Dead in Vinland: True Viking Edition

Developed By: CCCP
Published By: Plug-In Digital
Category: Survival Management / RPG / Simulation
Release Date: 07.11.2019

After escaping a devastating attack you find yourself and your family crash landed on a strange island far outside of the normal area of travel. With no knowledge of this mysterious place and a group that you must care for you must do everything you can to survive in this survival management title from French developer CCCP. Dead in Vinland brings RPG elements and a crazy story-based adventure to a game that is a mix between indie-cult survival/management sim 60 Seconds and Darkest Dungeon, but vikings.

Eirik is the leader of this band of heroes, and along with his wife Blodeuwedd, daughter Kari, and sister-in-law Moiri, you will explore this faraway island and discover what secrets it may hold. However, when you find the island is inhabited by others you can find the cruelty of humanity wasn’t left behind in your previous life. Bjorn Headclever is in charge, and demands regular tribute in exchange for a place on the island. Will you abide by the rules and do what it takes to just survive, or will you take it back to him with the help of some of the locals and free this island from tyranny? That’s for you to decide. 

The main gameplay mechanic involved in this title is its deep survival management. You will collect resources, build buildings and tools to aid you in progression, and manage people’s needs so they can survive. Food and water are mainstays, as is expected in this setting, however you must also keep people from being sick or injured, as well as manage people’s depression, as letting people get too down about the situation can lead to a game over just as easily as running out of water. Along with this you also have to deal with changes in the weather changing how things progress day-to-day, as well as the after effects of battling with the other island inhabitants from time to time. Luckily, these mechanics are done very well, and allow for an enjoyable experience throughout. The turn-based mechanics applied to this genre really work nicely, and allowing the needs of your villagers to be daunting, but manageable at the same time is a nice change of pace. Throughout I felt the urgency to gather and explore; to find everything I could that would help me survive, but with you only having two things that can be completed per day per character you can really wrap your mind around what is most crucial as you take your time through the systems. In a lot of games that focus on survival you are constantly worrying about where your next meal or drink will come from, and rationing is key, but with this title these conditions are present while still feeling like you are getting somewhere as you set yourself up with nicer equipment and begin to get a surplus of supplies. The game knocks you back through events you have to work through instead of making the day to day tedious through stressful mechanics. 

Outside of that you also have to fight your way of situations from time to time. The game features a battle system with two stages of combat for your characters to stand, with a certain number of moves per round based on stats. With this you can strategize where to best place your fighters on the field, and set up combos between characters with special attacks and stat buffs. The mechanics here aren’t super deep, and even just fighting without trying to maximize efficiency will allow you to have a chance to win. A lot of these sections were parts I just wanted to get through so I could get back to the story and management parts of the game. Not because the combat here is boring or bad, but just because in comparison with the rest of the game it is a definite weak spot.

Light RPG mechanics are also present, with character sheets for you to work on as your characters level up and gain new abilities, and with stat management and improvement. You can gain abilities that increase XP gain, or allow for better results when doing certain tasks, as well as several other cool upgrades you can toss onto your characters. 

Difficulty is something that is ever present in survival titles, and is a mainstay of the genre. This title doesn’t disappoint as it is filled with some brutal ends to your runs. Luckily, for people who want to play through an easier experience it offers various difficulty settings, and modes that make for both easier and harder gameplay. Some modes stop save scumming or allow for slower stat depletion. Either way you can customize to the experience you would like. 

Not only does this game offer a deep playthrough throughout almost all of its mechanics, but it also offers a crazy amount of replay potential. We are talking about dozens and dozens, potentially hundreds of hours of gameplay if you wish through its various gameplay difficulties and settings, as well as just through the pure randomization and newly generated obstacles between sessions, and the choices you make having huge impacts on the long-term effects of the playthrough. This game just doesn’t quit.

Dead in Vinland is a gem in the survival genre. We are looking at a game that not only makes for an interesting management title, but adds just the right amount of difficulty and strategy to allow for some serious deep dives into this one. Great story, twists and turns, and the ability to replay the game many times to experience new things all culminate into a title that I can recommend for anyone who likes survival titles or as something new to people who just like a good story. The battle system is the only slight dip in the enjoyment I got from this title, but even with that being said I can safely say that this is one you won’t want to miss.


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