Assassin’s Creed Valhalla is a big game, filled with things to do, places to go, and gear to collect. To add to this huge pile of stuff, if you pre-ordered the game or purchased the season pass, you get a bit of extra content in the form of extra quests. One of these bonus quests is great; the other is a mess.
Anybody who pre-ordered any version of Assassin’s Creed Valhalla gains access to “The Way of The Berserker” quest. If you bought any version of the game that came with the season pass or purchased the season pass separately, you also gain instant access to another bonus quest, “The Legend of Beowulf.” Both of these quests can be started only after you establish your Viking settlement in England. Once you have done that and have downloaded and installed the season pass and pre-order DLC, you’ll find two letters marked with small exclamation icons in your personal mailbox in your room. Read these to begin the quests.
(For those who care, there are some minor spoilers about the start of these quests.)
The first quest I completed was “The Legend of Beowulf.” It starts off interesting: the letter mentions rumors of a murderous beast that is roaming the countryside of East Anglia, killing livestock. After arriving at a village, I was attacked by the locals, who blame the recent killings on Vikings like me. After a short fistfight, I spoke to a local nun who was sent by the church to investigate claims of a devilish beast stalking the lands. After investigating the cattle and trying to figure out how one of the dead animals ended up on the roof of the barn, the nun explained that a similar scene could be found just outside of the village. When we arrived, an old woman was being attacked by wolves who had been attracted to the area by all the dead animals. After saving her and doing some more investigating at a nearby abandoned church, the “beast” arrived.
This is where the quest goes down the drain. It ends up dealing in some cliche ideas about mental illness and the ending feels sudden and is a letdown. For a quest that begins with such a mysterious, creepy premise, I was left feeling gross when it was over.
“The Way of The Berserker” quest is much better. I headed out to a nearby cave system after receiving a note from one of my Viking scouts, who said that a powerful warrior might be willing to join my clan. At the cave, I met Bjorn, a famous Viking warrior, known for having a big white bear as a sidekick. I helped find some food with the bear to prove I was a good person, then returned to save Bjorn from an ambush. Bjorn has retired from violence, which has made him some enemies and leads him on a quest for revenge. If you help him on his journey, you’ll be able to add him to your clan. I won’t spoil the rest of this quest, but I enjoyed learning more about Bjorn, his bear, and helping him get revenge against someone who had hurt him greatly.
Oh and when you complete this quest you get a sweet bear helmet. (And no it’s not made out of Bjorn’s bear, you monsters.)
Unlike the Beowulf quest, “The Way of The Berserker” starts out great and continues to be great, with a sad but emotional ending. It’s one of the better quests in the game and a reminder that while I do enjoy Ubisoft ditching hundreds of boring sidequests, I miss having more elaborate and narrative-driven quests to complete in Valhalla. Sadly, if you didn’t pre-order the game on consoles, there doesn’t currently appear to be any way to gain access to this wonderful quest. (According to the Ubisoft store, PC players who buy the game will still get this quest for free as long as they purchase the game before November 19.)
It’s a shame that the better of these two quests is harder to get, but it also means anyone who was tempted to buy the Assassin’s Creed Valhalla season pass early might be better off waiting until we know more about what is going to be in it.