I really enjoyed the new Assassin’s Creed Valhalla DLC, Siege of Paris. Exploring the new map was great and the storyline was perfectly paced. Good stuff! But there is one part of the DLC that sucks shit: The cavalry soldiers. They are annoying and because of how Valhalla works these arseholes aren’t fun to deal with.
Siege of Paris sees the main character of Valhalla, viking-assassin Eivor, head off on a big adventure in France. While there she has to deal with a mad king, whiny royals, helpless peasants, and desperate viking clans. So, the usual stuff. But before you head off to France some characters tell Eivor to be careful. They warn her that the French army is formidable, both well-armed and expertly trained. I rolled my eyes hearing this.
“Yeah, sure, whatever you say, buddy,” me, talking to my TV.
And for the most part, my scepticism that any of the soldiers in France could defeat my super-powerful, high-level Eivor was proven accurate. I was nearly untouchable. Then I ran into some armoured bastards riding horses and thought to myself: “Oh… so these were the people you warned me about!”
The cavlary units are a pain in my armoured arse. For starters, these bastards are fast and possess pikes or staffs that can easily hit you from far away, dealing a lot of damage in the process. They have one move that involves them impaling you and chucking Eivor across the battlefield. It sucks. God help you if more than one of these units show up. You’ll get tossed around like a baseball during the World Series.
These arseholes also take a lot more damage than I expected. I’d attack multiple times and they would just keep on kicking my arse. Another annoying fact is that their horses seem to be nearly unkillable when they are riding them. I’m not above killing a horse to make my life easier but either these horses are gods or my main weapon, Thor’s hammer, isn’t as powerful as I thought. But once I killed the rider, I could easily down the horse with a single hit. (And I did this a lot because I wanted my revenge.)
Some guides suggest hiding and picking them off with fire arrows and poison. That strategy does work, eventually, but it’s not much fun. You can also do what I did and just run around like a wild-viking with ants in their pants, trying to use abilities and melee attacks on the horse rider. This isn’t a great strategy, but it’s a bit more fun than hiding and chipping away health with a bow and arrow.
In theory, these could have been fun enemies if Valhalla let you fight on horseback with your main weapons. But you can’t. You can only use your bow while on horseback. If you try to use your sword, Eivor instead kicks weakly and slowly. So you can’t have an exciting duel on horseback with these cavalry units. Instead, your options are: A. Hiding and shooting or B. Running around in circles, taking hits, and trying to kill either the horse or rider as quickly as you can. There is an option C, but that’s just running away and ignoring these shit eaters.
In a DLC that has done such a great job of mixing the old, stealthy action of past Assassin’s Creed games with the thrill of being a powerful viking, these horse-riding enemies feel like a big misfire. Thankfully, this being the internet, I’ll get some responses explaining how easy these enemies are to fight and what I’m doing wrong. So that’s something to look forward to, I guess.