Rolling up to suite 307 in the LA Convention Center while working the circuit at E3, I was actually a little hazy on what I was expecting to see from Swedish publishers Nordic entertainment; There was no doubt that they’ve been relevant enough to warrant sequels (considering two of the games I was scheduled to see were on their 3rd iteration).
But after 45 minutes of some hands-off video and a little Q & A thrown in for good measure, I couldn’t help feeling a bit despondent about their upcoming titles. Let’s get to what I saw.
Described as an RTS with RPG elements, I couldn’t help but feel distant vibes of Medieval coming through with a facelift. It also appeared to move at a slower pace than more famous kin. The developer at hand tried to show off a few aspects of spell casting as a group of spiders honed in on his 4 troops, but it felt like an afterthought as the spiders were dismantled before he even had a chance to get a spell off. Little was shown regarding the new building and troop managements systems, only in that resource gathering has become easier and more streamlined than its predecessor.
Battle Chasers: Nightwar
Based on a comic book series, this was easily the most vibrant looking game of the bunch. The dungeon crawling played close to Diablo 3, but battles were separate and handled on a 2-D playing field like old-school RPGs. Animation and artwork were sprite-like machismo come to life, three distinct characters squaring off against multiple skeletons a few times. Only one character could be utilized at a time during the dungeon crawling itself, each with their own unique ability thst could affect either the environment or the monsters directly, but it felt like some gimmick that left much to be desired.
Of all titles shown at Nordic Games, ELEX easily has the most potential, in that I’m still rather curious as to what it’s all about. He described it as a science/fantasy open world game, claiming some prior calamity turned an advanced world into the middle ages peppered with advanced technology no one quite understands. For your character (which you create), this is a boon as you can adopt ancient machines for either your village or for yourself, serving to augment certain abilities above the monsters that you face in the wild.
The developer demonstrated by using an ancient device that allowed him to jump dozens of feet in the air. At the peak of the jump, he could bring his sword crashing down on a nearby wolf, causing massive damage and stunning the creature for a few seconds. It was nothing fancy or unique by any stretch, but the plot was something I could enjoy seeing through somewhat.
The Guild 3
If middle-aged open-world Sim Is your thing, then you already know about the Guild series. Defined on true player creation and choice, Nordic seems hell-bent on creating the most open-ended and medieval form of Sims and Civilization I have ever seen. Want to be a wench? Go for it. Corrupted Mayor? Absolutely. Serial killer gravedigger that only kills other gravediggers? Now you’re starting to think outside the box. With the inclusion of 16-player matches in a single castle, the potential for a micro-Game of Thrones plot is easier to achieve than ever… If that’s the thing you’ve been looking for.
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