Games Gazette Logo

EXPEDITIONS: VIKING

PLEASE READ THIS NOTE ABOUT THIS GAME: Expeditions: Viking is currently in its Beta testing phase and the following is only a preview of it as it stands now. Much of what I have seen may well be altered by the time the game becomes available on the market, but for now here is something to whet your appetite.

Get ready for an adventure in history! Logic Artists, the makers of Expeditions: Conquistador, are pleased to bring you Expeditions: Viking. 

As the newly appointed chieftain of a modest Viking clan, you’ll have a village of your very own. But to carve your name into the runestones of history you’ll need great strength, and great wealth to grow your village’s prosperity and renown. There is little left to be gained from the Norse lands and so you must set your sights on the the seas to the West, where tales speak of a great island filled with treasure ready for the taking. 

Seek your fortune 

Your trusted huscarls will follow you to Valhalla if that be the order of the day, but you’ll need more than loyalty to leave a legacy that will be remembered for a thousand years. Now assemble a worthy band of warriors, build a ship, and seek your wealth and glory across the sea. Britannia awaits in Logic Artists’ Expeditions: Viking. 

Main features: 

  • Create your very own Viking chieftain! Carve out your character from our unique character system, where stats, skills, and abilities define your character’s role. 
  • Raiding or Trading? Vikings were known not only as violent warriors, but savvy tradesfolk. How will you find wealth, with the carrot or the stick? 
  • War and Politics: Side with various factions be they Norsemen, Picts, or Angles. 
  • Reputation: Be mindful of your choices, the stories of your actions may bring others to fear you, but will they trust you? 
  • Step into the pages of history: In a beautiful and visceral telling of the Nordic history.
  • The first campaign (Denmark) is complete including tutorials though random events are still missing.
  • The second campaign (Britain) only has a couple of hours of gameplay along the Northumbria and Pict Quest Lines.
  • Players can start the second campaign immediately and will be given access to create their character and build their party before starting the campaign.
  • Players will have to create not only their character but a number of mercenaries to fill out their ship’s crew.
  • The player’s ship will land in Scarborough which is a ready to play region.
  • Can move on to York and Perth and complete the main story quests in those areas.

SYSTEM REQUIREMENTS

MINIMUM: 

    • OS: Windows Vista SP2 
    • Processor: Intel Core2 Duo E6700 2.66 GHz 
    • Memory: 4 GB RAM 
    • Graphics: ATI Radeon HD 5000 Series / NVIDIA GeForce 430 
    • DirectX: Version 11 
    • Storage: 14 GB available space 
    • Sound Card: DirectX Compatible Sound Card

 

LOGIC ARTISTS Expeditions: Viking is a good old delve into the way of the exploring, adventuring and hard lives of the amazing warrior race from the far and frosted North.

The version of the game I am playing begins with a rip-roaring series of pre-game cut-scenes before opening up onto the first choice [Denmark] or [Britain] and then proceeds to the character creation or selecting screen. You can go through the fairly basic creation process or just select preset and accept what you are given. To be straight with you this is probably the best way as the characters you get are all well experienced in the ways of Fighting, Hunting, Scouting, Thieving and Healing. Once you accept a character you are sent to the "Party" screen where there await several pre-set characters and a few empty spaces, plus the character you have selected who is greyed out so that it remains chosen as one of the party. You can create characters for the empty spaces, taking note of what skills and specialities the party already has before making a new member and if you don't like the format of the pre-set party you can "x" characters out and create new ones in their stead.  Everything so far follows the long and winding path of a myriad other fantasy adventure games on the PC and consoles.

  

Vikings is played as an onging adventure in which you are continually being given main missions and optional missions as you traverse the countryside. On the banks of my departure I am faced with several people from my village, including my crew. I have the option of telling them, to board or allowing them to say their fare-thee-wells to friends and family. I choose the latter, expecting them to automatically do what they wish but instead I have to visit each one, even going with another to their family, but always I have options by way what I can say - there are 2 or 3 text sentences from which I must choose. Once all the party members are ready - the Mission status lets me know if they have all said their goodbyes or if there are any still waiting for me to give them permission - I meet up with them on the dock. I need to board my longship but first I must select a second-in-command, not until this has been done can the ship set sail.

The scene changes to a map showing land on either side and sea inbetween, my ship is marked on one of the land sides and across from me is marked a port. I click on my ship then double-click on the port. A dotted line appears to show the route and the ship takes off with me watching it follow its course. I am now ready. My first adventure begins on the beach of a shore far distant than my tribal homeland. From there I have to select a merry band from my crew to go exploring. The mission is to find Horses. Winding up from the beach is a sandy path flanked by woodland. Meandering off this path takes me to a river that I cannot cross and rocks that I cannot climb, but eventually I discover a moanstery, some farm buildings, a Chieftains hut and people, armed mainly with pitchforks and spades. I now have to choose whether to chat or fight. Being the wild-eyed chaotic Viking leader that I am I choose to chat.

They tell me they have no horses nor can they help me with provisions because a band of marauders camped not too far away have raided and stolen all their wares. I agree to help them by finding and defeating the marauders, and to this aim they send an emissary warrior with me (he is actually about as much use as a chocolate teapot but I don't depend on him). As I move into new territory so the map opens up revealing more of itself to me, but I cannot see the marauders. I do eventually find a barred gate where the nose of one of my crew smells horse manure, and that's when I know the villagers have been feeding me the same thing, only from a Bull rather than a horse. I ask to enter through the gate and am refused entry. My crew are in for smashing it down and I agree with them for we have been lied to. At this point, as the gate falls apart, the emissary resigns his commission with us and monk-like warriors appear ready to do battle. We know there are horses there and we need horses to continue exploring, having previously found two shrine-like structures which when clicked on tell me that no further exploration can be made without horses.

The aura around the Monks turns red and they take up a combat stance. I move into fight, positioning my archers at a distance while I lead my berserker and warrior party members in an arrowhead formation, weapons drawn. The fight ensues and it is tough and bloody. I win and the Monks all die but I have two characters, one being the leader I had created, lay quivering on the floor, fallen from spell, slingshot and blade. The battle won my small unit recovers in health and we go towards the horses........

  

The characters in the party will follow the leader, he or she being the one I last clicked on and now control. I use the mouse right button and the arrow keys (or WASD) to spin the camera view while using the left mouse button to point and click my way, and so the game continues. In the top right of the screen are my Missions (Quests) and Optional Missions (Tasks) marked in order of importance by coloured buttons. My view can be faily close up just by rotating the mouse wheel or an angled overhead view which allows me to see all my party and much of the surrounding area. Artistically the features of the forest, buildings, all different types of terrain and the characters are all wonderfully represented and graphically excellent.

The gameplay, mechanics, combat (each character has a turn of combat action available to them allowing a complement of moving, firing and melee fighting) are not new if you have played an action adventure game or MMO before. If you haven't had the pleasure in the past then you are in for a treat as this is a great way to break your bones in this genre of gaming.

It's not new but neither is it retro and I can see no reason to fault it. I enjoy the thrill of the search and the fight, and there are enough options available to keep me occupied for many, many hours and days. There are many similar games but I can't think of one that is any better.

  

MORE GAMES LIKE THIS:

 

© Chris Baylis 2011-2015