Wot I Think: Expeditions Conquistador

By Adam Smith on June 14th, 2013 at 9:00 pm.

In 2013, the good ship Mancunia set sail for the New World. Upon arrival, my band of Conquistadors smoked a potato, ate some tobacco broth and became pals with the natives. I’m considering building a holiday resort on the coast of and below I’ll explain why you should pay us a visit, but when booking your stay, bear in mind that you might want to go home sooner rather than later.

When starting a new campaign in Expeditions, the pool of characters that can join the player-designed leader on his trip to the New World includes a racist nun. While the game resembles many others, not least of which King’s Bounty and Oregon Trail, it’s the dedication to the theme and the quality of the writing as a whole that allow the game to stand separate from the crowd. The gang of miscreants, misanthropes, pioneers and pissants are a far cry from noble clerics, savage orcs and shirtless barbarians. They have, and are part of, a series of histories that Conquistador is determined to explore, hacking through the foliage and exposition to discover a great deal that is worthwhile and unexpected.

For a good portion of the first of the two campaigns, I was all but convinced that Conquistador had turned out to be an excellent game, so it’s disappointing to discover that it’s simply a very fine one. While there is much to admire, there are diminishing periods of actual enjoyment as the repetitive parts of play gradually lose their interest. Despite those failings, at its best, Conquistador is hugely compelling.

At base, the game breaks down into four parts: exploration of the map, turn-based combat, party management and roleplay. It’s in the latter that the game finds much of its quality, offering meaningful choices during well-written dialogue, and decisions that have a bearing on the world, and characters’ relationships and concerns. The RPG aspects feed back into party management and while there is levelling, equipment and skills are doled out from a mass of shared resources, which diminishes the tales of personal progression. Equipment, particularly, is odd. Rather than finding items out in the jungle or buying them, upgrades are a numbered resource, which can then be applied to characters, moving their belongings up through the tiers that relate to their profession.

This is true of most objects – traps and barriers, used during the set-up phase of combat, can be constructed once the techniques have been learned. Medicines require herbs and the skill to mix them. Food, as might be expected, goes in the belly to prevent starvation. Some of these resources are purchased or discovered on the trail, but others can be created or preserved while camping.
While in the wilderness, the player’s party can make a limited number of moves before it’s necessary to camp for the night. This takes them into a screen where every member is given a task, whether scavenging in the area, guarding, exploring or hunting. Depending on the surrounding terrain, the chance of discovering certain kinds of item and the difficulty of keeping watch will vary.

At first, it seems like a fascinating system, precisely the sort of thing that brings some extra realism and interaction a the party management level, making the wilderness something other than a series of spaces to trot across. Unfortunately, selecting tasks and balancing resources quickly becomes a chore – a means of creating necessary supplies that would be better left automated if the automation wasn’t imperfect.

Eventually, then, the map does become a space to trot across while seeking out the beginning of a new task or the end of an existing one. Settlements are more interesting than the undiscovered places in between, simply because there are people to talk to and more significant choices to make. While random events add some colour and character to camping, they often have no real consequence beyond taking away or providing resources.

It doesn’t help that the jungles are uninspiring to behold. The camera doesn’t help, trapped so close to the party that it’s impossible to get a sense of the surroundings’ scale. It’s disappointing, in a game about stepping into the unknown, that the world can seem like a series of checkpoints rather than a landscape with life of its own.

Combat, though it does become repetitive, does not lack personality. There are opportunities for clever application of tactics, particularly as new skills and equipment become available, and most fights feel weighty with consequence. While the HOMM-style trading of blows between two units can seem comical, there is always the risk of serious injury or death. Characters cannot be replaced and I became attached even to the worst of them. The combat screen is also where the game plants the kind of visual touches that the map mostly lacks – fighting (massacring) a tribe for the firs time, it’s disconcerting to see the citizens hands trembling as they clutch knives meant for cooking rather than killing.

Although the writing, and its depiction of characters both American and European, doesn’t shy from the horrors of the situation, the portrayal has enough complexity to avoid generalisation. Indeed, it uses fantasy tropes – forbidden rites, abandoned temples, mysterious shaman – and then casts them on their head. The writers also avoid the temptation of creating pure and noble natives pitched against thoroughly nasty Europeans. The people, whatever their culture, are flawed, interesting and frequently unusual.

