I enjoyed the Wrath of the Druids DLC, so no doubt I wanted to play AC Valhalla Siege of Paris DLC. After playing through it, I had fun, but it’s not an essential part of Eivor’s story. The previous DLC was hard to follow with the green of Ireland and druid culture. It probably did not help that Paris was set during the plague. Dark and dreary with a side of depressing.
AC Valhalla Siege of Paris Plague and Flowers
As I mentioned in the outset, it was a bit hard to go from the emerald green fields of Ireland to dark and dreary France. The look of France was pretty close to that of England. There was a lot of contrast between areas ravaged by the plague or battles and fields of flowers.
Burnt buildings and slums were surrounded by an abundance of blue and red flowers. It’s different from England, but could easily be mistaken for a new part of the English map. It was new look as Wrath of Valhalla.
Paris, on the other hand, was a bit more unique. Not so much in the design of the city, but it just seemed bigger. Hearing French accents and the appearance of the soldiers were a welcome change, but again very similar to what I experienced in England.
Plague Rats and the Reaper’s Scythe
A very unique part of AC Valhalla Siege of Paris were the plague rats. They were invincible and whittled down my health rapidly. The only option was to swing weapons at the them or burn them towards holes in the wall or floor. There were times I could plug those holes or uncover plugged holes to unleash the rats on enemies.
The rats were a bit annoying, but the developers used them sparingly enough. They were a joy to use against enemies. There was even an ability to put rat bait on an arrow. I enjoyed lobbing those arrows at unsuspecting groups of enemies. Rats devoured my enemies right after.
Keeping with the plague theme, the game introduced a new weapon type, the scythe. I was a bit bored with my dual wielded axes, so I took the grim reaper weapon for a spin. It was satisfyingly brutal. Heavy swings and plenty of blood.
Viva La Resistance Rebel Missions
AC Valhalla Siege of Paris does not include settlement building like England, or Trade post building like Ireland. In this DLC, it’s the resistance I helped build up. After I met the Resistance leader, Pierre, I could pickup contracts to help the Resistance.
The missions came in both solo and team variety. Team missions simply include a few AI resistance fighters. These missions include small back stories, but boil down to killing a bunch of people or stealing something. They weren’t hard, but became rinse and repeat after the first few.
Each mission added to my Resistance influence. There were points earned for mission completion and protecting team members. Those I spent on upgrades for these missions. That included things like weapons training, upgrades to team members, less chance of detection, extra supplies for me to start, etc..
In the end, I feel liked this part of the DLC was a big missed opportunity. Apart from some cut scenes with Pierre, it didn’t feel like all those missions made any. Not sure if that even matters for the end Siege, but if it did then I didn’t notice a difference.
I’d love to see those missions more story intense where success adds tangible benefits to main missions. Something like resistance fighters providing scouting info, extra backup, leaving me weapons caches, etc..
AC Valhalla Siege of Paris DLC Story
The story wasn’t phenomenal, but it was decent. The King of France, Charles the Fat, was a very interesting character. My first impression of him was a philandering fat King. I met him with his lady friends. Over the course of the game, his character displayed a lot more depth.
His need for his illegitimate son Bernard seemed to drive him crazy and he almost burned his Queen ,Richardis (she was not the boy’s mother). He wasn’t simply an evil man, but believed himself possessed. Even after I saved the Queen from a fiery death, she begged me to spare the King’s life.
The final fight with him was very unique. He was in a maddened state, almost invincible. Only wearing him down to stagger him, then pushing him into flame pits, hurt him. It was more difficult as he tried to extinguish those flames, but I always carry a torch.
Due to his mental health issues, I chose to lock him up instead of kill him. From their Richardis would care for him.
Black Box Assassination Missions
King Charles was the most interesting part of the overall story, but it was great to see the black box assassination missions return. The options to kill a target head on or from stealth were still there, but the cinematic choices were the best.
Each of these assassination missions tasked me with talking to staff to gain access to secret locations, pickup intel on easier access to targets, etc.. There were several extra steps involved to access the cinematic assassinations, but they are very satisfying.
Examples include taking part in ceremonies to get in close and using the environment to kill the target. My favorite was dropping a giant crucifix on a corrupt holy man.
AC Valhalla’s Actual Siege of Paris was Great
I expected the actual siege of Paris to be more of the same from the main game sieges, but I was wrong. The unique setup of explosives on a strategic bridge and clearing a workshop area for catapults felt fresh. During the siege, I saw the benefits of those setup missions. It was a sense of purpose I wish the Resistance missions shared.
Instead of the usual pattern of killing waves of enemies until the next section of the siege, there were 3 boss missions. Two of the three were the black box style missions. The fact that those missions were a big part of the siege lent a real finale type feel.
AC Valhalla Siege of Paris DLC was fun, but I don’t feel it was as much of a “must play” as Wrath of the Druids was. Still, I’m excited to see what story DLC is next and how Ubisoft is previewing what they plan for Assassin’s Creed Infinity.