LifeisXbox’s Wrath of the Druids DLC review | Might be a bit controversial to write. For me, Assassin’s Creed Valhalla is overwhelmingly big. This has been the case for most Ubisoft games in the past years, I know this is fantastic for overall value and I firmly believe that Valhalla was a fantastic game but I didn’t see the end of it. With Wrath of the Druids, Eivor can now travel to Ireland and right off the bat this new place gave me the motivation again to pick up where I left off. I simply prefer this much smaller-scaled island as it doesn’t overwhelm me that much. I was glad that it didn’t follow the protagonist’s story that much and placed the focus on new characters that are introduced in Dublin. You don’t need to be far into Valhalla’s storyline to be able to travel to Dublin, it has a recommended power level of 55! Let’s see what I have to say about my adventures in Ireland!
We played Wrath of the Druids for over 10 hours on Xbox Series X.
What we liked!
- Incredible world design and astonishing visuals | When you buy an Assassin’s Creed game you can be absolutely sure of an open world that is full of detail and opportunities. Ireland is no exception and is mind-blowingly beautiful and features some incredible, almost unbelievable setpieces. The diversity and care of the detail of the environments are industry-leading, typical Assassin’s Creed moments that show the player vistas seem to have an even bigger impact in Ireland. With ancient structures, deep cliffs and nicely crafted towns it looks stunning. Clearly one of the most impressive games to launch on Xbox Series X!
- Separate from Valhalla’s main story | Wrath of the Druids falls perfectly in every story part of Valhalla, this means that you don’t have to be far into Eivor’s journey. You don’t have much character development for Eivor but other narrative arcs make up for that. In this standalone story, Eivor is more an active bystander and spectator that is trying to be on the good side of important characters. It was slightly awkward to see some of the choices from Eivor, as they didn’t really fit my expectations from the character that I got accustomed to. That said, the action-packed story from Wrath of the Druids is perfectly paced and quite interesting if you are familiar with Irish history. It is obviously far from historically accurate but it used a lot of inspiration from real-life events!
- Return of some Assassin’s Creed favorites | Testing your overall franchise knowledge! Remember the pigeon coops or the optional objectives that rewarded a full synchronisation in previous Assassin’s Creed games? Wrath of the Druids re-introduces them! Especially optional objectives when doing repeatable Royal Demand quests is something I missed, as I loved to have some extra challenge while playing Valhalla. Yes, it is a bit lame that you are forced to complete a few of these in the story. As this system was designed to be optional. Finishing them increases how much the kings of Ireland like you and some quests require a specific fondness level… it is stretching the overall length of the game’s story. Something that a game like this doesn’t require – we’re talking about Valhalla remember… it has more than enough content!
- Green fog adds a lot to Valhalla’s combat | New in this DLC is a mind-changing green fog that enemies deploy. As a result, your playable character starts to see things differently, a kind of hallucination as you will. Normal enemies turn into more scary variations, something similar to Batman supervillain Scarecrow. This makes combat more interesting and harder. Shapeshifters for example that teleport all over the place will confuse you and kill you in an instant if you don’t pay attention. There might be discomfort for some players from the disorientating fog, kinda like when Eivor is drunk. An effect that can be found in other games, GTA or Watch Dogs comes to mind.
- A disappointing new cast of characters | I didn’t feel connected with most characters that are introduced in Ireland, a shame as this is normally one of the strengths of the franchise. There’s only one really worth mentioning and that’s redhead Ciara. Who completely steals the best scenes in the Wrath of the Druids with two wonderful singing cutscene. One brings her into trouble and Eivor has to save the day and the second one brings a rare emotional moment in this DLC’s story. Other characters don’t have the same impact, Eivor’s cousin and his son and another main character, Azar who runs your trading looks great but lacks story impact. Thrown in the mix are Catholic leaders and villains that disappear too fast.
- Trade posts gameplay loop | This DLC’s main impactful feature is collecting resources from trading posts. You’ll first have to find and conquer them to be able to farm resources like books or clothes, I really like the idea behind this but the execution is a bit ruined by being behind a timer. It forces you to regularly travel back to a chest in Dublin that keeps the resources for you until you ship it off to other parts of the world. In return, you get other resources, gear or customization options. It would have been a lot better if you could just do everything without physically being near the chest. The uptick of resources is rather slow too, even if you upgrade trading posts. Again the idea behind this is good as increasing the overall renowned status of Dublin earns you more contracts and some fantastic new cosmetic options, including a must-have lynx mount.
What we disliked
- Nothing | This is everything that Assassin’s Creed Valhalla has to offer and even more but in a smaller scaled environment! Besides the very odd glitch, there is nothing negative to be said about this new DLC!
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