Dawn Of Ragnarok DLC Needed To Be Included In Assassin's Creed Valhalla, Says Ubisoft
Dawn of Ragnarök is described as a 35-hour expansion, making the Assassin's Creed Valhalla DLC one of the longest for the franchise.
Assassin's Creed is nothing if not a very large franchise, with annual mainline releases from 2009-2015. In recent years, Ubisoft has stretched out the lifespan of individual Assassin's Creed games with multiple lengthy post-launch expansions--2018's Odyssey and 2020's Valhalla have dozens of hours of post-launch content. Both Odyssey and Valhalla recently got new chapters to their respective narratives with Crossover Stories (in which, sadly, Eivor and Kassandra don't flirt), and Valhalla is set to get a massive 35-hour Dawn of Ragnarök DLC in 2022.
At 35 hours, Dawn of Ragnarök is one of the biggest Assassin's Creed DLCs to date (if not the biggest). At that length, it's practically another game, and given that it sees you playing as Havi, an "ancestor" of Eivor, you could argue it basically is. So that begs the question: Why is Dawn of Ragnarök an expansion? In the past, Ubisoft would have made something like this an entirely new game (Assassin's Creed IV: Black Flag's Edward Kenway is an ancestor of Assassin's Creed III's Connor Kenway, for example).
"To be honest, [that question] is one that we asked ourselves as well," Ubisoft Montreal extended experience producer Jose Araiza told me. According to Araiza, Ubisoft has adopted the strategy of constructing its latest Assassin's Creed games like theme parks, with each expansion acting as a new self-contained world that's merely a piece of a larger park.
"For the team in general, this felt like the most cohesive way to give this offering to the players," Araiza said. "The team has made efforts to have all content be more accessible to players--expansions included--so they can explore the world of Valhalla not unlike a theme park. We wanted players to be able to choose which saga they embarked on, be it in England, Ireland, Frankia, and now Svartalfheim."
Ubisoft Montreal also feels like Dawn of Ragnarök acts as the reflection to Wrath of the Druids and The Siege of Paris. Valhalla's Year 1 expansions focused on Eivor, while Year 2 is fleshing out Havi's story, the Isu that reincarnates as Eivor.
"Expansions 1 and 2 focused more on the Viking facets of Valhalla, and exploring Eivor as a character under different situations," Araiza said. "Now, Dawn of Ragnarök feels like the other side of the coin, where we go deeper into the Norse mythology and more so into Odin/Havi's back story. And while we have focused on giving players the ability to play all the content in the order they see fit, we also felt it was important to still have these offerings connected. One experience is complementary to the other. Given how important Norse mythology was to Viking everyday life, we felt Dawn of Ragnarök needed to be included in Assassin's Creed Valhalla."
Dawn of Ragnarök is scheduled to release March 10. Prior to that, both Odyssey and Valhalla's narratives continue in the Crossover Stories, two free expansions that see Kassandra and Eivor meet, on December 14.
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