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Tribes of Midgard Review

Tribes of Midgard Review

It’s important to protect trees, both in the real world and in videogames. In Tribes of Midgard, you are literally asked to defend a tree and nothing else. Despite sounding similar in concept, protecting the famous World Tree is a surprisingly engrossing task that will keep you engaged for hours on end.

Tribes of Midgard is a frantic take on modern survival games. Players are tasked with resource gathering and crafting, before fighting off hordes of monsters every evening. Those are your main objectives day to day, but it hardly scrapes the surface of everything that’s going on. A quest board allows you to venture out into the game world and complete objectives, you can expand all parts of your village, from villagers to walls. There is constantly something to work towards in Tribes of Midgard, but the impending Jotun will keep you on your toes.

What is a Jotun, you say? A day and a half into your world, a Jotun will spawn somewhere in the game map. It’s a huge, overworld boss who will slowly slumber towards the player’s village. These Jotun’s are stacked in terms of damage and health points, meaning the players have to get to them before they find the village. It’s a daunting mountain of an enemy, but players will be compensated heavily if they take one down.

A lot of what makes Tribes of Midgard work is its easy to follow combat. Travelling throughout the map makes clear to the player what the level of the area they’re in is. In addition to that, the controls are not too complicated, meaning friends of varying skill levels are able to enjoy the game together. Death isn’t punished massively, with players only dropping their resources and souls (which are used for levelling up items or healing the World Tree), but resources can be recollected. Souls, once dropped, are lost forever, but there’s a plethora of runes or perks that will negate the loss of souls should the player fall.

Despite being Norsefell’s first full game release, Tribes of Midgard is a gorgeous, well-polished experience. Despite hours of play time, there’s next to no issues with the game. Everything feels smooth to play, and the art style prevents the world from ever really feeling dull. A lot of what Norsefell have created first time out feels like a fantastic accomplishment, but there are a few bits that hold the game down from truly taking off.

There’s pretty much no narrative in Tribes of Midgard, which in itself isn’t a massive issue. The true issue here is the clear absence of any Norse mythology. Creating an engaging narrative in a game that can sustain up to 10 players at any time is near impossible, but leaving interesting tidbits around the world is something you’d expect to be present. Especially when you consider the scale of the map. It feels like a waste that exploration is only greeted with hostility, rather than cool snippets of the lore this game is so clearly inspired by.

Balancing also seems to be an issue for solo or duo players. Everything in the world scales depending on the number of players in a game, which works as expected for the most part, but two players or less seem overburdened with things to do. It’s a shame because it discourages dropping into a quick solo session, if you have a spare bit of time, almost forcing the players to want to connect with a large number of random players online. If you’re coming into this looking to duo up, it really isn’t going to be the best experience for you.

A lot of the progression is also tied to the game's battle pass. Through this, you can unlock starter kits, extra runes, general things that will help with later runs you complete. I don’t mind the battle pass so much, but it does feel a shame that so much progression revolves around a live service plan, a system designed to make players come back season-to-season, rather than cultivating a healthy number of players all year round.

Tribes of Midgard is a game that offers a great experience for a group of friends looking to tuck into something new. For those playing alone, there really won’t be anything here for you, as the fun is with the chaos of organising a group of people and what each of them needs to be doing. Realistically, there are hours of fun to be had here, but that fun only lasts as long as people continue to play.

It’s a shame the game isn’t more open to smaller numbers of players, although a rebalance isn’t out of the question when looking at the game’s seasonal plan. At its core, there’s a satisfying gameplay loop that most players can enjoy and learn quickly. Keeping those players will depend on a turnaround of content. Having finite progression for a set time due to the battle pass gives the impression that content is complete and thus players are likely to begin to drop off.

7.00/10 7

Tribes of Midgard (Reviewed on Windows)

This game is good, with a few negatives.

Tribes of Midgard is a well-polished, accessible experience. Allowing up to 10 players to take part, the game runs well on most hardware and is easy to pick up and play. The biggest concern is how unenjoyable the game is alone.

This game was supplied by the publisher or relevant PR company for the purposes of review
Adam Kerr

Adam Kerr

Staff Writer

Doesn't talk about Persona to avoid screaming in anger

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