The characters and plotlines are the game’s strength and they’re strong enough that even when I was feeling the strain of yet more wandering, camp management and combat, I still wanted to continue, to see what happened next. In its depiction of the theme and times, the writing hits the sweet spot between historical accuracy and flexibility, allowing female characters much more active roles on the frontline than might be expected, and permitting the player to make decisions that are modern and almost entirely based on hindsight and an anachronistic worldview.

It’s also possible to be a complete bastard, which is jarring because not only are events believable and based in history, but the focus is often on the individual or family unit. The conquest may be driven by ideology or greed, but the choices are personal. Several times I found myself obeying orders that I really shouldn’t have obeyed, justifying my decisions either as necessary evils, for the good of my party, or an attempt to roleplay the misguided confusion of the time, strapping a blindfold across the hind-eyes.

Although I didn’t realise it until after I’d finished the game, part of the problem is the freedom offered from the very beginning. While the party have traits, the leader doesn’t. That’s just you. Now, I don’t know you, but you probably don’t believe that you’re superior to people in distant lands. I really hope you don’t believe you’re superior to the extent that you think it’d be a good thing to enslave or kill them.

The game could force those beliefs onto your character by limiting choices, or to allow for a sympathetic reading, bring about tragic and desperate outcomes by conveying a sense of fear, and having the party react without reason. The jungles are the home of an unknown people, following alien religions, and they are invisible in the wild places beyond the lights of the settlement. It would be sensible to fear them, particularly given the stories that are told. But it’s difficult to adopt that role – the game doesn’t do enough to sell the anxiety and instead allows the player to act from the other side of the screen, too easily separated from events by a few centuries.

I felt like I was making MY decisions, for me, with an almost condescending view of the least anachronistic people that I met. I almost wish – and this is so unlike me – that the early stages had offered less freedom in exchange for character building, perhaps defining my leader’s traits through early decisions, and restricting my ability to act with all of my 21st century smarts by removing some options while adding others. A kind of Fallout low intelligence playthrough, with empathy and rationality in place of the ability to form sentences.

It would be unfair to end on a negative. Expeditions: Conquistador is far more than a reskinned King’s Bounty, exploring a historical moment with confidence and skill. The combat system is effective and while some aspects of management become a chore, the focus on stories and characters means that there is almost always at least one interesting plot on the boil. The maps will be the same if I play again, so I doubt I’ll revisit but if there are more Expeditions to come, I’ll certainly pack a bedroll and hop on board.

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59 Comments »

  1. Joote says:

    Bought this last week and on GOG for just £13. I have played in continuous since. This is one great game. The interaction with your troops and other npc’s is great, battles are fun. The maps, locations and quests are interesting.

    It’s a steal at this price.

    • AlienMind says:

      Also notice the gameplay polish in the turnbased sequences. You click on a character and see all their possible destination points with their affection to a possible action point immediately. In XCOM or Xenonauts, you got to click twice to move and on the first click only see the affection to the action points only in a line to the clicked point.

      If you still want to have any part in PC gaming, and not in cow clicking, buy THIS!

  2. Danny says:

    Agreed. The first part is pretty great, but unfortunately the repetitiveness kicks in once you get to the mainland. And more importantly; where the game can be a real challenge initially, once you arrive in Mexico with a party of veterans/sergeants packed with more resources you can spend, I never had any problems winning my fights flawlessly.

    Don’t get me wrong, the money is well spent even if it’s only for the first island, but there’s a truly great game waiting to be born once they raise Mexico’s difficulty and add some content on that specific map (or maybe reduce the size to make it less of a burden to travel?).

    Edit: played in Ironman mode on normal difficulty. Hard doesn’t really make a difference late game (you can change it on the fly), and I guess it makes the beginning only more challenging or even frustrating.

    • Jimbo says:

      I agree, I really enjoyed the first campaign, but there just isn’t enough ‘game’ here to cover the second campaign.

      My party was pretty much as good as it could be for almost the entirety of the second campaign, which meant it was more or less just the same fight over and over again. The balance in the second campaign is way off too. I had more food, medicine, equipment and XP than I knew what to do with.

      There are simple things they could have done to keep things fresh – even just varying how many people you could take into a fight would force you to change from your Plan A tactics. Maybe some fights where you can’t use certain classes. An incentive to win in x rounds, etc.

      The ending needs sorting out too. I felt cheated.

      • jeowchoi says:

        To elaborate on battles, you usually pick 6 from your party before entering battle. I had no problem focusing on a “core” group and using those 6 guys 90% of the time. However, some battles involve “locked” temporary party members that can shake up your tactics a bit. Also, there are occasional 3-person battles, and events in the game may make party members unavailable for a while.

