Assassin’s Creed Valhalla: The Siege of Paris is only a few weeks way. If you’ve already worked your way through the 120-plus hours of existing Assassin’s Creed Valhalla content, you’ll probably want to play this expansion — especially since it may potentially solve two big problems from the previous Wrath of the Druids DLC.
Not only will The Siege of Paris feature freeform “black box” assassination missions, but it’s also optimized for late-game characters. That means it may provide a suitable challenge for players who have already finished the main story. Information comes from Gamespot, quoting direct correspondence with Ubisoft’s PR team:
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“There is no mandatory power level to play The Siege of Paris,” the rep told Gamespot. “The suggested power level for the Francia area will be 200.”
For gamers who haven’t yet dived into Valhalla, “Francia” was a medieval French kingdom, which contained Paris. A “power level” is a measure of protagonist Eivor’s overall strength, based on how many skills he’s acquired. While 200 is not the max level (you can get up to 430), it’s also not something you’d reach until late game.
Compare and contrast with the previous Valhalla expansion, Wrath of the Druids, which had a required power level of 55. To put this in context with the rest of the game, East Anglia — an early area once you leave Norway and reach England — also has a power level of 55. Glowecestrescire, which has a power level of 220, kicks off the last big story arc in the game.
In other words, you can play Wrath of the Druids a few hours into your Valhalla adventure. To play Siege of Paris, you’ll need to be in the final act of the game.
This could theoretically address one of the biggest shortcomings we discussed in our Wrath of the Druids review:
“For players who have already finished the base game and maxed out their equipment, Wrath of the Druids is going to be very easy, even taking a handful of powerful boss fights into consideration,” I wrote. “Since the expansion isn’t really calibrated for postgame characters, you can either turn the difficulty up, or just accept that the game isn’t going to be much of a challenge.”
Granted, endgame characters will still greatly exceed the 200 power level threshold that Siege of Paris recommends. But Wrath of the Druids adjusted its challenge for higher-level players, and we imagine that Siege of Paris will do the same. Hopefully, the difficulty ceiling will be higher this time around.
Another feature that Ubisoft highlighted for The Siege of Paris is the return of “black box missions” from earlier Assassin’s Creed games. These freeform assassinations were a big part of Assassin’s Creed Unity, but haven’t really appeared in the Origins/Odyssey/Valhalla trilogy. These missions presented large, enclosed areas with environmental options for stealthy kills — killing a priest in a confessional booth, for example. They also rewarded players for taking creative routes rather than just “kill target, fight off guards, run away and hide.”
Wrath of the Druids had relatively little in the way of assassinations, and much more open combat. Having black box missions available should be a welcome return to form. Assassin’s Creed Valhalla: The Siege of Paris comes out on August 12, and is part of the game’s Season Pass, which costs $40.