Expeditions: Viking (PC) Review

By Eric Ace 01.05.2017

Review for Expeditions: Viking on PC

Expeditions: Viking is a throwback to an older era of gaming. Gamers who had been around a while will instantly recognise the similarity to big titles of a bygone era, like Baldur's Gate, Icewind Dale, Planescape: Torment, or even very loosely to the original Fallout games. Taking place entirely of guiding a group through the expansion of a Nordic tribe, everything is done through RPG conversational choices, as well as battle. With your father recently slain, and enemies knocking at the door, how will you bring your family's name honour once again?

Expeditions: Viking is a game that might rub newer gamers the wrong way. Everything in it is determined by stats, and nothing to do with reflexes as everything is based on an elaborate character creation. This part might not sound unusual, but every dialogue option, every combat turn, and every barrel's loot is determined in part by this. This harks back to '90s and early 2000s when Western RPGs (WRPGs) were not Mass Effect style affairs.

Starting with the character creation, this is one of the better parts. There are only five major stats, but there are five different skill branches. These range from combat-like axes, swords or spears. Then passives, such as finding more resources when scouting, giving buffs to teammates, or more talking options. Lastly are miscellaneous skills, like getting extra attacks in during combat, or crafting.

Expeditions: Viking, like its WRPG predecessors, is largely an emergent phenomenon of the player writing its own story. The story presented is that your father is dead, and your tribe is in ruins but it must be brought back to greatness by plotting against other lords, scheming, or killing your way back to high standing. From the beginning, there are a multitude of options that are faced - most of which are who to kill or spare.

Screenshot for Expeditions: Viking on PC

The bodies pile high in the Viking world as everything revolves around battles. Stories are given as a very brief pretext from one battle to the next. After the fight, almost always are the choices to spare, exile or kill them. In this way, it is somewhat interesting as some people spared actually later become allies. There is a way to play peacefully, but mostly it all comes down to fighting.

Arguably, the fighting for being such a major component is largely mediocre at best. It plays out on a hex system, and is turn-based. The sides take turns, and this continues until one is dead. The battle system has a lot of different moves, such as multi-shots for archers, or armour-piercing hits for the sword users. The big thing is most of them rarely matter, which is unfortunate. Take, for example, the multi-shot; it takes a full turn, and most of the time the enemy is behind cover or the hit% is so low to not be worth it. Perhaps on the highest difficulties it might matter, but very often just attack-moving through the map is sufficient on default.

There are flaws, as well, and although these could be simple to address in a patch, they need to be stated. At this stage, it still feels like it should be in beta. First, the camera is a little wonky - it never scrolls exactly where it feels like it should while exploring. Other issues are always present, such as it often being simply too hard to navigate on the screen and an odd issue of not being able to move while the map is up serves to get in the way of playing. The story and options are interesting but bounce erratically from deep and nuanced to almost childish in depth. The talking screens also have portraits that are more of a hindrance simply for how bad many of them look. This leaves players with a strange feeling of some areas being polished while others seeming to be very rough.

Screenshot for Expeditions: Viking on PC

Cubed3 Rating

5/10
Rated 5 out of 10

Average

The real issue for Expeditions: Viking is simply whether or not someone is a fan of this older style WRPG experience. This offers very little to stand out from the crowd in this regard and modern gamers may be put off by various UI issues, or the heavy stat dependence. However, for those who liked these kinds of games, it sticks true to the recipe and the different resolution of quests is interesting to see. Trying different builds or dialogue options gives the potential for replay. One of the major things currently weighing it down is the various issues outstanding, matters that seem like more rigorous testing was required or something that comments from players would fix in a future update. The potential for a pretty fun game is present, but at this stage is still at least a patch or two away from being great.

Developer

Logic Artists

Publisher

Logic Artists

Genre

Strategy

Players

1

C3 Score

Rated $score out of 10  5/10

Reader Score

Rated $score out of 10  0 (0 Votes)

European release date Out now   North America release date Out now   Japan release date None   Australian release date Out now   

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