        Even though the majority of the battles boil down to “kill everyone”, the game does mix it up a bit with battles. Sometimes you are required to last x turns against a horde of enemies, defend fortresses, get your squad across the battleground to an “escape zone”, etc. The time of day, initial spawning points, the availability of pre-battle preparation and items influence the battle as well, if only slightly.

        Overall I can say I enjoyed every battle in my first campaign, even if they can get repetitive and easy towards the end. They require a good deal of thinking and caution, and the AI generally makes intelligent decisions and exploits your weaknesses effectively.

        • Jimbo says:

          Yes I should have clarified, these things do happen but not often enough imo. I felt like the tournament sequence was perhaps the best part of the game, just because of the rules imposed, the intrigue between matches and how one fight (potentially) had consequences for the next one. The strict party limit and the information about the fights made me really think about who I’d take into each fight.

          Also it still seemed to me that the easiest thing to do in the ‘Last x turns’ / ‘Get to escape zone’ etc. missions was still just to kill everybody, which somewhat undermines the variety they offer.

      • Jonas says:

        Jimbo: we’ve been doing just that, actually. You can expect some timed battles and some nasty tricks in Mexico in the first free content update. We’re also going to make things a bit harder in general, and we’ll try to add some usability features such as setting a far away destination by clicking on a marker on the 2D map.

        Can I ask which ending you got, and why you were disappointed by it? :-)

        • Vercinger says:

          It’s always nice to see developers in the comments section! :)

          • Bob says:

            Yeah, Jonas and the other Logic Artist guys have been proactive (and working their butts off) ever since the game was first launched on Kickstarter. He has done a superb job with the writing for the game as well. I’m not the best at tactical combat, but like Anachronox, another turn based game I enjoyed, there’s plenty of other things to enjoy about the game.

        • Evilpigeon says:

          Hi I’ve just decided to buy your game based on your reply :)

          Was looking at this, very tempted but reading other people’s comments, I didn’t want to end up in a situation like I did with FTL where I love the game but it just got too repetitive after a while, it’s really frustrating to have to stop playign something due to lack of content, as opposed to be finished with the game.

        • Jimbo says:

          **POSSIBLE SPOILERS – I’LL TRY TO BE AS VAGUE AS POSSIBLE**

          Sure, I can’t really explain it very well without spoiling the ending, so let’s just say that -despite having all the upgrades- it turned out that I hadn’t sat around quite long enough waiting for my number of x to reach an arbitrary level.

          Expecting the player to do that at the climax of the game is bad enough (just in terms of pacing and game design – see Fable 3), but the misleading conversation I had with character-from-first-campaign was the real kicker. I outlined my plans with him and he gave the distinct impression that I was good to go. It wasn’t until after the ending when one of my guys was all ‘Wow, if only we’d had more x we really could have done something here… that’s too bad I guess!’ that I realised I wasn’t going to get the option I’d been working towards. Like, thanks so much for pointing that out now it’s too late to do anything about it, guy!

          Some kind of hint in the conversation with character-from-first-campaign would help, and would be justified considering his job. The option to order/pay for multiple upgrades at once would be better still (and there’s no logical reason why you wouldn’t be able to do that), perhaps again having to assign a party member to stay and oversee the work in your absence.

          • Jonas says:

            Oh, I see. Well that’s a fairly easy thing to fix, I’ll sneak in a mention of the required soldiers in that conversation. That’s not an arbitrary limit btw, it’s the maximum amount of soldiers that your garrison can hold, which I believe is stated when you visit the barracks and count your troops :-)

          • Jimbo says:

            Prevention would be better than the cure here I think. Tweaking that conversation would certianly help, but you’re still gonna have a situation where the player feels compelled to camp right outside for 20 odd days (either to get the upgrades, or waiting for the number to reach the limit), which is needlessly inelegant, especially compared to how well the rest of the mechanics in the game fit together.

            Just my two cents.

          • Zorn says:

            I found myself doing almost exactly this, when something needed 6 days to be done, I scavenged the closer area in one direction for three days, returned, built the next thing. Until everything was completed, to return exploring then.

  3. Blackseraph says:

    Some of these kickstarter games have really turned up quite good, haven’t they.

    I certainly think this is worth a shot for most people.

