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Assassin’s Creed Valhalla: the best sidequests after six hours of play

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The first thing I do in an open world game is ditch the main quest and bolt into the woods. This is how these things go. So I used my six hours of free roam time in Assassin’s Creed Valhalla’s Ledecestrescire region to test its scope. I went looking for organic points of interest to pull me around like a curious, dumb meat magnet, hoping to find distinct sidequests that color in the character and culture of the setting. Seeing that this is the third Assassin’s Creed of this type—a more RPG-tinged open world game trying to cut a similar silhouette to The Witcher 3—I figured it must also be the best so far, right?

Broadly speaking, Valhalla is going to hit a lot like Odyssey did, sans the open sea sailing. Like Odyssey, which I spent 100-plus hours in, I’m still digging the premium cable TV treatment of the history here, and the characters are all pretty fun so far. Female Eivor’s gravel-throated performance is especially good. We might have a Cassandra usurper on our hands.

But this is an Assassin’s Creed game made in a very familiar shape, and the sidequests (labeled "mysteries") still can’t compare with anything in the best RPGs, although they’re sillier and more diverse than what you get from more recent Ubisoft stuff.

I know because I played 15 of Valhalla’s sidequests, a decent sample size which includes all but two in the Ledecestrescire region. (One I couldn’t find, and one that was too boring to bother with.) Let’s look back at them, make a few sound judgements, and figure out if turning over—or stacking—every stone in Valhalla will be worth our time.

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