Expeditions: Viking - Steam/PC Review

Always think two steps ahead of the opponent.

Game Info

  • System: PC (Steam)
  • Developer: Logic Artists
  • Developer: Logic Artists
  • Release Date: April 27, 2017

Expeditions: Viking Release Trailer [Official] Logic Artists

Who it Caters to

It’s not very often that games feature Vikings in an RPG setting, and so when we came across Expeditions: Viking, this was one opportunity we could not pass up. Created by Logic Artists, the indie team behind Expeditions: Conquistador, Expeditions: Viking is a tactical top down RPG that focuses on turn based combat, and a lot of dialogue that you’ll need to pay close attention to. Every decision that you make throughout the game can potentially impact your herdsmen and your overall image towards your team, so being very attentive to the details is imperative to succeeding. Expeditions: Viking provides an abundance of things to do such as upgrading skills for your team, tending to specific injuries to prevent further harm to characters, and course coming up with strategies to avoid dying in battle. With a cornucopia of tools to select from, Expeditions: Viking is a very fleshed out game that not only is fun to play but it’s a great way to educate yourself on the Nordic history. Customize your character and take them on a wild adventure into a world full of depth and wonders.

What to Expect

As we stated earlier, Expeditions: Viking is all turn based meaning that you’ll have plenty of time to sift through your book of tactics, and develop a plan of action to avoid dying prematurely. The game provides a great sense of depth not only through its gameplay but also in its warm dialogue. You get to choose between a male or female lead and from there your mission is to take charge of your clan just as your late father did. There’s a lot to dive into once you boot up the game and for many who aren’t familiar with tactical RPGs, it may seem a bit overwhelming. The benefit however is that the game boasts a pretty solid tutorial system that walks you through everything from how to engage in battle, to the more complex areas of deciding whether to assign certain skills to characters in hopes that it would benefit the entire team. There’s always something to keep a close eye on within Expeditions: Viking and that’s a very good thing. Whether it be upgrading your Homestead and Farms to better accommodate your people, or simply wandering around to gather the right materials to level up your clan, you're always on this expedition to succeed for your people.

Story

Your father has passed away and now, you’ve been put in charge of leading the pack of farmers and devoted fighters to victory. You must now use what your father has left behind in order to build an army of warriors to take on the enemies to the west, in hopes to obtain glory for the people. Will you carve a new path by becoming a sinister and merciless warrior? Or will you take the more honored path and gain the admiration of many? All of that is left in your hands.

Gameplay

Expeditions: Viking is a very fun and immersive game, packed with a plethora of options that you can customize to your liking. The historical aesthetic behind the game is very fitting, because it draws you in not only by its stellar gameplay, but this willingness to learn more about the Viking Age. The title boasts a very impressive soundtrack that syncs so well with the battle sequences but also during dialogue between characters. It’s simple in its approach yet delivers in a remarkable way. You first start out by learning the ropes of the game, and it does a splendid job of laying everything out in great detail. Your characters have certain rings around them during battle, some of which allow you to attack multiple times while others mean that your turn is over. Learning how all of the functions work really help to speed things up early on, which only makes engaging in long battles more satisfying. You start off with the basics as usual and slowly work your way up by helping others in your village, and other areas on the map. As you progress through the game more and more options become available, such as new skills and weapons for you to use.

While gathering all of these items and tools play a major role in Expeditions: Viking, it’s the dialogue itself that really brings everything to life. Decisions are crucial because it can determine whether you earn the respect and loyalty of your clan, or die an early death because you’re considered to be a tyrant. It’s all choice and consequence which is such a remarkable thing because, it’s as if you’re painting the picture as you go along and whatever mistakes you make along the way just creates a much more profound illustration. It’s never about trying to make contrived decisions because quite frankly it takes the fun out of playing. If you really want the best experience out of Expeditions: Viking you’ll need to absorb yourself as much as possible and place yourself in the shoes of the main protagonist at all times. It just makes every decision more challenging which is what makes the game so attractive. As with any turn based RPG you’re always in constant flux because, coming up with divisive ways to strike down your opponent is another challenge in itself. The enemies in Expeditions: Viking are no slouch and they will do whatever it takes to make your adventure demanding. Enemies will strategically create traps around your team and so you’ll need to spread your team out to ensure that every angle is covered should a surprise attack occur.