    • riadsala says:

      yup. agree. it’s somewhat better than I expected :)

    • jeowchoi says:

      And on top of “most people”, I’d like to add “people interested in the era and setting”. I’m by no means familiar with this period in history, but the story and setting really clicked with me. Enough to see it through all the way to the end.

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    RedViv says:

    Ah, the problems with roleplaying what would contemporarily be considered a truly horrible person.

    • misterT0AST says:

      Conquistadors are not more horrible than ANY person in the world in 500 B.C. who used slaves. And that includes even small agricultural families.
      Our current system of values is less than 100 years old and it will probably change in another 50 years.
      You can’t just play games set after World War II or fantasy games set in “the Middle Ages but with gender equality”. Play, kill, buy slaves, rape, pillage, rob a bank, oppress the people, rig the elections, discriminate and claim it was all God’s will. It’s just a game for heaven’s sake.

      • David Bliff says:

        Eh I don’t agree. While it’s important to understand that the Middle Ages (which Conquistadors really grew up in) was an immensely violent time, the scale of violence in the conquest and colonization of the Americas – especially the Caribbean – was really a significant escalation. Historians have rightly come to understand that a significant cause of the depopulation of the continent was epidemic rather than physical violence, but in recent years it’s also been re-emphasized that over-work and forced migration and relocation for the purposes of labor exploitation really was another important cause leading to the total extermination of indigenous people in some areas.

        And it’s not just modern sensibilities judging the past – there were many contemporaries who expressed outright horror at the violence being exerted by some of the conquistadors and encomenderos. While the systems of violence which emerged in the period had earlier precedents and foundations, their elaboration in the New World really was something else. Likewise, slavery was a common practice in Europe and West Africa in the period, but the transatlantic system which emerged over the 15th to 19th centuries really was unconscionably more violent and brutal than any earlier precedents.

  5. jonahcutter says:

    I had no problem with the freedom of the beginning and how you can play.

    I decided to play as an arrogant, cunning, racist imperialist. I picked all my party that way (the racist nun was my first pick). And it’s been great, evil fun violently subjugating the native peoples with fire and steel.

    Roleplaying, even in a single player game, adds immensely to the experience.

    • The Random One says:

      Yeah, but I, for one, tend to prefer playing a nice character. If a game is better played if you roleplay as a complete jerk it’s better if the game actually forces it to be one. I call this the Prototype Principle (the full name is Like The First Three Hours of Prototype Principle).

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        cpt_freakout says:

        What I like about this game is that even if you play nice, you’ll have to eventually realize that you’re still fucking up a lot of people over with most of the things you do. So don’t worry, the ‘morality scale’ of this game is pretty satisfying, whether you play as an all-out-war conquistador or a hands-off scholar.

  6. Kakrafoon says:

    I really wanted to like it, but what really stops me from doing so is the shared equipment pool. Just giving someone a heap of nondescript equipment tokens and he or she upgrades from an arquebus to a wheellock musket as if it was an RPG skill and not a piece of period equipment feels deeply unsatisfying.

    Unsatisfying is a word I can also apply to the firearms in combat itself. All muskets look like generic shotgun-like boomsticks, the restriction of having to laboriously reload them after every shot doesn’t come into play; with a certain skill characters can even fire multiple times per turn. Having my soldiers nervously pumping their ramrods woud have added tremendously to the game, in my opinion.

    Effect-wise, I would have made clear distinctions between matchlock, wheellock and flintlock muskets. The matchlock should have had a hiss before the bang of the discharging powder, for the wheellock some mechanical rasping sound would have been in order. Also, more powder smoke. Early blackpowder weapons were filthy affairs.

    • Premium User Badge

      steves says:

      Wow. I never realized there was such a thing as an anachronistic gun geek;)

      Which is totally not a bad thing by the way – I get my knickers in a twist when games do swords wrong (pretty much all of them) but hell, I never even knew what a ‘matchlock’ was ’til now, thanks for that!

      Anyway, this game looks great, I can tolerate some repetitive combat (and historically inaccurate guns) if the atmosphere & story are something different.

  7. Lanfranc says:

    I actually found the freedom Hispaniola rather limited. Yes, you can choose how you react to certain things, but as far as I can tell, you’re still forced into the story line where you’re essentially running around trying to prop up the governor’s rule against the rebels – immediately after he gravely insults your honour by arresting your crew and confiscating everything you own. Seriously, what sort self-respecting conquistador and hidalgo would go along with that? Doesn’t really make sense to me.

