Here I thought Assassin's Creed Valhalla might get away from those icky experience point boosters Ubisoft so like to put in their games, alas it was not to be. In Valhalla's in-game store you can now buy XP boosts for real-life cash, which effectively double your XP gain. They're designed to save you time, so you don't need to do tons of side quests to level up. But they caused a fair bit of backlash in Assassin's Creed Odyssey, and I can't say I'm particularly happy to see them return.
With Valhalla's big 1.1.0 update that came out this week, XP boosts made their way into the store. For the price of 1000 Helix Credits (around £9/$10), they'll permanently boost your XP gain by 50%, or a slightly pricier one will double the gold you earn as well.
"As more and more post-launch content becomes available, we want to give the option to players to advance their progression," Ubisoft told Game Informer. "Utilities [the store category boosters are under] 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."
XP boosts came under fire when Odyssey came out because some players felt the game was purposefully grindy to make you want to buy them. Though, in her Assassin's Creed Odyssey review Alice Bee didn't feel like the grind was any worse than most open world games: "[Boosters] are tempting if you really can’t be arsed doing any side missions, but not essential. I don’t agree that the game is a deliberately slow grind to force you to splash out more."
This rings true from what I've experienced so far with Valhalla too; the pacing is pretty nice and I certainly don't feel like I need the extra XP.
I've always found XP boosts a bit of a gross thing, especially in single-player games. Call me old fashioned, but I think it would be nice to not feel the need to spend extra money to level up. Having said that, I suppose it's nice to have the option if you do want to explore higher level areas a bit earlier.
If you need some help with the game that doesn't involve your hard-earned cash, check out our Assassin's Creed Valhalla walkthrough.
Our Assassin's Creed Valhalla review called the Viking adventure "a lively grab bag of all the best bits from Assassin’s Creed games past".