Allocating your skill points become another game in of itself because you don’t want to just throw your points away blindly on something that may only temporarily assist the team. Skills now become an imperative function and so choosing the right ones not only for battle but also outside of battle are essential. Injuries will happen frequently and camp sites may not be nearby to rest, so having the right items in hand will also be something to pay close attention to. Who will do the cooking? Who will do the healing? Do I need to improve my conversation skills to build better rapport? So many questions will start to run through your mind as new problems arise and your decision making skills are challenged. Since there isn’t a timer within the game you can actually spend a good amount of time to think through solutions and come up with the right plan of action to successfully pull through the game. Expeditions: Viking isn’t an incredibly long game by RPG standards (20-30 hours if you run through it), but it certainly packs a punch in its overall quality and performance. The more you dive deeper into the game that duration increases to be honest, and so while 30 hours may breeze by for some the more devoted players can see maybe around 40-50 since there’s plenty to unlock and discover.

Who wants to rush a turn based game anyway? What makes them so alluring is that patience is rewarded and it teaches you the values of problem solving. It’s like an educational game that not only rewards you with a historical backdrop of the Viking Age, but also provides the player with lifelong personal benefits which is a huge plus. One thing we would’ve liked to see more of was perhaps voice acting. While there are moments of voicing being implemented, it would’ve been nice to have a lot more just to create a stronger emotional connection between you and the characters. Reading is certainly great but it would’ve been a great addition just to throw in more voicing in the more crucial parts of the story. Be that as it may, Expeditions: Viking is still an overall solid game and despite having a very deep and sometimes taxing skill system, it’s a worthwhile adventure that will only certainly repay you in the long run.

Honey's Gameplay Consensus:

We tried to find some negatives about the game but there really wasn’t much to complain about. We loved the art direction the game took and it does a splendid job of introducing you to various things as you continue to play. Perhaps not many people will fancy the top down view but that’s more personal preference than a game hiccup, so no point in bickering there. The UI is simple in its design which works very well since the gameplay itself as already filled with difficult tasks to fulfill, so having a very distracting UI would most likely ruin the experience. Everything just felt so calming while playing since you could just create your own unique journey, and go at the pace that you feel most comfortable with. It also gives you insight on who you are as a person which is quite cool, since every decision you make creates a different impact on the story and gameplay every time. It’s a remarkable adventure worth playing and so if you enjoy learning about history, while diving into some very immersive gameplay then Expeditions: Viking is certainly the perfect pick.

Honey's Pros:

  • Simple UI which provides less distractions while playing.
  • The skill system is deep and rich.
  • Character development and art direction is solid.
  • The deep dialogue system is also very satisfying since it could go in just about any direction.
  • Great soundtrack.

Honey's Cons:

  • May be a bit too complex for some players to understand at first.

Honey's Final Verdict:

Expeditions: Viking is one game that any turn based fan will not want to ignore, and if you dabbled with the first Expeditions then this one should be a no brainer. While the name Logic Artists isn’t a name you typically hear throughout the RPG realm, they are a company you’ll need to be keeping a close eye on because they know exactly what they’re doing. They’ve delivered a product that’s truly satisfying and mentally stimulating, which doesn’t come around very often. Be sure to check out Logic Artists when you can, and of course we give them a huge thanks for giving us the opportunity to play Expeditions: Viking. Be sure to leave your comments down below if you’ve played it yourself, and let us know your feelings. Follow us on Twitter and Facebook also to check out the latest published articles!

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Rob

Editor/Writer

Author: Rob "NualphaJPN" B.

100% Vegan. A passionate fan of gaming, writing, journalism, anime, and philosophy. I've lived in Japan for many years and consider this place to be my permanent home. I love to travel around Japan and learn about the history and culture! Leave a comment if you enjoy my articles and join me on Discord! Take care!

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