the Siege of Paris was their most ambitious conquest. Sigfred led 700 ships up the Seine river, carrying maybe 30,000 to 40,000 soldiers. This is the biggest Viking fleet ever reported in historical accounts. You relive the history as Eivor Varinsdottir of the Raven Clan who answers the call from Sigfred’s niece Toka, second in command for the Elgring Clan in Francia. Sigfred requests your assistance in putting a siege to Paris and stopping the Francian King Charles the Fat from destroying all Viking settlements surrounding the English channel. You set out for your journey into the heart of Francia, where you will do 10 hours of main quests and an additional 5 hours of other side activities.
The 9th century Paris does not have a radical difference in its environment when compared to the lush grasslands and hills we got in Ireland via the Wraith of Druids expansion. But the atmosphere is totally enigmatic with fog and darkness of devastation over the war-torn land. Now looking into Paris itself, do I feel the city in the DLC lives up to the history? I would say yes if a history lesson is not what you are looking for. If your aim is to visit these vital moments from the eyes of a Vikingr then you definitely can experience that in this expansion. The team at Ubisoft Montreal successfully captures the essence of Paris during the second Viking invasion.
But there are few elements that I felt were missing. Like hearing the Old French of the 9th century or even Old Frankish would have added much more to the realism like Assassin’s Creed Origins, where you hear modernized Egyptian in streets of Siwa, Greek in Alexandria & Latin among Roman soldiers. Due to how similar Francia looks to England, sometimes you may get confused about where you are. Looking at both locations side by side, I wish there was more to the map than we got. But that’s actually how these lands look in reality. Both England and Francia have vast arable lands that attracted Vikings to them in the first place. So I can’t blame the devs for that.
A Fresh New Plot & a Fresh New Villain
AC Valhalla brings forth one of the best villains the series has to offer. Charles the Fat is a worthy opponent determined to perish Viking clans from his land which he believes is his God-given right. There is even a subplot where you are introduced to the cultist behavior of the Catholic church against the civilians. But by the end of the DLC, the story doesn’t develop towards a conclusion. Understandable as you are witnessing just the beginning of a vast storyline spread across the franchise – even into the Spanish Inquisition of the 2016 film, and as Ezio Auditore’s arch-enemy Pope Alexander VI in Assassin’s Creed II.
Charles the Fat lives up to the role of Pope Alexander VI in AC Valhalla with this new expansion. With such a growing threat in Francia, every decision and choice becomes crucial to either tame or restraint this wild beast. I don’t want to go into more details as I won’t be doing any justice by taking away the experience you are looking forward to.
As a cherry on top, every single moment of the actual Siege is breathtaking and you feel the tension of the actual event living in the game. Hat’s off to the devs in making such an astounding event accessible to every player at their home. No other game was able to accurately represent it till now.
The Gameplay – Now is the Time to Try Something New
Infiltration Missions – Black Box Missions from AC Unity is Back
Infiltration Missions are the modern version of the Black Box missions introduced in AC Unity. Several Infiltration Missions are available, each with contextual clues that enable the player to pick and design their own strategy rather than following a single, pre-determined approach to the objective. Players will be able to access unique assassination sequences by carefully analyzing their objectives.
Rebel Missions – Vive la Résistance
Eivor will support Francian rebels and help them in their battle against Charles the Fat’s soldiers. As the Player completes these daily objectives, they will gain the ability to develop their Rebel companions from a band of dedicated peasants to seasoned fighters. You may unlock one to several Rebels for your troops and teach them to be true soldiers with further upgrades, as opposed to a peasant carrying a pitchfork. This is something new to the AC Valhalla rather than mundane “do this, kill that” quests for rewards.
Rat Swarms – A Plague Tale Not So Innocent
There is a plague in Francia, and as a result, the Rat Swarm is a dangerous new nuisance that Eivor must contend with. A vast number of Rats will approach you, encircle you, and attack you or any NPCs nearby, presenting a big significant hurdle in your path. They can’t be destroyed with any weapon, although they may be repelled for a brief time while by swinging your weapon. But you can hold them inside grates to clear the path or take a different route to your objective. This is one of the new navigation challenges you must complete in order to progress in the game.
New Enemies & Weapons
There is a new enemy type called Heavy Cavalry roaming the lands of Francia. Unlike the English soldiers, these horse-mounted units have massive weapon range and deal tons of damage to Eivor. What makes them a formidable enemy type is that most of the abilities you learned and mastered in the game till now will be nothing against their attacks. This makes the combat frustrating and challenging at the same time.
The only non-frustrating part of the new combat changes is the addition of the new Scythe weapons. These new weapons are great for crowd control and taking on single targets. With new weapon type comes cool new animation moves and special attacks. I mean, cutting off the limbs of enemies has never been so awesome to look at (sorry). This is a weapon type you must try out for yourself to believe it.
AC Valhalla The Siege Of Paris Review – Final Verdict
With new gameplay elements like Rat Swarm puzzles and the return of Black Box assassinations in the form of Infiltration Missions, AC Valhalla The Siege of Paris DLC is a must-play for the true fans of the series.
The inclusion of new believable characters with their own dreams and desires just adds that much depth to the story. There are moments when your heart would want more, like a fresh new look to the map. But with the teasing of the new expansion already in development, I believe the major overhaul is still in the pipeline.
The Siege of Paris fills up the major gap of a well-deserving villain to stay in our minds and the scale of the actual siege of the city is something that has never been represented in any other Viking game before. So, to sum up my AC Valhalla The Siege Of Paris review – if you really want to get into the mind of a 9th-century Viking, this expansion is a much-appreciated addition to the ever-growing AC Saga.