Review: Nordic Warriors – A Decent RTS Set in the Norse Mythology

Review Nordic Warriors

Nordic Warriors is a brand new RTS developed and released by indie studio Mashmashu Studio. Mashmashu Studio is a 2-person development studio. While Nordic Warriors is their very first PC title, the studio has numerous mobile games and different tools and plugins under their belt which they have releases ever since the formation of their studio back in 2014. Nordic Warriors is inspired by the classical ‘Myth’ series. This is our review of Nordic Warriors in which we go against the undead hordes of Hel and try our best to survive the onslaught.

Nordic Warriors is set in the Norse Mythology where you follow the story of Freja and her warriors. Freja returns home from a search mission to find everyone in her hometown slain. She gets to know about the unknown forces at work and sets out to stop it once and for all. The very first thing that you notice about Nordic Players is how good the game looks. After playing the short tutorial with some dummies, you are deemed worthy to take on the forces of Hel. Visuals are one of my favorite aspects of the game as every fight leaves behind blood, broken bodies, and gore. For an RTS, there is a good focus on the gory deaths of the soldiers and monsters. The levels are big and diversified and some of the chapters look absolutely brilliant.

Review Nordic Warriors

Coming to the gameplay of Nordic Warriors, I really liked the overall structure of the game. There is no base-building here and you have to clear the chapters with only the units provided to you unless you find some werewolves to convert them to your side. Freja and some advanced units such as mages come with special abilities as well. Freja is your main leader and hero in the game and she is vital to your game. Losing her means that you lose the game and have to restart again. Apart from Freja, you will have access to her brave warriors in each mission that comes in various shapes and sizes however each of them plays a vital role in combat. Since you only get a handful of warriors in each mission, each warrior plays a key role in the fight and your survival in the mission so watching out for each and every one of them is important. In addition, the more a warrior fights for you, the higher rank they reach and perform even better in combat. Units that survive one battle carry on with you to the next battle. This promotes careful strategic gameplay, unlike most RTS titles where every unit can be easily replaced by other units.

In most RTS titles, we have seen that heroes as some sort of mighty characters that can take on armies of enemies and still emerge victorious at the end. This is not the case here. Freja is extremely vulnerable to enemy fire and if you do not play carefully, the undead will chop her down in no time. She plays more of a supporting character in the game as she has no primary attack and her only offense attack is an AoE attack that can damage friendly units as well and it requires a recharge after every use. This makes playing with Freja strategic and you have to protect her from enemy attacks as well since she cannot survive on her own for long in direct conflict. While she may be fragile in combat, her ground attack deals massive damage to enemies and she can also heal friendly units. However, this ability comes with limited use thus making the game more challenging as you have to determine which units are worthy of healing and which are not. Her final ability is that she can convert werewolves to friendly units and you can use them in combat as allies.

Review Nordic Warriors

The combat is solid and the items are actually functional in the game. For example, enemy archers shooting on your foot soldiers with shields will not be very effective since the shields will protect them from arrows. You can also see the arrows stuck in the shields as well which is extremely realistic. It also shows how much effort the developer has actually put into making the game as close to reality as possible in terms of item use. Apart from this, you will need to figure out which unit to use against what types of enemies. Ranged units tend to have less health but they will attack from safe distances and will also flee in melee combat. Heavy units are slow and bulky but they take plenty of punishment and they will give a chance to your archers and shamans to take out the enemies safely while they take the full brunt of enemies.

One thing is sure that Nordic Warriors is not an easy game. Even on easy difficulty, you need to use strategy to win the game. There is no such thing as blind luck in the game because the undead horde is relentless and they hit really hard. As you progress in the chapters, you face tougher and tougher enemies that force you to change your attack strategies from scratch. This makes it a great RTS because there is no easy way out and you have to look for better and better strategies with every failure in the game since no unit is basically the king in the game. Every unit comes with its own strengths and weaknesses including your own units and it is up to you to utilize them while protecting your own units and exploiting the weaknesses of the enemy units.

Review Nordic Warriors

Formations play an important role in the gameplay as well and because of their importance, the UI gives you access to a large number of formations right at your screen. You can select a different number of units and bind them together in a formation that suits them well. There is a large number of formations to choose from and once you’ve assigned them to units and saved the presets, you can quickly press the shortcut keys to quickly select the unit group in the chosen formation. With the help of formations, you can defend areas, attack in a more condense formation, or avoid enemy arrows and other ranges attacks easily. In short, it once again falls in your hands on how good of the strategies you make in the game. Nordic Warriors also feels like a classic RTS title because there is no auto-save in the game and you have to manually save the game in order to ensure that the progress is not lost is the things go awry and trust me, things do go awry in Nordic Warriors. I figured this out the hard way by losing Freja right before completing the main objective when I lost her to an enemy shaman who killed her in mere two hits and I had to restart the whole chapter since I did not save the game for the entirety of the mission.

That being said, Nordic Warriors is not short of its glitches and bugs. While the game plays exceptionally well and there are no crashes. My only issue with the game was its unresponsive units on certain occasions. These occurrences were random but they were extremely annoying when they happened. For instance, the units would get stuck behind other units. This was common with my sword units who would get stuck behind the archers and were unable to defend them from the front. Similarly, in certain cases, the archers refused to fire their arrows at the enemies leaving the sword fighters alone at the front line. Dealing with Freja was also a hit and run since she would get stuck behind units and would not heal an injured friendly unit in time leaving them to die at the merciless hands of the undead. These are small gameplay bugs that can be fixed easily to make Nordic Warriors a solid RTS title.

Final Verdict:

Nordic Warriors is a great concept and is based on a concept that packs exceptional RTS value but no one has actually utilized it before. The environments and the overall theme of Nordic Warriors is brilliant and so is the soundtrack. However, I do have some reservations over the gameplay of the game but since Nordic Warriors came out of an indie studio of just 2 people, certain bugs and glitches were expected in the game and I am sure that the developers will be quick to fix them in the coming days. The developer has been super-active with the community and has been listening to the community fan-feedback so I am sure that the unit control bugs will be ironed out soon. Once these bugs are ironed out, I can say that Nordic Warriors is a solid RTS that you can play today based on the Norse mythology. The unit design is great and its unpredictability is a great mechanic that will keep you on your toes until the victory screen emerges at the end of the chapter. The addition of a multiplayer mode sometime down the future will massively increase the life of the game as well however if you love RTS games, you must give Nordic Warriors a try.

Final Score: 7/10

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About the Author: Umair Khalid

Founder of GamesHedge, Umair enjoys a wide variety of video games ranging from RPGs to racing games. Currently busy with The Crew Motorfest and Way of the Hunter.

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