Well, this is a nice surprise. Not only is the final content update for Assassin's Creed Valhalla now live on all platforms - a week earlier than planned! - but it includes a surprise tie-in to next year's Bagdhad-based Assassin's Creed Mirage.
We were expecting this last chapter of Eivor's story to arrive next week, on 6th December. Announcing its early release last night, Ubisoft blamed "an unforeseen glitch in the Animus".
As expected, this final dollop of Valhalla storyline sees Eivor wrap up her time in England and head off to North America one last time - where the game's opening shows she is buried. There's time for a few final goodbyes with some noteworthy people from Valhalla's long campaign, and then it's off to find out more about what Odin has been up to.
Players had been expecting more of Basim here (and I'll keep things spoiler-free if you're still to see Valhalla's ending), the game's travelling proto-Assassin with an intriguing backstory who is set to star in Mirage next year. And indeed, there's more of him and more of Valhalla's present day storyline which set up Mirage as something of a flashback tale.
(Indeed, it's interesting to wonder how this content would likely have been featured within Valhalla back when Mirage was originally planned as a Valhalla expansion.)
Separate to all of that, this update also provides a further link between Valhalla and Mirage with another new quest, "Shared History", that stars another Mirage main character.
Surprise! Roshan from Assassin's Creed Mirage makes an appearance in Assassin’s Creed Valhalla with our latest update. Eivor and Roshan team up in "Shared History" - a new free quest available now! #AssassinsCreed pic.twitter.com/s7QOcjaavS— Assassin's Creed (@assassinscreed) November 29, 2022
Roshan, Basim's mentor in Mirage who is voiced by the brilliant Shohreh Aghdashloo, pops up in Ravensthorpe with a mission for Eivor. It's a nice little quest which allows the two to chat - and gives some hints at where her character will end up in Mirage next year.
Alongside all that, this final update makes some other welcome changes. A weekly free costmetic item will now be given from the Animus store each week, and as previously announced there's now the ability to toggle Eivor's hood to always be on, classic Assassin's Creed style. Finally, a set of new items can be found at the game's various NPC shopkeepers, including new mounts and a raven, as well as all past festival rewards which you can now buy using silver.
It's a strong send-off for Valhalla, which has generated over $1bn for Ubisoft since its launch two years ago.
Next up for Assassin's Creed is the smaller and more stealth-focused Mirage, due sometime in 2023.