    • Tayh says:

      The kind of conquistador who doesn’t want his/her ship sunk to the bottom of the sea on account of the city’s cannons aimed at it, thus pre-maturely ending the expedition and subsequently casting disgrace unto the hermandad?
      Phew, that was a long one.

      • Lanfranc says:

        Hernan Cortes was actually in a somewhat similar situation, when the governor of Havana tried to have him replaced as leader of his expedition. Cortes responded to that by having his intended replacement killed, then leaving for Mexico anyway, basically committing mutiny against the governor.

        Just saying that under the circumstances of the early colonisation of the New World, a governor’s authority should not be taken for granted. It would have made the game a whole lot more interesting if you could actually had a choice of whether to go along with his demands or try to work against them – because that is precisely the choice a real conquistador would have to make rather frequently.

        • lordcooper says:

          Cortés had 11 ships and 500 men. That’s a bit of a different power dynamic.

          • Lanfranc says:

            But on the other hand, the governor in the game obviously depends on the player’s help to stay in power – he more or less admits right from the start that he doesn’t have control over the outlying parts of the island. That should in my opinion have been reflected in giving the player much more choice in how to respond to the situation than it does – especially seeing as precisely choice is one of the game’s major selling points.

          • Jonas says:

            Lanfranc: True, but also it was written by one person in 4-5 months ;-)

            Hispaniola is meant to be relatively linear and directed, a sort of intro campaign to familiarise yourself with the system. It opens up a lot in Mexico (and then everyone loses interest. Go figure.)

        • David Bliff says:

          Actually the lack of total political power of colonial officials is a feature of pretty much the entire colonial period in Latin America – not just the early years. Governors and Viceroys really had to govern at pretty much all times with the cooperation of local elites because of the ways offices were distributed and constantly in conflict with one another. What’s often seen as a despotic, absolutist, and corrupt bureaucratic system was in reality a really decentralized and relatively consensual system of governance.

  8. Jack_Dandy says:

    I am loving this game so far, definitely one of Kickstarter’s success stories. It’s addictive as hell, too.

  9. Bhazor says:

    This sounds great, so good I backed it the first week it appeared in the Katchup. But sadly it won’t run on my netbook. That makes me a sad panda.

  10. FriendlyPsicopath says:

    it is a great game, has some rough edges in some places, but it is good, not a single bug or problem found for me. I’m finishing Spainola in impossible ironman so i’m playing uber slow and gotta say that you can roleplay a lot on this game, i’m going with a extreme racist party and being south american seems like the story of colonization i know.

    • jeowchoi says:

      I second your first statement. 1.0.0 has been very stable and without a single bug in sight. Some artistic and UI niggles aside, this game really feels polished and complete. And the developers are working on free content updates? Respect.

  11. KazPaz says:

    A solid game held back by a few disappointing design choices and hiccups. As mentioned in the article, upgrading follower weapons and armour by simply stacking miscellaneous equipment items on top of them is underwhelming. The UI especially makes the camping mechanic very tedious as you fumble around menus every 2 minutes and the aesthetic is extremely bland (I wish it’d look more like some of the vibrant concept art you see in the load screens).

    One niggle that really gets to me is that move points do not replenish when you’re in the ‘safe zone’ of a city/town. So if I get back to the main city and only have 1 movement point left, the moment I leave the gates I am forced to camp right beneath the city walls… seems a little unnecessary!

    But the writing and opportunity for roleplay is indeed strong, combat definitely gets more interesting as you begin to unlock skills.

  12. dsch says:

    Okay, RPS, you are supposed to be writers. Can we please get this straight:

    - You use ‘former’ and ‘latter’ when there are TWO things. ‘I had an uncle and an aunt; the former had balls.’
    - For any more than two things, you say ‘first’ … ‘last’. ‘Jenny ate a steak, a pie, a cake, and a chicken, the last of which she vomited up after a few too many drinks.’

    • David Bliff says:

      Actually “latter” can be used to refer to the last of any list.

      • NathanH says:

        Not according to any dictionary or usage guide that I can lay my hand on, all of which giving it as meaning the second of only two items. Well, one dictionary gave one definition as “last (Obs.)” and another gave one definition of “last (Shak.)”.

        • David Bliff says:

          Hm, ok. Well I see it fairly frequently in academic writing, which though not always technically correct maybe is a pretty good measure of formal writing.

  13. chargen says:

    I’ve been waiting for RPS to review this. I assumed, correctly, that they would complain about not being able to roleplay a middle class 21-st century liberal conquistador. Still a fair review, even though I enjoyed the camp management a lot more than Adam.

