In the second expansion, Eivor will participate in the conquest of France and will face new and powerful enemies.
Assassin's Creed Valhalla is, by far, the longest title in Ubisoft's series. Eivor's journey has taken us from Norway to England, Vinland, and Ireland (we even explored Asgard). Now, a growing danger for our clan and everything we built in England is arising in the recently united France, and its Eivor's mission to travel to the European country to solve the problem before it's too late.
The conflict between the Norsemen and the Christians is bound to lead to a confrontation, and Paris is the chosen location for that. Eivor becomes involved in the political intrigue between the clan and Charles the Fat, great-grandson of Charlemagne and one of the expansion's main characters. There are also the Bellatores Dei, an evil secret order within the Church that we will have to fight, as we already did with other groups before (think the Order of the Ancients). We will have to unmask all of their members one by one and then hunt them down.
At this point, you would think that the mechanics of the game couldn't surprise us anymore, but The Siege of Paris showed us two features that improve the combat system and the side quests even more: Infamy missions and the Plague of Rats.
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The first point are exclusive side quests in which we will help a group of rebels that stand up to the King's army. They are small daily tasks similar to the ones that we did for the Thousand Eyes of Reda in our Raven Clan's house. During these quests, we will have to execute a target under a command, and we will count on reinforcements to help us both in close and ranged combat. If we complete a mission, we get a new game currency, the denarius, with which we can buy new weapons, armours, and cosmetics. We can also strengthen our group of rebels by improving their number and fighting skills. It seems that, during Viking times, La Résistance already existed.
The second key point are the plagues of rats, running around and likely to be a real pain in the neck. The first time we ran into them, we terrifyingly remembered their co-star cousins in A Plague Tale: Innocence, because this enemy behaves almost identically to the one in Asobo Studio's title. Ubisoft seems to have taken it beyond a homage and included it between the infiltration and stealth kills options, because if we have to go across a rat-infested area, we must hit left and right so they scatter. There may also be some object blocking the exit of the sewer from which they attack, so if we stealthily enter an area and silently break the blocking object (for example, with an arrow), the rats will attack every enemy they find. This is a double-edged sword, even more considering Eivor's chaotic combat, but it did save us more than once.
As for the infiltration missions, taken from the previous instalments and designed for giving more playability to the assassinations, we must complete a series of small side quests that will unlock assassination options and chances for our final quest. There's no need to complete them (as long as our target dies, of course), but they add another twist to the game dynamic.
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France does not offer as many settings as Wrath of the Druids did. Though it has the same number of locations, it is obvious that it is a smaller map, and its points of interest are closer to each other. It also has a more subdued colour palette, and the French countryside does not look as good as the Emerald Isle's fields. World Events are still present, and we must find and complete many of which we already know, like offering altars, legendary animals, cairns, and small stories of the Parisian residents. There's actually a new optional challenge that meets the circumstances, the Frankish noblemen. Similar to the Ragnar Lodbrok's Drengrs against which we fought in England, these are very powerful and unique enemies that are beyond our current level, and each of them have a different combat style. These are undoubtedly the most difficult combatants in the Siege of Paris, and make for a good opportunity to use the new type of weapon, the scythe, of which its damage increases with each consecutive hit.
In conclusion, The Siege of Paris is the finishing touch of the first season pass of Assassin's Creed Valhalla. It offers new mechanics and challenges with which keeps us on the edge of our seats in the Viking era. We really couldn't ask for anything else in this game, except to continue adventuring with Eivor, and maybe a little bit more of lengthy expansion duration, because 12 hours may not quite be enough to satisfy.
9 / 10
Offers new mechanics. More weapons, more types of missions.
A small map and a shorter duration than the first expansion. Some bugs from the seasonal events and the base game are still unresolved.