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An early batch of reviews is available for Logic Artists' Norse-themed RPG, Expeditions: Viking. The general impressions seem to be positive, albeit with abundant mentions of the game's lack of polish and frequent bugs. Have a look:
Destructoid Review in progress - Scoreless:
There are also currently a great number of crashes and bugs. I cannot possibly list for you every one of them I have run into; at a certain point, I've started to feel less like a reviewer and more like a QA tester. Characters will be missing from scenes, descriptions routinely missing from the UI and the game. A particular fight took me two hours because they kept using fire arrows, and extensive fire particles seem to crash the game (ruining my favorite item, the fire pot). Other fights had me win, simply because the AI forgot to spawn.
Logic Artists seems genuinely interested in fixing these bugs, even if many of them continue to be present for launch today. Ideally, the game will continue to be patched as I make my way towards the end. While I've enjoyed my time with Expeditions: Viking so far, despite its problems, there is still much to see, many to meet, and at least one more church to loot.
Big Boss Battle Scoreless:
Expeditions: Viking will take you a fair bit of time to complete. Between the main story, side quests and chatting to as many characters as possible, it took me quite a while to even leave Denmark. But it’s a game that never overstayed it welcome, that has a certain charm I didn’t even experience in Pillars of Eternity. Its themes come alive due its roots in real history, making this an experience that’s truly about adventure and discovering (what once was) the unknown. Expeditions: Viking is a game I’ll be coming back to, and has certainly earned its place in Valhalla.
God is a Geek 8/10:
Beyond the core mechanics of combat and dialogue, the biggest joy was the realisation and full understanding of what Expeditions had to offer in its campaign map and what this meant for your band of misfits that formed your retinue. This was where the idea behind the survival and trade skills clicked, and the initial worry of having to max each one disappeared. When you make camp, there are four shifts that you can assign a task to a member of your crew. Have them working through all four shifts will mean they have no rest and become fatigued, and the simplest of things like making sure that every task was completed and still getting sufficient rest scratched a leadership itch I didn’t know I had. It was glorious! The feeling of managing your clan and being a true leader whilst carving paths North, South, East, and West leaving no stone unturned in my quest for glory was immense. When it came to getting away from Denmark to England, the pace and scope of the game changed completely. It felt larger, wider, and ultimately the tension in every exchange intensified. It was like being in a TV episode of Vikings, and that will never be a terrible thing.
The game was not without its frustrations, though these were thankfully very minor and mostly came down to final little touches of polish for the final product. The camera felt the full brunt of my disapproving sigh on more than one occasion as I tried in vain to navigate around trees and other scenery only to have it being blocked for another angle. There was also a noticeable decrease in performance when panning the camera which was most of the time; however, this is something that can be resolved for a future update.
Hooked Gamers 9/10:
Expeditions: Viking spins an absolutely wonderful tale of exploration and conquest. The setting, the story, the ambiance –my imagination ran wild in ways you’d expect to experience reading a good fantasy novel. Betrayal angered me, new friendships elated me, and changing the balance of power in Britain made me feel equal parts devious and mischievous. Reconstructing my home, making it safe, strong and prosperous made me feel proud of my achievements. Every battle, every camp site and map scrubbed clean of its hidden treasures felt like it played a part in the grand scheme of things. There aren’t a lot of games that can pull something like this off even adequately. Expeditions: Vikings does it masterfully.
Expeditions: Viking isn’t without flaw, though. Loading times, whether between areas or just starting up, can drag on at times. The camera is lightly touchy and hard to control until you figure out the finesse of it all. Dialogue, while mostly enjoyable and well written, is sometimes littered with out of place vulgarity that seems unnecessary. It has more to do with the fact, I think, that whether the dialogue is actually spoken or not seems pretty random. It can be extra weird when random team chatter is going on while you’re in a conversation with someone else. It’s hard to read with talking in the background, or even worse when two people are talking over each other. But worst of all, by far, are the crashes. My game had a crash at least every other sitting.
However you cut it, Expeditions: Viking is a great strategy RPG. There is more than enough to keep you busy, plenty of skills to customise your playstyle, and loads of quests and adventure. The combat system is near perfect, crafted in a way that gives the players control over every element. I constantly found myself enjoying something new each time I played. Layered with enough depth and intricacy for genre veterans, but loaded with fantastic tutorials and information for newcomers, this game welcomes all types of players. A formula that has been bettered, through and through, Expeditions: Viking is an absolute joy.
This game has a lot to do: from leveling up, to crafting, upgrading your home, foraging, and protecting your people, it does a good job of introducing you to each new feature so you don’t feel overwhelmed when you realize just how much there is to do.
With fully flushed out characters and serious consequences for your actions across multiple paths, Expeditions: Viking finds an excellent balance between historical realism and RPG mechanics. Voice acting is a highlight of the game, however the soundtrack and general ambient noise – while good – was lacking. Combat is newcomer-friendly to the tactical genre but characters had too few skills available to them, which could make for some repetitive gameplay. All in all, this was an immersive and delightful experience I found myself getting lost in, full of rich culture and overall stunning presentation.