You may have noticed that Assassin’s Creed: Valhalla received an update today. If not here’s your warning that you’ll have to download and install said update before you play the game next. That is, if you’re playing on Xbox, given that PlayStation seems to allow you to play games while they’re updating.

This Yule Season Update introduces a brand new game mode, which is fittingly referred to as river raids. Funnily enough, that happens to be the title of one of my favourite Atari games from childhood.

The River Raids mode is a permanent addition to the game and a new replayable mode enriching the raiding experience in Assassin’s Creed: Valhalla. The mode contains:

  • Higher-stakes raids, with unique maps and rewards, in which the player can raid without impacting their main game progression and alliances in England. Unlike the original raiding feature, the raiding crew can be temporarily lost if players don’t revive them during the raid.
  • A Jomsviking Crew: Recruited Jomsvikings (created by other players online) are led by the player’s personal Jomsviking Lieutenant.
  • A New Longship: An all-new fully customizable longship exclusive to the game mode – whose cargo hold can be upgraded to bring more resources back from River Raids.

The new Jomsviking hall will offer three individual upgrades, with higher rankings correlating to the ability to recruit more Jomsvikings.

After players complete one of the first narrative arcs in England, either Grantebridgescire or Ledecestrescire, build their Barracks and recruit their Jomsviking Lieutenant, they will encounter a new NPC named Vagn and his crew of Jomsviking raiders, who will introduce them to the River Raids game mode. The mode introduces three new river maps set around the coastline of England full of locations to raid and treasure to loot.

Finally, the update brings additional abilities and rewards:

  • The Saint George Armor set and Great Sword
  • 3 new Abilities, hidden in monasteries
  • 2 new Settlement Buildings
  • A new set of longship and player cosmetics

Season 2 — which goes by the name Ostara — is expected to release and begin sometime in March. As such, this seemingly marks the end of Season 1.

Stay tuned for more Assassin’s Creed: Valhalla news.

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