Dead in Vinland is a neat looking survive ’em up

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Dead in Vinland strikes me as The Banner Saga meets Darkest Dungeon. For a start, everyone looks utterly miserable. It’s a survival/management game with RPG elements where you play as a viking family, exiled and shipwrecked on an island. Is that island a peaceful place of bountiful splendour? Given the number of things you have to manage in order to keep your exiles from either dying or spiralling into a mental health crisis, I’d say not. There are people out to kill you, too.

It’ll be out in early 2018, and there’s a trailer below that shows off everything from camp management to RPG style choices to combat.

It’s all turn based, and a core part of the game revolves around managing the health, both physical and mental, of your survivors. There are mouths to feed, storms to weather and camp upgrades to build – but each character can only be assigned one activity each turn. Don’t forget this is an RPG too, so you’ll have to think about their various skills and whatnot. It’s not all cooking and construction, either – there’s tactical turn based combat that looks particularly Darkest Dungeon-ey.

There’s a lot going on, but if the game can tie all of those elements together in a satisfying way then this could be one shipwreck I’ll happily jump on board.

While that all sounds interesting enough, but I’m especially intrigued as to how Dead in Vinland ties into its predecessor, Dead in Bermuda. Dead in Vinland swaps out Bermuda’s modern day plane crash for a viking shipwreck, but devs CCCP suggest on Steam that both games take place in the same world:

“From the start, we wanted to build a world where all the games in the series would fit. If you played DiB, you may have noticed… Strange… Things. With no real explanations. More explanations will come in DiV, which is not a direct sequel but shares the same base gameplay and backstory.”

It reminds me of how Amplitude‘s Endless Legend and Endless Space are set in the same world but aeons apart. This is more subtle than that, and might be all the more interesting because of it.

Dead in Vinland will launch early in 2018 on Steam. Hit the game’s site for more information.

9 Comments

  1. Hmm-Hmm. says:

    Vinland, wasn’t that the name the vikings gave to America? Or, at least, the part where they landed?

  2. Rashism says:

    The combat similarities to Darkest Dungeon are uncanny. Looks interesting!

  3. ThornEel says:

    “Play as a Viking family”
    Vikings were the warriors/pirates/pillagers (with about Daesh-level likeableness), not the general population. So this makes about as much sense as “Play as a Red Army family”…

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      Phasma Felis says:

      The Vikings did a lot of trading and exploring. They were raiders, but they weren’t just raiders.

      I did some reading and, somewhat to my surprise, the rest of your post is also incorrect–it seems that “Viking” properly refers to most of Scandinavian culture from roughly the 8th to 11th centuries. Actual historians talk about “Viking families” and “Viking settlements.” Interesting.

      • goodpoints says:

        Just because exhausted historians, for the sake of accessibility, concede to the giant of popular culture that Wagnerian vikings are, doesn’t mean that it is true. There is not a single primary source that labels any collective people as “vikings” or “vikingr”. First, keep in mind that the vast majority of textual sources that are longer than a monumental inscription (be they chronicles, mythic sagas, or family sagas), were written decades to centuries after conversion and the “viking age”. In fact, almost every single occurrence of the word “viking / vikingr” in these sources is pejorative. The actual vikings of the sagas are treacherous, cruel, dishonorable brigands who constantly cause trouble in Norse communities. People whose presence is only tolerated when mercenary work is required; sort of like hmmmm…pirates. But don’t take my word for it, historians and translators have been trying to say this for about a century now. Here’s what Eirikr Magnusson saysin the notes to his 1892 translation of Eyrbyggja Saga regarding Raven and Ospak, two characters that are labeled as vikings:

        “Raven was by-named the Viking. He was nought but an evil-doer.” “Vikingr” is frequently used as a synonym for evil-doer, thief, and robber. Thus in our own saga we read: “Snorri Goði and Sturla scattered the vikings”, namely, Ospak and his band. So also the term is used of Thorir Thomb and his companions, who elsewhere are described as the worst of robbers and evil-doers (“Grettir’s saga”, xix). The first settler of the bay of Bitter, Thorbiorn Bitter, is even in “Landnama” said to have been “a viking and a scoundrel” (ii, ch. 32, p. 159). This sense of the word is supposed to be due to degeneracy, by lapse of time from something nobler which once upon a time was implied by it. That probably is a mere mistake. The viking’s profession, whenever it is mentioned, is chiefly defined as robbery, arson, and manslaughter.

        Oh and the crew of Leif Eriksson’s expeditions were certainly not vikings. Erik the Red was a child when he was exiled from Norway together with his father Thorvaldr. As an adult in Iceland, Erik is TWICE declared an outlaw and exiled the second time. He seeks Greenland mostly because his family is disgraced and he doesn’t anywhere else to go. (if he were a viking, surely he could have just found a nice Irish village, no?) Even before the Little Ice Age, Greenland was a miserable and poor colony: little arable land, no trees, and limited pasture land. Leif only gains the chance to redeem his family after he is blown off course to the Hebrides. There by a chance encounter with the first Christian king of Norway, Olaf Trygvason, Leif converts and becomes some sort of evangelist. Regardless, Leif goes to Vinland to get wood. Greenland had no trees and Iceland was almost entirely deforested within 2 centuries of settlement. Without trees you have to buy lumber to build your house, your boat, your fences, fuel your forge, etc. etc. Leif was far from a wealthy man when he sailed for Vinland. Nor is there any mention of Leif being a “viking” or being involved in any significant violence. He was a good trader though as his father was. The Greenlanders coexisted and traded with the indigenous people (skraelingjar) of Greenland and Leif does the same in Vinland at least until some of his men kill some of the natives in a dispute.

        For anyone interested in Erik and Vinland, I recommend listening to this episode of the Saga Thing podcast where the hosts interview Loretta Decker, the site supervisor of L’Anse aux Meadows and grandaughter of George Decker, the local fisherman who showed the Ingstads (the first archaeologists to investigate the site) the ruins and housed them. She gives a great overview of the site, its history, and the latest research.

  4. April March says:

    I know it’s just the game’s style, but I find it funny that the overlay says they’re working when they’re just sitting or standing there looking despondent. “No, dad, I totally am harvesting berries or whatever.”

  5. racccoon says:

    This is a game dev who doesn’t like animation, lol

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