Vikings are often noted as being some of the more badass historical figures, and Expedition: Viking exemplifies this to the utmost degree. Feeling as if it was pulled straight out of the first season of Game of Thrones, Expedition: Viking throws players right into the thick of things from the get-go. But while the tone and feel is absolutely nailed throughout the game, I often found there to be way too many glitches and technical issues throughout.
But let’s just start of with what works in the game. Like I said, Expeditions: Vikings felt as if I was playing through the opening season of Game of Thrones (particularly the Stark family, but I digress). The politics, intrigue and mysticism throughout work exactly how you would imagine they would work in a viking clan, and often play to great effect throughout the story. From the very opening moments of being given leadership over the viking clan and being challenged via combat to many other intriguing events throughout the story of the campaign, Expeditions: Viking really gave me the feeling as though I was the leader of this clan.
Of course, all of the typical RPG mechanics are present; from character customization to equipment management to homestead management. While the equipment management and homestead management was as complete as I believed it would be, I found the character customization a bit lacking. While given the chance to create your own character, there are only a handful of options to create a unique looking character. I would have liked to have had a wider range of options just so I could more easily tell the difference between different characters in the game, as it often becomes “same-y” after a few hours into the game.
However, combat in particular was very awesome and exciting. While being turned-based combat, it works seamlessly enough between the non-combat and combat that I was never really sure when combat would take place. This sort of unknowingness was really welcome, as most turned-based games fall into the trap of, “oh here comes another combat area”. I also never really felt as though I was needing to take multiple turns just to reach an enemy, which is definitely a plus.
Unfortunately I found that there were several glitches and technical faults throughout the game. Between long load times between maps and missions, to jagged character models, Expedition: Viking never really looked or ran well. I spent somewhere between 1-2 minutes on several load screens, while others only took several seconds. But one of the most egregious technical issue was that of answers to my dialogue options. Quite often, I would select one dialogue option, only to be answered by the NPC with an answer that was clearly for another dialogue option. For a game that relies a lot on dialogue and politicizing, I was hoping this sort of glitch would not have happened.
But overall, Expedition: Viking is a fun and intriguing turn-based RPG that should hold your interest for several hours. While there are many technical issues throughout, we live in a day an age where this sort of thing will almost assuredly be patched in the future. But what’s there is definitely a fun ride, and dives into a historical period that is often not explored in games.