Assassin’s Creed Valhalla: The Siege of Paris kind of snuck up on me as there was no real fan fair or hype surrounding it from anywhere. After playing Wraith of the Druids (see my review here) I was interested to see how they brought Paris to life. I was expecting, for some reason, a vibrant city full of cafés and parasol umbrellas but the reality was much bleaker and fairly depressing.
As with the start of Wraith of the Druids, Assassin’s Creed Valhalla: The Siege of Paris begins with two strangers rocking up to Ravensthorpe asking for help and to convince Eivor to sail to a faraway land. After a lot of French wine, Toka and Pierre, the representatives of the Elgring Clan, succeed in getting Eivor to pledge his help against the Mad King, Charles the Fat and to set sail to Francia. After seeing how war-torn Paris and the surrounding areas are, Eivor decides that he needs to convince Charles not to invade England as it would destroy all he and his Clan has built.
Chewing the Fat
Francia itself could be set in England, compared to the wild and untamed look of Ireland and even Vineland, it again isn’t anything new. Riding through the locations apart from coming across some peasants beside an upturned cart or an area that has been ravaged by battle I could have been riding through any place in the base game. It also reminded me of Velen in The Witcher 3 and how depressing it was. The main characters both Hero and Villain are really well written and voiced.
King Charles the Fat is exceptional as the main antagonist. Every time you interact with him you just feel dirty. On the good side, you have Sigfred who is leading the fight against Charles and who wants revenge for the death of his brother who is Toka’s father. These two are everything you want Vikings to be, Sigfred is tall, strong and angry. Meanwhile, Toka is thrust into a position of responsibility but all she wants to do is drink and brawl.
The story itself is nothing to really write home about though. It is around 10 hours long give or take and could be part of the main Assassin’s Creed Valhalla campaign as it doesn’t really venture too far. The map itself is the size of one of the areas of England and only really consists of Paris and the three small counties that surround it. Compared to Wraith of the Druids it is tiny. In general, the flow of the quests and side activities in Siege of Paris was very familiar. Every place you visit had the same list to check off, kill this person, and discover this thing which was very samey and disappointing.
The new Rebel missions set out to you by the smooth-talking Pierre are fun at the start as you know us Irish and the thought of sticking it to the oppressors but just like the Kings favours missions in Wraith of the Druids they get old very quickly. They are just more of, “fetch that, kill these guys” and as your reward you earn deniers. This is a currency you can spend on upgrading your rebels or purchasing new armour and runes. None of the rewards are good enough though outside the DLC.
Rebel…Rebel in Assassin’s Creed Valhalla: The Siege of Paris
There is a new weapon introduced In the shape of a two-handed Scythe. This is very effective against the mounted Calvary. These are a pain in the arse most of the time. Their long reach and are immune to most of your movement abilities make them a force to be reckoned with and always the last thing you mop up on the battlefield. There are also a few new abilities most notable the two new ranged ones, Swarm of Rats and the fun arrow one that makes a soldier puke and everyone in close proximity run away as they think the poor lad has the plague.
All in all Assassin’s Creed Valhalla: The Siege of Paris is a bit meh, unfortunately, is it worth the 10 hours plus gameplay? Of course, it’s Assassins Creed but other than that don’t expect anything magnifique or groundbreaking. Sure they didn’t even give the Franks a Pepé Le Pew accent like the “Top of da Mornin” one they gave us Irish in Wraith of the Druids, I smell bullshit, Ubisoft… bullshit.