Vikings…The very word conjures up images of ravaging hordes, fierce warriors, towering long ships, and mystical stories of legend. Viking culture is still something that fully escapes us, in part because the history we have is largely written by the enemies of these early Norsemen or cobbled together from sagas as much fiction as fact.
Perhaps that is why they capture our imagination so, providing fertile ground for movies, TV, comics, and even video games. Expeditions: Vikings falls into this latter category, using Viking legend, lore, and fact along with a classic turn-based RPG action, the developers at Logic Artists hope to whisk you away to another place and time.
This is not Logic Artists first foray into the RPG realm as they are looking to build off of their previous game Expeditions: Conquistadors by expanding on the core features of combat, role-playing, and character progression as well as wilderness survival and camping. Building from their previous experience the developers are hoping to improve the formula present in Conquistadors with deeper and more dynamic systems.
In Expeditions: Vikings you will inherit your role as chief of your Viking clan after your father passes into the realm of Valhalla. The game will also start off at around 700 AD right at the golden age of Vikings coinciding with the raid of the Lindisfarne Monastery. From these auspicious beginnings, you will take control to determine your fate and fortune.
I had a chance to see the game in action at PAX East and already the turn based combat looks and feels familiar, yet the Viking setting, devoid of most fantasy trappings, keeps things feeling fresh and different. The developers attention to detail and love of the source material definitely shows through.
One of the most interesting points is the way the folks at Logic Artists are handling the most esoteric viking legends including the usage of magic and the large Norse pantheon of gods of whom most of us are familiar. The developers are of course keenly aware that their subject matter are a deeply superstitious people.
Interludes involving the fantastic will often happen when your character might not be sure exactly what is going on, perhaps you are impaired by a poison and have a vision of Odin. It is an interesting way to handle the fantastical while at the same time keeping the game rooted on more factual grounds.
The game already looks amazing to play and though we do not have a release date it is already on the top of my watch list. I can not wait to actually get my hands on the game and dive into the rich world of Norse fact and fiction.