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Cast your mind back, if you will, to the year of our lord 2018. Ubisoft was under fire from fans for a "time-saving" experience point booster it had worked into Assassin's Creed Odyssey.
In short, you could pay extra money on top of the money you'd already paid for the game to increase the amount of experience earned in sidequests and other missions... thus saving you the trouble of playing the game you'd just purchased for any longer than was absolutely necessary. No, I don't get why you'd want to do that either.
It was a much-hated feature in an otherwise-excellent game, compounded by the fact that if you didn't use the experience booster, Assassin's Creed Oddyssey turned into a real grind-fest towards the end of the game. With many of the late-game quests locked behind some massive level requirements, it was as if Ubisoft had intentionally built the game to encourage people to buy the boosters.
When Assassin's Creed Valhalla launched last month, it did so without an experience booster in sight. The open-world Viking RPG still had a store where you could purchase various items and cosmetics bits, but nothing that massively had an impact on the gameplay. I managed to get to the end of the game and do pretty much everything without ever feeling the grind, or the need for any kind of booster.
All of which makes it even more confusing that one month after release, Ubisoft has decided to release the controversial microtransaction into its latest game. Update 1.010 introduced a raft of new content, including its very own "XP Boost" that promises to permanently increase experience gains by 50%. The XP Boost costs 1000 Helix Credits, which comes to about £7.
In a statement to Game Informer, Ubisoft explained that with more content on the horizon for Valhalla, those who come to it around the Christmas period might want to be able to get a boost and accelerate their progress.
"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."
There's nothing forcing you to buy this XP Boost, obviously. Getting to the end of the game without ever using such an item is perfectly possible as Valhalla is really quite generous with its experience points. I think the issue many will take with this is that it's been added in a month after launch, despite the absolute roasting the boosters in Odyssey got.
Featured Image Credit: Ubisoft
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