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The best isometric cRPG since early 2000s is criminally underrated at the 'Dex

Discussion in 'Expeditions' started by PorkyThePaladin, Dec 23, 2020.

  1. PorkyThePaladin Arcane

    PorkyThePaladin
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    As some of you might know, though I count entries from all RPG subgenres among my favorites (except maybe blobbers), I generally prefer aRPGs as of late. Partially this is just due to subjective taste, but a large factor is also that I consider aRPGs to be the "happening" sub-genre since the early 2000s. Back then, you had isometric, tactical cRPGs that pushed the envelope, such as Fallout 1/2, Baldur's Gate saga, PST and so on. But since then, in more recent years, I look at iso RPGs and see stagnation and mediocrity. There are the fruits of Kickstarter, the Divinity: Original Sins and the Pillars of Eternity and Wastelands and Numinumas, all B level games or worse that no one would be playing if there were better alternatives. There are efforts from the East, like Kingmaker, which is about 30 times more ambitious than the talents of its developers allowed. There are codex darlings like Age of Decadence and Underrail, which are quality indie games, but cannot honestly be compared to actual RPGs from full fledged development studios.

    So imagine my surprise when I recently played and completed what turned out to be BY FAR the best isometric, tactical cRPG I have played since the golden age of late 90s and early 2000s. A game that you would think would capture the Codex's heart, and yet it is barely mentioned here (earned a mere 83rd spot on the recent top 100 list), while the likes of Shitmaker and Divinity: Original Turd are drowning in pages of discussion. That game is Expeditions: Viking.

    I've read Tigranes's original review of it from 2017, and while I think he is an intelligent reviewer, I also think he was unduly harsh on the game. It feels to me that a lot of his criticisms stemmed from the fact that it changed things he enjoyed in Expeditions: Conquistador, which is understandable, but I am coming to Viking with a blank slate, and looking at it on its own terms, and my image of it is significantly more positive. I also don't know if they patched the difficulty since his review, but having completed it on Hard (not even Insane), I did not find the game to be excessively easy at all. In fact, only 3% of people who bought it managed to complete it on that difficulty, so I dunno..

    All of that aside, this game combines what I feel is an excellent and fun turn-based combat system (that blows something like Shitmaker or PoE away), with a really well done story and setting (mostly well done because it's based on history and not some hack writers' skills), with amazing C&C on par with Fallout or AoD, with an interesting meta system of managing resources/time/travel/kingdom management (yes, yes, it might be a step down from Conquistador, but compared to regular cRPGs, it's pretty damn good). Easily the best iso-RPG I've played in ages.
     
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  2. Ol' Willy Dumbfuck! Dumbfuck Zionist Agent

    Ol' Willy
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    :nocountryforshitposters:

    Of course they can't be compared to RPGs from "full fledged development studios". They are not shit, after all.
     
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  3. vazha Liturgist

    vazha
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    Vikings aint underrated, it has a strong fanbase here. Would have been an even bigger hit had it not been dumbed down to laughable difficulty. You basically cannot lose unless you try really really hard.
     
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  4. Citizen Arcane

    Citizen
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    I blame DarkUnderlord / Infinitron. We had separate subforums for some games in the past that were in a completely different part of the site away from the RPG subforum which lead to some games having much less exposure than they deserved (Underrail and Expeditions at least)
     
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  5. Underrail isn't underrated here at all.
     
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  6. Citizen Arcane

    Citizen
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    It slowly regained popularity after being put in general rpg subforum
     
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  7. HoboForEternity sunset tequila Patron

    HoboForEternity
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    should've said the game in topic title instead of wasting 2 minutes of people's lives with your autistic ramblings.

    but i agree. i love vikings and can't wait for the next LA games
     
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  8. Thac0 JRPG ambassador Patron

    Thac0
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    Vikings is not worthy of that praise.
    It is a step down in almost every way from Conquistador and a game that became a CRPG almost accidentally.
    They should have stuck to their story driven survival King's Bounty style of gamemaking, they were much better at it.
     
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  9. lukaszek the determinator Patron

    lukaszek
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    deterministic system > RNG
     
    Last edited: Jan 11, 2021
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  10. Darth Canoli Arcane

    Darth Canoli
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    In spite of its undeniable quality, Vikings is a pain to replay because of its engine shortcomings.
     
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  11. barghwata Savant

    barghwata
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    Meh, conquistador undoubtdely has better exploration and a more interesting setting, but as an RPG overall it is clearly inferior, there are less choices, less build variety and character progression is too flat and railroaded, i also think vikings had better writing but that's debatable, as for combat i think vikings had more interesting encounters while Conquistador got repetitve real fast.

