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No, I Won’t Ride The Bear In The New Assassin’s Creed DLC

Ubisoft keeps adding weird mounts to Valhalla, to no avail

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Eivor riding a bear as it leaps over a small wall.
This is for illustrative purposes ONLY.
Screenshot: Ubisoft / Kotaku

Another Assassin’s Creed Valhalla DLC means yet another new and wacky animal mount for my viking-warrior to ride. This time it’s a bear. Once more Ubisoft tempts me to ride a giant animal that is historically inaccurate. I firmly said no to the giant wolf in 2020. Earlier this year, I also passed on riding the weird and lumpy giant cat that was added with the Wrath of The Druids DLC. And now, yet again, I must put my foot down. No Ubisoft, I will not ride the giant bear…even though I really want to.

Yesterday, The Siege of Paris, the second major expansion for Assassin’s Creed Valhalla, was released across all major platforms. It’s good! I liked it a lot, though it does have some unfortunate performance problems, with wonky framerates and screen tearing sometimes ruining the fun. And like before, after finishing up the initial introduction mission in France, I found myself the new owner of a bear.

Ubisoft, this is getting old. First a wolf, then a giant cat, now a bear. Do you really think this will work? I’m strong, stupid, and dedicated, even for silly things like this.

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Once again, I’ll let past Zack explain why I don’t ride these silly beasts of burden. Take it away!

This might seem like a weird line in the sand, but hear me out. The thing is, even as the franchise has added more mystical and fantastical bits and bobs, I’ve always been able to figure out a way to make it work in my head. Sure, in Assassin’s Creed Odyssey you can fight a minotaur. But maybe that was just a story that was told so much it became a memory. Remember, the way these games work is through the Animus, itself a bizarre piece of science that is more magical than logical. The Animus uses DNA from past people to present users with their DNA memories. (It doesn’t really make sense.) Memories aren’t perfect. In fact, in this latest game, you can choose between a male or female Eivor because the Animus doesn’t actually know the historical Eivor’s sex. So a myth someone heard their whole lives, something that might have appeared in their dreams even, could contaminate their DNA memory.

But a big wolf cat bear that someone rode for years, using it to help fight wars and save people, something thousands of other people saw, seems too much of a stretch. The Animus might not be perfect, but it’s not that bad at getting the facts right.

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As always, perfectly said younger me. Good job. I’ll also add that it’s odd how nobody around Eivor reacts to her riding a giant bear or cat. They all just smile or try to kill you like normal. Nobody is going “Hey, look at that incredibly large wolf! That’s not normal! What a world we live in!”

Eivor riding a bear outside in the sunlight.
Screenshot: Ubisoft / Kotaku
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Of course at this point, after playing the game for over 120 hours, I’m running around with Thor’s hammer and Excalibur. Plus I’m able to use magical abilities that let me slow time or heal on the fly. So it’s probably weird nobody yells about any of that stuff either, but let’s not try to poke holes in my weird hangup, especially not now. It’s far too late for that.

But if I have to be honest with you dear reader, I’m starting to feel like I’m missing out. I see all these people out there riding their giant, non-sensical animals and they are having fun. I too wish to have fun. I deserve a good t—

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NO! I’m not going to break. Not yet. You almost had me, Ubisoft and Assassin’s Creed. Though with news that the publisher has plans to support Valhalla with more DLC next year, it’s likely my struggle to never ride these unusual mounts is not yet over.