11 Aug 2021 1:35 PM +00:00

Tribes of Midgard Review: A Tough But Rewarding Norse-Themed Roguelike

The constant mixing of genres is something we’re seeing more and more of as games aim to appeal to a wider audience, but also try to be something new. It’s hard to make something new nowadays, because there are so many games coming out constantly, and all of them tend to carry their inspirations at their core.

To be clear, there’s nothing wrong with not being new. Finding something that feels familiar is a blessing when trying to find your next big game because you know you’ll click with it, and you’ll likely understand what to do straight away. However, when a game comes out that is a new mix of genres, it’s always interesting to see if they’ve managed to do it well.

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It's Certainly A Mix

Tribes of Midgard screenshot showing a battle between multiple characters around the World Tree.
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Tribes of Midgard is an action, survival, rogue-lite game. The action is akin to something like Diablo, where you have an isometric viewpoint and you run around holding down the basic attack button and occasionally mixing in weapon skills that’ll have various effects from dealing AoE damage, to healing you and your teammates.

It’s a roguelike because you can unlock new crafting recipes, new classes, and new starting kits as you go through the game and accomplish new feats. It’s very much on the lite end of roguelike, because ultimately, most survival games have some kind of rogue-ish elements to them.

The survival, on the other hand, is probably the biggest influence on Tribes of Midgard. You start each new world, all of which is procedurally generated, just north of your little town. Your job is to go out, collect resources, and upgrade your own gear and the townspeople, build defences around the two to survive the attacks that come at night, and hopefully get strong enough to take down the Jötunn that appear and very slowly make their way towards The World Tree at the heart of your village. If The World Tree dies, then the world ends (classic Ragnarok).

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Stand Still And You'll Get Stepped On

Tribes of Midgard screenshot showing the player fighting a frost giant.
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Alongside surviving those attacks, you’ll also have to find dungeons, find specific items to craft elementally-charged weapons to deal extra damage to tricky enemies, and try and take down the big boss that appears if you can progress fast enough. Every day that progresses has the night getting longer, until Day 14, when the night is all-encompassing and the attacks never stop.

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It’s a really stressful, but incredibly engaging, gameplay loop. If all of this was just in a single-player game, I don’t know that I’d be as interested in it, but Tribes of Midgard allows you to play as a group of up to ten people. It’s rare to find a game you can play cooperatively with that many people, and it’s even rarer for that game to be so intensely compelling.

Verdict

Tribes of Midgard has absolutely sunk its fangs into my leg, and I’m not even trying to shake it off at this point, if anything, I’m kind of happy to have a game I’m this taken with. The mix of genres is done masterfully, and the potential here is off the charts. That’s to say nothing of the fact that it’s hard-as-nails, is going to be getting loads of updates, and is also rather pretty to look at too. If any of this sounds good to you, I implore you to dive on in, you won’t regret it.

4.5/5

Reviewed on PC

Review copy provided by the publisher