    So far Kickstarter has delivered 4 solid titles for me. Fingers crossed for Shadowrun later this month.

    • Bent Wooden Spoon says:

      No, you assumed wrongly. If you actually read it instead of rushing in to grind your axe you’d have seen Adam was, in fact, arguing the complete opposite – that playing a middle class 21st Century liberal conquistador is too easy.

      • iridescence says:

        This is the kind of thing certain people complain about regardless of what option the game chooses. As it stands the game allows you to play an authentic genocidal racist bastard if you want but doesn’t force you into that which seems like a good compromise. On the other hand, I think they went a bit over board on the perfect gender equality. While I do support the sentiment in the modern world it seems very anachronistic to have so many women soldiers in that time period. It would’ve been more historically appropriate if they had restricted women to being scholars and doctors.

        • Jonas says:

          More historically accurate, but pretty boring.

          Fighting women from the period aren’t unheard of. Yeah we vastly exaggerated how common they’d be, but in doing so we made the character gallery much more varied and interesting :-)

          • Voronwer says:

            I, for one, appreciate what you guys did there. I think you guys handled the balance between historical accuracy and creative liberty very well.

          • Canisa says:

            As someone who finds the “But it’s historically accurate!” argument endlessly tiresome and really appreciates the ability to romp around history as someone who looks like herself, I want to thank you wholeheartedly for making that decision. I originally thought the game would probably have a male-only protagonist, but now I know otherwise I will certainly consider buying it!

          • biggergun says:

            I also quite liked what you did with gender (despite being one of the people that grumble every time RPS has a feminism article). It’s fun and adds a cool anachronistic touch to otherwise rather accurate game.

          • sinister agent says:

            I consider that an acceptable break from reality. Any game has to make choices between realism/accuracy and plain old fun, and if it’s a close call, fun should almost always win.

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          RedViv says:

          The 50/50 ratio at the start is a bit off, but otherwise the female ratio seems okay. Mostly because a lot of the personal accounts historians have unearthed (lots from the Archive of the Indies in Sevilla) seem to suggest that the actual number of conquistadoras was far higher than just the few exceptional cases, Catalina de Erauso as the most prominent example, would make it seem. Orphans of noble soldiers and their wives born in New Spain, homeless maids, bored runaways, the odd stowaway crossdresser,… All that.
          And it’s also okay because this is a fictional narrative in which you manage to replace Cortés with your ragtag band of misfits and bastards – so EVERYBODY is exceptional anyway.

          • InternetBatman says:

            This. There were a surprising number of women in the colonies, and since all the countries, but especially England sent large numbers of criminals over they’d be the most likely to break social and gender norms. Add that to the fact that many of the Indians, particularly tribes with an Algonquin background, had no issue with women being chiefs, and you get a surprisingly diverse situation.

          • guygodbois00 says:

            Dora the Conquistadora, I’m sure, was one of them

          • David Bliff says:

            There are even transgender/transsexual conquistadors! There are a number of high-profile trans people from the period who were legally regarded (after a legal trial) as the gender they identified as regardless of their birth, some of whom did indeed go to the New Wold and fight.

        • Zeewolf says:

          I’ve heard this criticism a few times, and I don’t really understand it that well – the female conquistadors are there as an option, but you are free to pick a more “historically accurate” crew and once you’ve picked your crew then the people you left behind are no longer relevant.

          One could perhaps argue “yes, but I want people with specific traits and that forces me to pick women”, but I don’t think it’s a very good argument and besides, I’d recommend against being too focused on character traits at the beginning. Personally, the only trait I actively avoided was the racist one. Dealing with conflict is a fun part of the game, and I really enjoyed having my most important soldier also being the most difficult one to keep happy.

          • iridescence says:

            Yeah, I wasn’t criticizing the game. I certainly think there should be women in this game. The 50/50 split of the soldiers is anachronistic but it’s at worst a very minor issue.
            Having no women at all would be worse though.

  14. apocraphyn says:

    Cheers for the review, Adam. Will definitely get hold of this.

  15. belgand says:

    I can’t really speak to people in other lands, having not met them, but I know I’m superior to the people here. That was an option, right?

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  17. UK_John says:

    No one seems to have made the connection between this games features and 1992′s Darklands cRPG. Th camping system is very similar, there’s a giant world to explore,and there are procedural events that happen regularlily .