Initial release date: July 27, 2021
Mode: Single Player, Multiplayer video game
Genres: Survival game, Adventure game, Action role-playing game
Developers: Norsfell, Norsfell Games Inc.
Platforms: PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, Microsoft Windows
Publishers: Gearbox Software, Gearbox Publishing, Norsfell Games Inc.
"Review Copy Provided By Gearbox"
What happens when you take Diablo with survival rogue-like elements mixed with some tower defense and throw in an incredibly solid online-multiplayer with timed events and more; then you happen to have a game called Tribes of Midgard from Norsfell and GearBox Studios. Is this game able to stand on its own and deliver a unique and fun experience? Let’s find out!
Tribes of Midgard follows the Norse mythology of the story of Einherjar that have returned to Midgard from Valhalla in order to protect the world from the onslaught of monsters and giants and the oncoming Ragnarok. The warriors arrive to Midgard with nothing more than their loincloth and desire for battle and are tasked with protecting the World Tree.
So, the game is light on plot but that’s not really why we’re here.
The core controls of Tribes of Midgard play very similar to the Diablo with the game being played from an isometric view and you having a button for dodging, attacking, skills, items, and more. You have two game modes to choose from being a single player solo mode which is for you to play solo and allows you to get used to the basics of the gameplay while giving you better loot; while Co-Op allows you to team up with up to 9 other players. You’ll work together to protect the Seed of Yggdrasil while also building up your local community. There’s also Survival mode which will give you an endless challenge with you needing to work together with other players to prevent Ragnarok. You’ll need to invest more into upgrading your gear and the base and gathering as many resources as you can.
You’ll create a character and be able to select the gender, skin color, hair style, tattoos and makings, skin preferences for what you’d want your gear to look like.
There are six different locales for you to explore such as the humid Smokey Highlands, frostbite ridden Glacier Peak with treacherous terrain, Bright Forest with its lush greenery, and more. You’ll be traversing these areas to gather up resources by cutting down trees and mining rocks to craft new weapons and armor as well as crafting health potions and tonics that offer various buffs. The other half of needing to traverse the environments is to fight enemies to gain experience to be able to level up.
After some time has passed, you will be given a heads up letting you know that you will need to get back to the base and need to protect the tree as you’ll eventually have to fight a few hordes of baddies that will get increasingly difficult with each wave that comes after the tree. Whether you are playing this in single player or multiplayer; the townsfolk from the blacksmith to the apothecary and more will all aide you in battle and if any of them fall in battle then you can run to them and resurrect them.
There will be random timed events that will occur at differet locations on the map that are similar to what you would expect in an MMO of which you can participate in and gain more experience and a chance at rare drops for items and equipment. Giants will appear and start heading to the village base to destroy it and will normally take a few in-game days to finally reach land letalone the base with your job being to slay them before they can get there. These giants have various abilities, elements, and debuff attacks that you’ll need to pay attention to if you intend to win. Slay a giant and be rewarded with a tremendous amount of experience and items/gear.
You gain “Souls” from killing enemies of which you can use to give to the tree to increase its stats and also is usable in combination of resources to fortify the bases. You can use souls to repair broken weapons and resource gathering gear as they have limits to them before they break, and you can also use souls at the blacksmiths and apothecary to level them up in order to gain access to crafting new weapons and upgrading your gear to higher levels.
There’s so much to the gameplay but I’ll leave you to find the rest on your own.
I have to say that the art style for this game works well for it by having bright and vibrant colors instead of being dark and gritty or attempting to be realistic. Even when you go to areas that are dark, you’ll still see magic and explosions that are colorful.
All the character models, playable and non-playable, stand out by having stylized detailed looks and intricate designs and expressions. The decision to go with this art style really allows Tribes of Midgard to stand out substantially from the competition in the genre and gives it a much broader appeal.
The only complaint I have with Tribes of Midgard is the fact that when it comes to building to reinforce your base, the options are rather limited to whatever is pre-determined by the game; there isn’t really any customization of what you can build. I’m not a fan of the fact you have to use souls to upgrade your base instead of utilizing the resources that you gather about the field. I do like that you can construct bridges, ramps, and walls outside of the base to be able to traverse to unexplored or inaccessible areas, however, I do think the ability to freely construct as you see fit would’ve been a good fit for this game and is a missed opportunity.
Upgrading your blacksmiths and apothecary also requires the usage of souls of which I don’t like either because, just like when it comes to the reinforcing of your base, you have to decide do you want to spend souls on the Tree or souls on your base and it really gets old after a while.
Tribes of Midgard is an incredibly fun and refreshing game that offers players a ton of ways to enjoy the game and gives numerous reasons for players to keep coming back over and over. With tight controls, fun gameplay, superb single and online-multiplayer, great crafting and resource gathering and management, and great customization makes Tribes of Midgard a must play game regardless of whether you play this on PS5 or PC!