Paint your faces, shieldmaidens. Viking age pillager The Great Whale Road [official site] is arising from the dark winter of early access on March 30. It’s the one set in the sixth century – a mix of turn-based battles, sailing to find quests and plunder, and managing the people of your own settlement when the ice comes and the crops wither and Helga dies from pox. Would you know yet more? All right. They’ve made a trailer to show off some of their most angry Danish men with beards.
“The March release finishes the Danish story and completes the core feature set of the game,” we’re told by developers Sunburned Games. “It also includes improvements to combat and resource management, adding new mechanics for deeper gameplay.”
That’s encouraging news. I prematurely evaluated it last summer and found both the combat and the wandering a little underwhelming. The card-based tactical battles didn’t have many interesting cards or possibilities and the neat cartoon animation style was undermined by a samey trudge through towns and encampments that all looked and reacted more or less identical. Since then they’ve had a combat update and with any luck this final release will add some meat to the version I played.
Two more updates are planned for the future, adding other playable cultures like the Franks and the Frisians. Right now, you’re limited to those rowdy Danes.