‘Assassin’s Creed Valhalla: Siege of Paris’ DLC review: A welcome revival of black box missions

While Siege of Paris, the newest expansion for Assassin’s Creed Valhalla, puts the ‘Assassin’ back into the ‘Creed’ with the reintroduction of black box missions, the experience is somewhat bogged down by ‘same-old same-old’

Riding high on the Wrath of the Druids expansion, Assassin’s Creed Valhalla has had quite the run. As you witness Eivor and their (you can play as either male or female in ACV) step-brother Sigurd’s Raven Clan take on the powers from Norway to the English countryside to Ireland, whilst growing their settlement, making allies and occasionally plundering and pillaging.

Now, with the Siege of Paris expansion, this chapter of Assassin’s Creed comes to a close by embracing the shadows.

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History tells many bloody tales of the Vikings, but if one of them had to stand out, it would be the legendary Siege of Paris in 845 AD, the biggest set of conquests by the raiders from the North ever recorded. In true Assassin’s Creed fashion, Eivor is conveniently thrown into the fray when approached by Sigfred one of the warring chiefs right out of history, to cross to Western Francia and help them with the siege.

Read More | Assassin’s Creed Valhalla main game review: Beautiful, bloody… and buggy

With Charles The Fat, under whom the Frankish Kingdoms are united, warding off the invaders from within the walls, a plague on the loose, a brewing rebellion and a seedy cult, Eivor has to balance their axe with the delicate ways of the assassin to make the right alliances in and out of Paris.

The story of Siege of Paris is riveting; Eivor faces many struggles in their liaison with Charles The Fat, who is determined to cleanse England of Viking hordes.

Assassin’s Creed Valhalla: Siege of Paris

  • Developer & Publisher: Ubisoft
  • Price: Approx. ₹2,000 ($29) on consoles (PS5, PS4, XBox One, Xbox X|S) and PC.

There is also a conspiracy brewing within the churches ranks, making for some exciting assassins missions.

Black box missions, galore

While Assassin’s Creed Unity (2014) was not one of the best in the series, it did mark a big change in introducing the new graphics engine we see today, as well as introducing the black box assassination gameplay mechanic. So it is fitting that the franchise visits Paris once more and the game reintroduces the infiltration missions in Siege of Paris.

These experiences play out very much like the Hitman games, where you have to either investigate your target, finding possible clues to dispatch your target with stealth, or walk through the front door for a more direct kill, or gather intel at the local inn to uncover a better method. These mission types have been sorely missed since Assassin’s Creed Syndicate (2015) and they are more than welcome due to the truly rewarding feeling that you, as the gamer, feels.

A screenshot from the ‘Assassin’s Creed: Valhalla’ DLC ‘Siege of Paris’ | Photo Credit: Ubisoft

The Francia countryside is almost identical to England, except decorated with Charles the Fat’s wrath in the form of grisly decapitations left as examples — nothing like the French-inspired Blood and Wine expansion from The Witcher 3. Siege of Paris brings some interesting traversal in the form of exciting parkour.

Note to the player: watch out for those plague rat swarms in the sewers, they are rather fast, extremely annoying and cannot be killed.

A screenshot from the ‘Assassin’s Creed: Valhalla’ DLC ‘Siege of Paris’, depicting religious fanatacism | Photo Credit: Ubisoft

Predictably, Siege of Paris is a much smaller adventure in comparison to the main game, taking 10-plus hours and will require you to be of a fairly high level to jump in. Black box missions aside, the game has that same grind of kill, loot, speak to leader mission structure. The rebel missions feel like they are tagged on just to give you something to do. Main mission aside, there is no real reason for you to dilly dally around Francia.

Frankly, Assassins Creed Valhalla: Siege of Paris is not as good as Odyssey’s Atlantis expansion. While it does leverage a key piece of history well apart from the infiltration missions, it is more of the same Valhalla. This is perfect if you crave more of that Viking action.

The writer is a tech and gaming enthusiast who hopes to one day finish his sci-fi novel

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