Assassin's Creed Valhalla took me on unexpected adventures involving lots of cats, and I loved every minute of it

Assassin's Creed Valhalla
(Image credit: Ubisoft)

I can't get enough of the world events in Assassin's Creed Valhalla. Gallivanting about in 9th Century England as Eivor has provided me with so many unexpected adventures over the past month or so. From climbing up mountains to reach the snowy peaks high above, to galloping on horseback through lush fields filled with flowers in the rural countryside, the expansive landscape is full of points of interest. 

The latest Assassin's Creed experience presents these to you by displaying spots of light on your map. As you may already know if you've been partaking in Viking escapades of your own, the orbs, shown in different colours, can be indicative of a world event, the location of a collectible, or a clue pointing you in the direction of gear or treasure. 

When it comes to the world events and mysteries of Valhalla, I revel in never quite knowing what I'll encounter next as I travel around the landscape. Full of wonderfully strange happenstances and humorous events, the little side quests you can come across really make Mercia feel like a living, breathing world with residents wrapped up in their own lives and troubles. 

The best ones, though, are the truly silly and outlandish events that catch you entirely off guard. My love for this aspect of the game particularly deepened one fateful weekend as I was running to yet another glowing orb of light on my map. I found myself caught up in a series of events featuring a lot of cats, and when I say a lot, I mean a lot. In what has become the biggest highlight of my time with Valhalla so far, I ended up doing three separate world events over the course of two days that all involved many feline friends. 

If you'd rather discover these for yourself, it's best to turn back now so you don't spoil these little adventures. 

Pawsome discovery   

Getting distracted by side quests is one of many great joys of RPGs for me. Like the copious amount of hours spent getting distracted in Skyrim, I often find myself going off-road and somehow spending whole play sessions without touching the main story in Valhalla. Sure, sometimes it can feel overwhelming when there are just too many things to do in certain games, but Valhalla gets the balance just right for me. 

As I enter the region of Lincolnscire for the first time, I once again find myself getting caught by yet another point of interest instead of progressing the story. I quickly spy a glowing orb not far off that catches my attention, and my curiosity wins out; I decide to deviate from the path and investigate. This is where my cat-filled adventure begins. 

I approach a house and encounter an Anglo-Saxon woman crying outside. After speaking with her, I find out she's still mourning her dearly departed cat Sphinxy who passed away 11 years ago. To help with her continued grief, she asks me to find Sphinxy's belongings so she can build a shrine for her beloved pet. Who am I to say no? I mean sure, I'm a tough Viking with lots of raiding to do, but I can always make time to build a shrine for a kitty cat. So, feeling compelled to help this sobbing woman, I ran over to the house to fulfill this request. What I encounter when I find my way inside completely stops me in my tracks. It seems Sphinxy was quite the busy cat in life and had many, many children. 

Assassin's Creed Valhalla

(Image credit: Ubisoft)

I can't stop the smile that begins to spread across my face. Here I am, standing in a house packed with cats, and truly living my best life. In what turns into an hour-long photoshoot, I move Eivor into close proximity to the many kitties and proceed to take scores of screenshots. Happily, you can also pet the cats and dogs of Valhalla, and I absolutely pet each cat whenever a prompt pops up. After taking up more storage space on my PS4 with cat photos than is perhaps necessary, I get back to building Sphinxy's shrine. 

Now, this is a very straightforward quest… in theory. All you have to do is use your Eagle vision to locate the quest items you need to find. The slight snag is the items are either inside, or next to, smashable boxes that are all rather awkwardly placed beside explosive pots. Not only that, but a poorly aimed swing of your weapon can lead you to accidentally hit a cat. The horror. 

The first time I went to swing my hammer at a box, I ended up accidentally taking out two cats just before an explosive pot burst and set the house aflame. Before I know it, everything is burning and all of the cats are wiped out in one fell swoop… I know. I'm an utter monster. Not being able to live with this sequence of unfortunate events, I swiftly reload my autosave without a second thought and start over. After rectifying that rather disastrous attempt, I safely secure Sphinxy's favourite belongings, the shrine is made, and I complete "The Farewell Meow" world event. Little did I know, more cat-related antics awaited me. 

Feline fine 

Putting the explosive pot fiasco behind me, I soon find myself in Grantbridgescire where some rats are causing a lot of bother for a local farmer. Fortunately, a woman just so happens to live nearby who is the very proud owner of many cats. By passing a dialogue check if your charisma level is high enough, you can unleash this small army of fluffy friends on the rats. I really couldn't believe my luck; I'd manage to stumble on another cat-related event on the same day, in two completely separate parts of the map, without actively trying to. 

Of course, I had to take more screenshots as all of the adorable whiskered rodent hunters raced down the front steps of their home and charged towards the fields. Known as "The Doom Book of Cats", this was yet another joyful example of just how wonderfully silly and surprising Valhalla's side quests can be. 

Occasionally, you can also come across world events that can result in an animal joining your settlement. In the particular case of the "Raider Cat" sidequest I came to discover the next day, I meet a cat on the road in Northwic who ends up joining the crew of my longship. Yes, that's right, you can have a longship kitty companion who will reside under Eivor's feet forevermore whenever you set sail to do a spot of raiding. 

Living alone as I do, I often wish I had a pet companion at my side. Sadly, circumstances prevent me from fulfilling this desire for the moment. I think that's why I'm especially appreciative of the very large cats in Assassin's Creed Valhalla. I certainly didn't expect to find myself experiencing a weekend full of spectacularly coincidental cat-related adventures, but it really lifted my spirits. It's certainly not the first time in my 90 hours of play that Valhalla has pleasantly surprised me with its many side quests, and I'm sure it won't be the last.  

Jumping into the adventure yourself? Here are some helpful Assassin's Creed Valhalla tips to help you be the best Viking you can be. 

Heather Wald
Senior staff writer

I started out writing for the games section of a student-run website as an undergrad, and continued to write about games in my free time during retail and temp jobs for a number of years. Eventually, I earned an MA in magazine journalism at Cardiff University, and soon after got my first official role in the industry as a content editor for Stuff magazine. After writing about all things tech and games-related, I then did a brief stint as a freelancer before I landed my role as a staff writer here at GamesRadar+. Now I get to write features, previews, and reviews, and when I'm not doing that, you can usually find me lost in any one of the Dragon Age or Mass Effect games, tucking into another delightful indie, or drinking far too much tea for my own good.