Back when Ubisoft launched Assassins’ Creed: Valhalla, I had serious doubts about the future of the game. However, as with Origins and Odyssey, the franchise has essentially become a random assortment of historical adventures, slapped with the Assassins’ Creed branding. And fortunately for Ubisoft, it is working, at least for now. Dawn of Ragnarok brings the most popular period of Norse mythology to the AC universe.
In Dawn of Ragnarok, you continue Eivor’s journey as he continues to have visions from Odin’s life. You explore the realm of Svartalfheim where the dwarves are under siege by Surtr and his minions from Muspelheim. At a glance, DoR is a marvel of what modern game engines are capable of rendering with fiery flying mountains, golden hills, and other diverse biomes encapsulated in a tightly held 12-hour jaunt. This is both a convenience and a nuisance, depending on who you ask as it’s a very condensed take on Ragnarok, bound to disappoint mythology enthusiasts and fans alike.
The first few hours of the game are spent mostly exploring, looking for dwarven camps while the remaining are a series of hunts, and chases, followed by boss fights that get repetitive real fast. The combat is largely unchanged, although a few new skills and weapons have been added to keep it a smidge interesting.
The character design fails to impress, most notably Odin who keeps oscillating between a brody, nonchalant megalomaniac and a bleeding heart who can’t help but carry every dwarf to safety. Regardless, the whole affair seems rushed, severely lacking in detail in the writing department. The base campaign of Assassins’ Creed: Valhalla had its faults but ultimately, it landed on its feet thanks to a well-rounded story, characters, and a vast open world.
The gorgeous realm of Svartalfheim will take your breath away but if you’re a fan of Norse mythology, you’ll be left gasping for air as you uncover the shallow depths of this otherwise massive world.