Expeditions: Viking PC Review
So many choices!
Not enough explanations outside of combat
While it is a niche area of gaming, there are a few games with Vikings in them, but not many at all when it comes to RPGs. Usually it’s an action game where there isn’t much in the way of political intrigue or important decisions, other than to use the axe or the sword. This couldn’t not be less true for Expeditions, as you are the brand new chieftain of your tribe, and must make alliances, gather resources, fight off pretenders to the throne, and maybe raid if you feel like it.
You play as the hero assuming the role of chieftain after your father dies. With distant family and other chieftains in the mix you are given the choice to make a violent statement or to simply let things lie. It is an odd sort of Vikings environment where you honestly need to give thought to NOT fighting and being playing it smart like cheating or simply outsmarting your enemy. I love all the choices I got at each major decision, and it really adds weight to everything, because you took the time to plan it all.
Even battle itself (when you can’t avoid it) comes with a great deal of strategy, as each fight has a hexagon, top down setup with limited movements for each character. There are clear classes with archers, poisoners, tanks, DD’s and so much more each adding to your team. With a different setting for each battle, it takes some time to get used to the terrain to really maximize everyone’s turn, making for some great gameplay. The controls are easy to learn and the fighting very interesting to watch, like a witch in training throwing acid on some unsuspecting archer and watching him freak out.
While the battle scenarios and setting are quite cool, the details were slightly lacking on close ups. Since its all from way above the action, I like to make my decisions then zoom in like crazy to get a ground view of the carnage, but that took away of bit of the fun when you can’t really see what’s happening all the time. Also, the resolution scaling is pretty bad as I had to play around on multiple resolutions to find something where I can see the text on screen, but also enjoy the characters. Playing at 1080p was fun for battle but a nightmare to go through conversations with.
Expeditions shines a new light on the everyday Viking, to show that it’s not all about battle, sometimes it’s about getting enough wood to make a ship, or food to feed your village, or trying to survive the coming winter (we all know it is coming). It’s about forgiving past enemies or killing them to make a show of power, so you’re not some random berserker, you’re the chieftain and heavy weighs the crown. It is a solid RPG on its own, and it has a lot of story to tell with a cool setting to boot.