Expeditions: Viking wastes no time putting you front and center in your own epic, Norse-inspired tale. From the very get go you will be interacting with your fellow Vikings and making decisions that may impact your future gameplay.
Expeditions: Viking is the second in the Expeditions series, the first being Expeditions: Conquistador. If you have played a turn-based RPG, you will be right at home with the gameplay on hand in the series that echoes back to the classics in the genre. Where Viking stands out, like Conquistador before it, is in its setting, presentation, and storytelling.
There is a strong focus on gritty realism, drawn from the history of what little we know about the Northmen. There is intrigue all around as you solidify your rule. New characters are introduced that can turn out to be allies or foes depending on your reputation and interactions with them. Will you be merciful or ruthless, kind or a brute? These choices are up to you.
This is where Expeditions: Viking truly shines. The interaction with the other clansman adds a crucial piece to the overall experience, and the result is a Viking game unlike any other. The game has more in kind with more thoughtful representations of the Norse such as the History Channel show “Vikings” or the film “The 13th Warrior” than with the general video game image of battle-ax wielding barbarians.
This is a game where you will be judged by your actions outside of combat as much as through the rigor of battle. What makes it all the more intense is the focus on your rule and doing right by your people to make your clan strong. The narrative goes far beyond personal wealth, if you want it to, as ultimately the freedom of choice is up to the player.
With all the focus on a historical re-telling of the Viking Age, it is important to note that mechanically the game is sound. The turn-based combat is a joy to participate in and using your troops to full advantage pays off in big ways. The enemy A.I. is smart, as well and will do its best to crush you and your merry band. The whole experience feels familiar but in a good way, and you will be using your wits more than once to outsmart stronger or more numerous foes.
I enjoyed my time with the preview version that Stack-Up was provided by Logic Artists the developer behind the game. Even though it was still an early build, there is an intense level of polish. I encountered no game breaking bugs, and the experience was very smooth. The only downside was knowing that I must wait for the full version.
I am excited about the full game’s release and to see where this tale of greatness ends! The game is due out in 2017, but you can head over to the website to stay up to date on all the intel for Expeditions: Viking!