Fans of cult action-adventure video game Assassin’s Creed® Valhalla can now enjoy an immersive experience across Ireland via the ‘Wrath of the Druids’ expansion.
The pandemic may have put paid to tourists’ plans to visit Ireland. But Tourism Ireland is not giving up. In an innovative move, it has joined forces with video games creator Ubisoft to take players of the iconic Assassin’s Creed® Valhalla on an immersive virtual tour of the Emerald Isle.
“The Viking heritage and myriad Celtic myths in Ireland were absolutely the perfect fit for Wrath of the Druids, our first expansion of AC Valhalla. With deep narrative exploration and all-new features for players to try out the fantastic new Viking and Celtic locations to explore, we believe the end product will not just excite our audience but will do justice to Ireland’s incredible history and mythology,” says Fabian Salomon, producer at Ubisoft Bordeaux.
Wrath of the Druids allows fans to don the avatar of Eivor, a fierce Viking clan-leader, as they navigate through Ireland’s surreal landscapes and take in the exotic culture and folklore. The plot plays out 80 years after the first Viking foray into the country. Then, as now, Dublin is the focal point, given its status as an important trading port. Eivor’s new adventure will give players the opportunity to unravel the mysteries of an ancient druidic cult, The Children of Danu, based on the Tuatha Dé Danann, a race of deities and heroes in Irish mythology who were skilled in the arts, science, poetry, and magic.
The expansion encompasses historical landmarks such as the Giant’s Causeway in County Antrim, which is a UNESCO World Heritage site and steeped in local legend. Also, part of the visuals is the Hill of Tara. Dating back to 2000 BC, it was the actual seat of the High Kings of Ireland and remains central to Gaelic identity and culture. And then, another important inclusion, the mountain of Ben Bulben in County Sligo, is the home of renowned Irish poet WB Yeats.
Wrath of the Druids players also have the chance to conquer ringforts, which were circular fortified settlements heavily in use in Ireland at the time. Designed to keep raiders out and animals in, more than 45,000 ringforts still survive in Ireland.
Gamers will also come across mythological figures, Púca and the Morrigan, who are associated with Samhain, an ancient Celtic festival that can be traced back as the birthplace of Halloween. The Púca Festival, a twenty-first-century Samhain celebration, is held in County Meath and neighbouring County Louth every year.
All about Assassin’s Creed
Since it first launched in 2007, the Assassin’s Creed series has sold more than 155 million games worldwide. It is an open-world action-adventure stealth video game franchise published by Ubisoft. The AC series depicts a fictional millennia-old struggle between the Assassins, who fight for peace with free will, and the Templars, who desire peace through order and control. The series features historical fiction, science fiction, and fictional characters intertwined with real-world historical events and figures.
Playing Wrath of the Druids does not require one to have completed the story arc of the main game. The expansion will be accessible once players have reached England and completed one of the first narrative arcs – either Grantebridgescire or Ledecestrescire.