Finally, we have placed our weary feet on the soil of Ireland, my homeland. But is it what I was hoping or expecting to see? To start your journey to the Emerald Isle, you will need to drop into your settlement in England first. Upon arriving you will see a new visitor has landed on the docks, Azar – a trader, from Ireland. Once you have completed the intro quest by unblocking a blockade, you are free to set off to Ireland with Azar and begin the DLC The Wrath of the Druids.
When you first land on the docks of Dublin and meet your cousin Báird (King of Dublin) for the first time, he will show you about the town and then set you on your way to adventure across this green and colourful land. Most of what you see is a smaller representation of England, with large open fields, forests (though smaller) and mountains to explore. In much the same way as the main game, the DLC will see you looting Abbeys, outposts and more to gain to increase your renown in Dublin/Meath. There are also new weapons to acquire along with some much-needed new skills and more to beef up Eivor for the forthcoming missions.
One of the new quests you will encounter are the Trading Posts that are scatter throughout the land. Once you have captured one of these Trading Posts, you will then need to head off and clear out a fort to gather the deed for the Trading Posts can be captured. Once this is done, you will be able to go on raids and pick up some supplies for you to unlock more resources and fancy goods that can be sent back to the market in Dublin Port. These Posts also act as fast travel spots for you to jump back and forth if need be.
Then there are the pigeon coops, which feel like a nod back to the original series of games where we collected our Assassin contracts and sent out our recruits on missions. In Wrath of the Druids, you will use the coops to increase favour with the King as part of the Royal Demands quest. These are repeatable missions that give you bonuses for completing them without being detected or killing anyone. There are new weapons and armour sets for you to collect and even mythical weapons like Cú Chulainns spear and shield. There is also a few cosmetics that can be acquired like new tattoos.
When it comes to the enemies that you encounter across Ireland, the Druids, or the Children of Danu (bad Druids), are the ones that have some unique fighting mechanics that you need to learn to beat them. They use this hallucinogenic fog that makes (according to them) you see all manner of monsters and beasts, like werewolves (and only werewolves?). It would have been a nice touch if they would have added in more mystical spirits like Banshees, Fairies, Vampires among a few. I feel like this was a bit of a missed opportunity that the developers could have had fun with. The Druids themselves are no easy targets either, with the Wolfhounds at their side and their stun move which seems them head butt you, leaving you a bit dazed and open for attack.
The Wrath of the Druids DLC was fun to play, and you get to see some more beautiful views of Ireland, like Tara Hill and The Giants Causeway. There is enough of a surprise to the continuing story with enough twists to keep you hooked. There are new moves/skills to learn and a new settlement to build up. Which is a great excuse to head off and do some more raiding once more with your Viking crew. However, I wish there were more to explore of Ireland in terms of heading down south towards Munster (Cork, Kerry etc..), but sadly no. There is also a rinse and repeat feeling you get too when doing the Trading Posts.
Wrath of the Druids is a fun add on and it lets you dip into a bit of Ireland’s history, while you get to see some amazing backdrops and landscapes to fight against Druids and soldiers alike. With some added moves, armour, weapons, and cosmetics, I wished they would have given us some more locations to the south to explore, as it has some of the most spectacular sights to behold. While the missions are more rinse and repeat of what was on offer in England, they are still enjoyable to playthrough. Hopefully when we venture out to Paris in the Summer, Ubisoft will offer up more variety and scope in terms of the missions and locations we can visit.
GoG Rating: 8/10