Springtime has arrived in Ravensthorpe, so any players logging into Assassin’s Creed Valhalla will notice their home village has received a drastic glow-up. With plenty of butterflies and Spring-related decorations, the Ostara Festival update brings some new content to Valhalla.
However, the update is unlikely to get any players in the festive mood due to a lack of fun and interesting content. For one, the Ostara Festival feels like a direct re-skin of the Yuletide Festival but somehow worse.
The three minigames from the Yuletide Festival return here with little to no changes. This includes the drinking competition, the Viking brawl ring and the target shooting minigame. While they do feel more polished this time around, it still feels lazy that Ubisoft is re-using content from a previous event, even after promising that Valhalla would have stronger support in terms of post-launch content.
The rewards that you also receive for completing the minigames, currency dubbed Festival Tokens, hardly seem worth it. You can use the Festival Tokens to cash in rewards at Norvid’s shop, but these rewards feel lackluster compared to the last event.
In the Yuletide Festival, you could use the tokens to purchase a new weapon and gear sets that came with unique perks not found in the rest of the game. However, the Ostara Festival only offers cosmetic rewards, meaning this will only be worth it for people who are really invested in tattoos, settlement decorations and if you can put flowers in Eivor’s hair.
Also part of the Ostara Festival is four new side quests, yet these little adventures are uninteresting distractions. One involves exploring Ravensthorpe for baskets of Easter Eggs while another tasks you with lighting pyres around the settlement.
These short quests take roughly 10 or so minutes to complete and are bereft of anything to truly interesting. It’s such a shame since we know Ubisoft is capable of making short but memorable side quests as evidenced by the solid World Events in the main game.
To make matters even worse, one of the quests is unable to be completed due to a game-breaking bug. In response, Ubisoft has disabled elements of the quest until they are able to put out a fix. While not a deal-breaker on its own, it just adds on to a pile of mounting disappointments.
Overall, the Ostara Festival echoes the issues so far with Ubisoft’s approach to post-launch content. The Festivals and last month’s River Raids update do provide new content, but so much of it is cookie cutter and rote, lacking a meaningful reason to return to the game.
To give a clearer idea, the previous two Assassin’s Creed titles had better post-launch content at this point in the game’s life cycle. Assassin’s Creed Origins had introduced a weekly rotation of boss battles against Egyptian Gods that felt epic in scale and rewarded exclusive legendary gear. Odyssey had the Lost Tales of Greece each month which were long-form side quest chains that were fun and added a bit more story to the world of Ancient Greece. On top of that, Odyssey also had new epic mercenaries and monster boss battles that could challenge the player.
We live in a pandemic world, however, so obviously, this could be a huge contributing factor for why the post-launch content has been lackluster so far in Valhalla. This doesn’t keep these updates above criticism, though.
It could be that Ubisoft is still playing its cards close to its chest as we do now have a definitive release date for the first DLC expansion for Valhalla. Called The Wrath of the Druids, this DLC will take Eivor to Ireland where they will have to confront the Children of Danu. The Wrath of the Druids will release on April 29.