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Review: Total War: Warhammer - Norsca (PC)By Snowtwo At 11.08.2017 15:18

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The Norsca in Warhammer were always a bit of an afterthought in the campaign. It's not that they weren't fleshed out or anything, but rather that by the time the player could actually start doing something about them, the BBEG had already spawned and was rampaging down southwards while the player was nearing their objectives. Some might not even end up fighting the hairy men from the north at all simply due to map placement. However, at last, they are playable - and it's surprisingly interesting.

For starters, the biggest thing about the Norsca is that their troops are actually kind of lacking, at least in comparison to other civilisations. While having a war mammoth smash into the enemy lines is unquestionably fun, when compared to the options provided by the other races, the Norsca simply come up a bit short. It's fine, though, since, in order to make up for this, the Norsca can engage in massive beast hunt quests, which, upon completion, allow mighty and strong unique squadrons to be recruited into an army.

This alone can be quite fun, especially for those that enjoy the questing aspects of the game as opposed to simple conquest and grand strategy elements. Additionally, getting unique units as opposed to generically recruited individuals makes each one far more valuable from a gameplay perspective. The mere effort to acquire one alone is enough to dwarf merely levelling up a city to make a specific building.

The Norsca also worship a pantheon of four gods. Every time a village is razed by the Norsca, they can raze it in the name of one of the four, giving a bonus to that god while harming relations with the other three. It's impossible to raise up all four to the max thanks to the penalties, and, eventually, one will need to reign supreme. Each god does offer bonuses if worshiped to help keep it from becoming a clear-cut choice.

On the whole, it's pretty decent and fun, and a great way to save the potentially overlooked tribes from fading into obscurity. With that said, there are some problems with them. While this may be just a personal experience, the pathfinding for the Norsca units is hilariously bad. Not "took the long way" bad, but "commanded war mammoth to charge into enemy left flank, immediately turned to the right, and went on a flat-out rush into the treeline and needed to be carefully guided back to the fight" bad.

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Final Score
The [i]Norsca[/i] expansion is pretty much exactly what it says on the tin. The beast hunts are a nice and interesting way to deviate from the traditional building and recruitment structures, while the mechanics of the four gods is very distinct and allow for some potentially interesting choices and decisions to be made. However, it likely won't persuade anyone outside of the franchise to join in, and is pretty obvious in both what it provides and what said provision will do.

7

/10

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