Assassin's Creed Valhalla launched in November with a shop selling cosmetic extras for real money, but to the surprise of many, the XP boost packs sold in Assassin's Creed Odyssey were conspicuously absent. Not to worry, everyone: the controversial microtransactions have now arrived.
A recent update from Ubisoft has introduced the XP boosts to Valhalla's Helix store. The boost grants a 50 per cent increase to XP progression and can be used across all save files. It'll cost you, though: the boost can be bought for 1000 Helix credits, equivalent to £8.58. A similar pack can be bought to earn 50 per cent more silver, while a pack combining both the silver and XP boosts will cost you 1500 Helix credits (or £12.88 if you buy the 500 and 1050 packs).
The XP boost was controversial in Assassin's Creed Odyssey, not only because players felt microtransactions didn't belong in a full-price single-player title, but due to Odyssey's slow levelling process and level gates. This led some fans to claim the grind was there to deliberately encourage players to buy boost packs.
Speaking to Game Informer, a Ubisoft representative explained why the microtransaction had been added to Valhalla through an update.
"As more and more post-launch content becomes available, we want to give the option to players to advance their progression. Utilities allow players who lack the time to fully explore the world of Assassin's Creed Valhalla to be able to acquire the game's best gear, as well as other items, by accelerating their progress. For instance, these players can purchase maps that uncover some interesting locations in the world, but would still have to visit and play them to get their rewards."
Of course, given this microtransaction was available in Odyssey at launch, players have noted it seems a little dubious that Ubisoft waited a month after release and reviews to introduce the packs to Valhalla. On a more positive note, I've now completed Valhalla's storyline and there were very few occasions where I felt an XP boost was necessary - apart from the beginning, perhaps, where you can sometimes feel a little underleveled. Or that one time I accidentally stumbled into a dream area too early.
And at least the silver situation isn't really a problem for PC players, who have already created inventory editors to help them get almost any item they could desire.