    The survival/camping mechanics did get streamlined in vikings but i think it's for the best, it's an interesting concept sure but the way it was implemented in conquistador was kinda lackluster and eventually becomes a nuissance rather then a challenge. Regardless i love both games and i think they're both criminally underrated and deserve alot more praise then they get.
     
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  12. Aarwolf Educated

    Aarwolf
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    Expeditions: Viking is one of my favourite games in the subgenre (isometric turnbased crpgs), but I woulndn't say that it's underrated here. It's not that nobody knows about the game and nobody talks about it - it's just not as popular like, say, Age of Decadence. And it's not the pinnacle, cause it has some issues, ie. difficulty (or rather lack of) or character progression (lots of useless perks, you've got so many points to allocate that you end up buying every shit wheter it's usefull or not).

    Overall I enjoyed my both playthroughs - liked the characters, liked the setting very much, liked camping mechanics and that the game had built in timer with real consequences if you fail it. Very decent game, worth every penny spent and it's now on sale on GOG, heavily discounted (67% off iirc).
     
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  13. Lagole Gon Arcane Patron

    Lagole Gon
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    Insert Title Here RPG Wokedex Pathfinder: Kingmaker
    Porky, you have a real talent for unnecessary preambles that add nothing to your post!
     
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  14. SausageInYourFace Angelic Reinforcement Patron

    SausageInYourFace
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    Divinity: Original Sin 2 BattleTech Bubbles In Memoria A Beautifully Desolate Campaign Pillars of Eternity 2: Deadfire Pathfinder: Kingmaker
    [​IMG] Marked post for heresy. Immediately report to the Imperial authorities. [​IMG]
     
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  15. jac8awol Savant

    jac8awol
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    I dunno man, Vikings wasn't bad but it had a certain bland je ne sais quoi. The idea was good and I liked the faction ideas and C&C but there was just an air of Eurojank that made it impossible to seriously consider it a contender.
     
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  16. Gregz Arcane

    Gregz
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    Expeditions: Viking is completely forgettable.
     
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  17. cruelio Savant

    cruelio
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    Vikings was insanely shit. There’s nothing to explore, the combat was insanely bad because archers were so overpowered, and crafting made the difficulty even more of a joke and also gave you no reason to explore cause you already crafted the best shit possible ten minutes into the game (the worst sort of crafting system) . Then there’s the fact that it was released literally unbeatable because there were so many game breaking bugs, meaning all us suckers who wanted to support the company after how great conquistador was got ripped off to pay them to alpha test. In the days of early access it is inexcusable for a game to be released that way. Fuck that company, I will never buy anything from them again.
     
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  18. Volrath Arcane Patron

    Volrath
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    It was complete and utter shit compared to conquistador.
     
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  19. Tigranes Prestigious Gentleman Arcane

    Tigranes
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    Hello

    I would say that Viking abandoning Conquistador's formula would not be a problem if Viking's own new formula was done really well. The real issue is that Viking is a ship that is pulling itself in several different directions, such that the synergy between gameplay systems fall apart, and the individual systems end up being diluted: time hardly matters, supplies hardly matter, and so on, turning numbers that were a real point of scarcity & decision-making in Conquistador into meaningless figures. I don't think the resource management in Viking is better than regular CRPGs - I think it becomes just as pointless, whereas they really mattered in Conquistador.

    I still think Logic is awesome. They have the ability to do actually 'historical' fictiony stories/settings & put together fairly tight combat systems - and that's already rare. Really sad that we haven't got a next game yet.
     
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  20. Thac0 JRPG ambassador Patron

    Thac0
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    This is the main problem. Vikings structure completely annihilates any challenge that comes from the survival/management mechanics on all difficulty levels, but keeps the system at the same bloat and complexity. This not only makes the ressource management aspects useless, it makes them actively tedious.

    And don't get me started on isometric adventure maps a la Baldurs Gate combined with loot container masses a la Skyrim without autolooting.

    Had they thrown away everything they have achieved with Conquistador and started from scratch I would have been merely dissapointed, but maybe I could value the final product. But Vikings is carrying Conquistador's rotting corpse in its innards, and it stinks.

    I am annoyed that Vikings sold so much better than Conquistadors.



    A shame that this happened and wasted so much dev time, wether you think Viking's was the best thing since sliced Icewind Dale or shit compared to Conquistadors, it is undeniable they have talent and new games from them have the potential to be incline.

    The statement sounds like Expeditions 3 is in the oven. I hope it takes lessons from both games and either focusses on management again or scraps that entirely.
     
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