Northgard has been out for just over a year now on PC and has just finally received a console release. For those of you who do not know, Northgard is a Norse themed RTS that features different modes such as Single, Multiplayer & Campaign where you build up your clan and assign constantly generating villagers (though the process does feel a tad bit slow) various tasks such as: healers, woodcutters, farmers, and warriors. Nothing much has changed in the transition to consoles, but it plays well and will keep you busy on the go.
I will briefly touch upon the campaign for those who have not heard of the title before. You start out as Bran, the last remaining member of the Clan of the Stag. Your goal is to reach new lands and then try to conquer them to avenge your father as well as your clan. The voice acting is just fine, and the graphics are appealing if you enjoy the more “cartoony” style. Sounds is good as well, but that is all I will say about the game overall since it hasn’t changed much from its initial release.
I do play my Switch exclusively in handheld mode so if you get this game and play with the Switch docked or even on a PS4 or Xbox One I imagine your gameplay experience will improve a tad. To start, the game ran fine for most of the campaign with no hiccups in the frame rate at all. One thing that is a constant but mild irritant was how the game does not always register that you moved the cursor to a new building. This happened every time I went right from one structure to the next where the menu options for the first building would remain until I moved off a building and waited for a second.
Later on I did have some moments of hard screen freeze for about a half a second. I did set up a one on one match against the AI so I could test that the half second of screen freezing was indeed happening what felt like every few minutes. It was nothing game breaking and it never interfered with my commands but it did get annoying especially since the game is slow enough that a match can last 30 minutes or more.
Controlling units and placing structures was easy and intuitive. With the option to have multiple groupings for units and an option to just call every army unit to one location I never had an issue with ordering my troops. I do not know if the limitation to troop amount is in the PC version or limited for console release but only being able to have two troops per base level army structure is a pain and slows the game down a fair amount. Especially in winter which luckily there is a tracker of sorts showing when winter is. So if you lose a troop well have fun waiting for a villager to free up and to accumulate enough Krons (currency) to train it.
Overall, the console release isn’t bad. If you like a slower paced RTS with lower unit counts and more base building restrictions then give it a shot. I do find it odd that Northgard is just now being released on consoles since console based RTS games tend to be ok at best. All things considered I would recommend getting the game on PC over console just on the assumption that the controls and performance would be better. Again and I do mean to stress this, the controls are just fine and besides a couple issues, the game performance is great as well. If you do not own a PC or just really want a RTS game on the go then be sure to give Northgard a look. – TS
Northgard will be available on the Nintendo eShop September 26th, 2019
Northgard will also be available on the Playstation Store and Microsoft Store in early October
Physical editions of Northgard are available to purchase here
Nintendo Switch review code provided by StridePR