Assassin’s Creed Valhalla Is Now a Live Service Game…Kinda – New Year 2 Expansions Explained

    Assassin's Creed Valhalla | Ubisoft
    Assassin's Creed Valhalla | Ubisoft

    Assassin’s Creed Valhalla is getting a lot of new updates including everything from new game modes to multiple expansions, changing the single-player game into something more akin to a live service.

    The new updates were announced during this E3’s big Ubisoft Forward showcase, which you can check out below.

    Every New Update Coming to Assassin’s Creed Valhalla

    Assassins Creed Valhalla Expansion - Siege of Paris

    To recap, here’s every new update that was announced during the showcase for Valhalla:

    • Discovery Mode
    • Mastery Challenge game mode
    • Time-limited festivals
    • New quests
    • River raid updates
    • One handed swords (yeah, really)
    • Siege of Paris – upcoming expansion in Q2 2021
    • New expansions coming in 2022

    That sounds like a lot of updates for what was just a single-player $80 game, right? Well, here’s where it gets a little tricky. The game has a season pass, which only guaranteed the first 2 expansions – Wrath of the Druids (reviewed here) and Siege of Paris. There has been no mention of the season pass including year 2 support, which was unheard of until now. I’m fully expecting Ubisoft to sell another season pass for year 2, with potentially two more expansions coming in that year.

    Valhalla’s New Expansions (Likely) Started Out as A New Game

    Assassins Creed Valhalla_DiscoveryTour - Viking Age
    Discovery Tour – Viking Age in AC Valhalla

    The upcoming expansion(s) for Assassin’s Creed Valhalla has been in the making for quite some time, with an interesting story behind it. If leaks and insider information is to be believed, then the upcoming expansions started out as a new AC game itself. Sometime during development, it was decided to turn that upcoming new game into an expansion for Valhalla, likely due to budget/feature constraints. After all, the new generations of consoles have just started, and the last time Ubisoft released an ambitious Assassin’s Creed game on a new generation of hardware, it kinda blew up in their face.

    Assassin’s Creed has slowly shifted to a biannual approach, with new gaming getting slightly larger gaps between them. Assassin’s Creed Origins and Odyssey came out a year apart, but both of them were built on the same fundamental experience and feature set. It seems the rumoured new game was going to follow in the heels of Odyssey before being merged into Valhalla’s post-launch plans. Honestly, I approve of it. After the dumpster fire that Odyssey was to the lore of the franchise, I’d rather get a second expansion that gets weird over a completely new game.

    Valhalla’s Year 2 Sounds Exciting…and Exhausting

    The following tweet from Imran Khan (Fanbyte) sums up my feelings on Ubisoft’s new approach completely:

    Ubisoft’s approach in recent years has shifted to making its games as expansive as possible. This leaves little room for niche fanbases to thrive when all of their games are chasing mass appeal. And it’s working. Assassin’s Creed Valhalla marked the biggest launch in the franchise, despite being a game that strays quite a lot from what the original trilogy presented.

    Do I think the new fans will enjoy Valhalla’s new expansions? Possibly. Will Ubisoft move further from the franchise’s roots for mass appeal? Quite likely, especially as the game’s narrative director Darby McDevitt left the company recently. I sincerely hope that the new expansion will smartly work around its narrative so as to not actively go against the lore that the franchise has so smartly devised (that is if you’ve been following it closely).

    If you’re interested in the Assassin’s Creed franchise, you might want to check out our breakdown of the most widely speculative rumours about where the series is heading next.

    Norway exploration in Assassin's Creed Valhalla

    You can read our review of the game where we were extremely impressed with how Ubisoft managed to balance the RPG elements with a more lore-friendly narrative. Here’s our verdict on the game:

    “Assassin’s Creed Valhalla is one of the best games in the series, striking the perfect balance between the franchise’s newfound RPG gameplay and a focused narrative that pays respects to its predecessors in meaningful ways.”

    Assassin’s Creed Valhalla is out now on PS4, PS5, Xbox One, Xbox Series S | X and PC (Uplay and Epic Games Store). The game supports cross-progression across all platforms through Ubisoft Connect.

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