Assassin's Creed Valhalla is the series' best instalment to date, so writes Steven in his review. One of the major improvements is that it's far less of a grind compared to its two immediate predecessors. Hitting story quests at the recommended level doesn't involve interminable hours spent dabbling in side content like it did in Assassin's Creed Origins and Odyssey.
Still, maybe you're short of time, or maybe you like feeling really powerful from the get go. Ubisoft knows: the company has been selling XP boosters for its mainline Assassin's Creed games for a while, and while that wasn't initially the case for Valhalla, the in-game store now has these items for sale.
First spotted by Game Informer, you can now spend 1000 Helix points ($10) for a permanent 50 percent increase to acquired XP. For 1500 Helix points ($15) you get that, as well as a 50 percent increase to acquired money.
It's hardly a new phenomenon, but this is a singleplayer game, and once upon a time you'd be able to use a cheat code for something like this. Indeed, Assassin's Creed Odyssey did have a cheat method of sorts for XP grinding, concocted by players in its Story Creator mode, but Ubisoft quickly put a stop to that. "These exploits risk jeopardising the overall quality, integrity, and purpose of Story Creator Mode and results in less visibility for the creative, interesting and frankly fantastic community stories that have been published," a spokesperson for the company wrote at the time. Perhaps that's a euphemistic way of saying: we want you to pay money for XP boosters.
Ubisoft sent Game Informer a statement on the Valhalla boosters, writing that "as more and more post-launch content becomes available, we want to give the option to players to advance their progression.
"Utilities [the item category in the Valhalla store] 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."
I don't see why you should have to pay for this, but That's Business. Good thing the game is pretty good: "Bloody and captivating, Valhalla is Assassin's Creed at its best," Steven wrote last month.