Expeditions: Viking – Review
Follow Genre: Tactical historical RPG
Developer: Logic Artists
Publisher: Logic Artists
Platform: PC
Tested on: PC

Expeditions: Viking – Review

Site Score
8.1
Good: A lot of content, will keep you occupied for several hours
Bad: High learning curve
User Score
9.0
(4 votes)
Click to vote
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Rating: 9.0/10 (4 votes cast)

Roleplaying games tend to go to science fiction, while others try to dig into history and find some inspiration there. Logic Artists already found a rather successful story with Expeditions: Conquistador and is returning with yet another slice of our civilisation. In Expeditions: Viking, you need to dive into this freezing world and fight your way through serval hurdles.

Expeditions Viking

Story

This game takes us around 790 AD. Your father has died while venturing the seas and it is your task to lead your clan. Some of the huscarls aren’t too keen on this tradition, so you get to work your way through some unforeseen problems from the get-go. Eventually, it becomes clear that you will need to take action and let your village grow while also protecting it from other chieftains or thegns. Are you ready to venture to the far Britannia? And what will you bring? Trade goods or steel looking for blood?

Your decisions during several conversations and your actions will determine the rest of the story. For instance, are you loved in your village or are they out to get rid of you as soon as there is a chance? If that isn’t enough, you also need to keep in mind that there are some political issues as well, so you will need to decide what side you’re on. In the end, there is more than enough story value to keep you going for several hours, whilst travelling through several untainted forest-like locations.

Expeditions: Viking

Graphics

The developers have foreseen several different settings, so every type of computer can play this title. Most of the times, you’ll be in a diagonal top-down view, although you can zoom in to get a better view of the scenery. The environments feel rather genuine and there are some nice details here and there. For example, a more open area has some grassy patches, which will be less found when going into a forested area. Character wise, you stand out against the rest, although some of the more important people also have some specific characteristics. Other NPCs don’t always stand out, not even against the background.

Next to this kind of view, you’re also treated with some 2D images when you’re on the loading screen while your avatar will appear when you start a conversation. There is also a more zoomed in part when you’re putting up a camp. When shifts pass by, you see your party flash across your screen and it might remind you of when you used the speed-up button in The Sims. In the end, these alterations are a fun change of scenery and they fit in the flow of the game.

Expeditions: Viking

Sound

From a game that takes place in the era of Vikings, it’s only natural that you’ll hear something fitting. No fast-paced electro tunes or guitar solos in this title but classical music. Don’t expect just slow tones but also some dramatic moments, especially when you’re initiating a battle. The same can be expected when you’re in a more serious conversation.

Voice acting wise, this is mostly available during encounters. For instance, when one of your fellow warriors is stunned, it might be they yelp something about being sloppy. It would have been nice if there was a bit more voice acting implemented during conversations though. At least the sound effects make up for that. The rustling of the sea, the howling wind through the forest, everything feels so lifelike and the raw sounds from metal against bones is rather satisfying. These effect surely help to immerse in this vicious world.

Expeditions: Viking

Gameplay

Expeditions: Viking is a tactical turn-based RPG with simulation elements and a historical background. At the start of the game, you can create your own character and choose several options. To give you a nice headstart, the developers give you 50 skill points. With these points, you can choose how you want to shape your character. Will you go for a more ranged build, with extra knowledge of healing? Or full, brutal force but with a lot of wisdom? The choice is yours to make, depending on what your favorite playstyle is. Some of these skills are locked because some of your primary stats aren’t high enough. The developers were quite generous by giving you four points to distribute to your own liking, giving you full control.

Conversations and building reputation are several of the keystones in this game, and due to this you’ll be reading a lot of text. There are several decisions to make, some easier than others and depending on how you distributed your points you get other options to choose from. For example, when you have reached a level of sense, you can try to persuade people instead of using brute force. Depending on your response in certain problems or situations, your reputation will be influenced. This will have its repercussions on the game and the ending.

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Being the thegn of a village is rather difficult and there is a lot more to it. Expanding your territory and improving the quality of life is important as well and you need to build certain accommodations to do so. There are several paths to follow and once you’ve made your decision, there is no turning back. Some improvements will have its influence on the power of your clan, while others will increase the prosperity. Finding the right balance or going full throttle into one of both is your choice, but it will have its outcome on the ending.

You won’t need to roam freely to get through the game as there are several quests you need to partake. These are rather important to advance in the story and will also give you more insights regarding certain characters. Before you set off on your missions, it is a good idea to equip yourself properly and find some good men to accompany you. These are dangerous times and wandering around on yourself will lead you to a certain death. You can take up to five members with you, each with their special skill set, making them valuable assets.

Expeditions: Viking

Depending on how you trained your character, you will have an advantage with certain weapons. In your hometown you have a smith, but before he can actually craft something, he will need materials. You yourself can also try and make something of course, again depending if you distributed your points this way. When you’re fully armored and ready for battle, it’s time to find some fresh meat. When engaging in battle, the field is divided in several hexagonal spaces. Depending on how heavily you’re packed, you’ll be able to run a bigger distance. You can choose to run first and perform an ability afterwards or the other way around. Just watch out that you don’t run too far and limit yourself. Due to all these possibilities, it’s a really strategical game and you need to know the options and negative sides of your team and the terrain. Also, the enemy can block some of the attacks with a shield or you just sometimes plainly miss with your archers. If one of your crew members loses all their hit points, they don’t die but get incapacitated. Sometimes it might be better to let someone ‘die’ instead of risking your other members to get hurt, but do expect some injuries afterwards. It gets quite fun if you’re into tactical games but there is so much to watch out for and this isn’t explained thoroughly enough.

Your quests will also force you to leave your town and go abroad. This is where camping comes into play. Travelling takes quite some time and you will need to have several stops to keep your crew on their feed. It could be that a certain camping area is already occupied, starting a battle instead of making your bed. When the enemies are defeated, you can finally set up your camp and distribute several tasks to every member. You can choose to give these tasks yourself or you could also do an auto assign. After some shifts, you’re good to go back on the road.

Expeditions: Viking

There is so much depth and possibilities in this game, so there is still more than enough to discover yourself. It would have been nice if there were a bit more tutorial parts than what is available now, so expect a rather high learning curve.

Conclusion

Expeditions: Viking will take you back in time and on a journey with you playing as a thegn. Face a lot of hardships on the way, but don’t forget to enjoy the scenery now and then well. To help you immerse in this world, the music will certainly give you a boost. The strategical element is one of the biggest assets of the game, although it has a rather high learning curve at the start.

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Rating: 9.0/10 (4 votes cast)
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Expeditions: Viking - Review, 9.0 out of 10 based on 4 ratings

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