I’ve played plenty of co-op adventures in my time, but never one that has seen me team up with nine other players to defend our home from all sorts of monsters – some small and some very, VERY, big. That’s exactly what you do in Tribes of Midgard, the new survival-adventure from developer Norsfell that sees players working with others in order to protect their home base from rampant monsters. If the title wasn’t a clue, it’s Norse themed too, so anyone who is a fan of the mythology tied to it will appreciate the vibrant world they’ll become a part of.
Check out a gallery of screenshots down below:
The core concept of Tribes of Midgard revolves around protecting your home base, all whilst gathering resources to improve it, upgrading your gear, and vanquishing the enemies that dare threaten it. A magical tree known as the Seed of Yggdrasil lies in the centre of your base, and if it gets destroyed, it’s game over. You can expect it to take damage, though the souls you collect from fallen foes can help power it up again between the nightly attacks. Ultimately, you’ll spend your time in the day out exploring the world, but making sure you come back when night falls in order to protect your home.
There are also quests that can be undertaken from your base, with each providing different rewards that will help the player out. Most of the time it’s simply a case of hitting a certain area of the map to complete an objective, but it adds an extra sense of purpose for those who like to invest in more than just exploring and crafting. Oh, and if you die? You respawn, don’t worry, but you’ll have to head back to the spot of your demise in order to gather your belongings that you would have lost.
“I’ve played plenty of co-op adventures in my time, but never one that has seen me team up with nine other players to defend our home from all sorts of monsters – some small and some very, VERY, big.”
There’s a heavy emphasis placed on exploration in the game, with an expansive map surrounding your base that’s packed to the brim with resources to gather, enemies to defeat, and treasure to uncover. Whilst the forest that surrounds your base is easy-going as far as survival is concerned, the wider world is packed to the brim with dangers. Besides the likes of the vicious monsters that are lurking around, players also have to deal with varying climates; the scorching Smoky Highlands bring with them high temperatures that you will need to protect yourself from for example (as well as some of the nastiest baddies in the game), whilst those venturing through the freezing Glacier Peaks will need some warmth in order to survive. Luckily, it’s just a case of crafting some potions to help you out, but it shows that fortune won’t favour the brave if they’re ill-prepared in Tribes of Midgard.
With the variety of biomes and sense of adventure that comes with exploration, it’s a real treat discovering more of Tribes of Midgard’s world. The land itself is procedurally generated too, meaning no two playthroughs will be the same. Admittedly, this procedural generation isn’t exceptionally extensive and it can become easy to predict where certain locales will be, but it added enough variety to make each playthrough feel a bit different. It’s always rewarding to make traversal easier with fast-travel points too, whilst there are even structures to find and restore that’ll help generate more resources for your base.
“There’s a heavy emphasis placed on exploration in the game, with an expansive map surrounding your base that’s packed to the brim with resources to gather, enemies to defeat, and treasure to uncover.”
Players can expand upon their base in multiple ways, whether that’s by spending resources to reinforce defences, establishing archer towers to attack incoming foes , or simply levelling up the merchants so they provide better gear to craft. It’s all well and good gathering the best resources in the world, but it’s not worth much if you can’t use them to make new gear. You can store your resources in the base’s war chest to keep them safe, whilst it’s always satisfying to be able to improve your gear after a successful day out exploring the land.
The only problem with the base building is that it feels VERY limited in scope, especially when compared to similar survival games. The objects you place are all in pre-determined locations and simply require resources, whilst there’s no room for customisation either. Whilst Tribes of Midgard’s world is procedurally generated, your base always feels the same – it’s disappointing that players can’t give it their own personal touch.
“With the variety of biomes and sense of adventure that comes with exploration, it’s a real treat discovering more of Tribes of Midgard’s world.”
Players will spend plenty of time defending it though, with hordes of enemies attacking every night to try and take out the magic tree. Combat in the game is simple but satisfying, with players able to use a multitude of different weapons in order to dispatch foes. Admittedly, it can boil down to button-mashing and healing when you need to, though some weapon-specific skills do add a bit more flair to showdowns. It all comes down to attacking, knowing when to block or dodge an attack, healing when your health is low, and repeating. As mentioned, it’s simple, but I never grew bored of it. Players can also choose a class to specialise in, with points earned when levelling up that can be spent to improve their proficiency at different fighting styles. It’s a good way to fine-tune your stats in a specific way if you know you prefer fighting from range or up-close.
One of the biggest hooks of Tribes of Midgard is that it can be played in online co-op multiplayer. What’s most impressive is that this can be done with up to ten players in total, meaning you can have a PROPER tribe of players working together to explore the world and protect the base. It makes for a really fun experience, with team work certainly making the dream work as far as building up resources is concerned, whilst having ten blades bashing away at one of the gigantic Jotunns that attack can make life much easier. That’s right, you have to fend off huge Jotunn beasts that are based around Norse mythology… they’re a real treat to encounter, even if they are pretty vicious.
“The only problem with the base building is that it feels VERY limited in scope, especially when compared to similar survival games.”
Getting nine additional friends together to play might not be easy, but random players can join in your party too. Not all of them are chatty and some will often just do their own thing, but I’ve had more good experiences that bad; they’ve always helped protect the base, whilst following some players during my early attempts at the game helped me learn new things. Of course, it’s always better to play with friends where it’s easier to communicate and plan out your actions, but playing with randomers can be just as rewarding. Plus, you’ll need as many players as possible if you hope to survive in the game, with it certainly proving to be pretty tough at times.
Tribes of Midgard has all the ingredients in place to make for an addictive survival sim, but it can be guilty of being a little bit repetitive. It can take a while to improve your character’s skills and gear, the base building can be limited, whilst I found myself doing a lot of the same things over and over again on repeated playthroughs. It’s super satisfying when you have a successful run (though I wouldn’t say I’ve ‘won’ yet and I’ve put in close to twenty hours) and see real progress through the game, but there’s a lot of repetition to be felt along the way. It didn’t make it any less fun to drop in for quick sessions here and there, but it didn’t always offer enough to keep me coming back for hours on end at a time.
“Of course, it’s always better to play with friends where it’s easier to communicate and plan out your actions, but playing with randomers can be just as rewarding.”
With a road map of content spread across seasons to look forward to as well as battle pass-style progression and individual challenges, it feels like one of those games that players can keep coming back to. Whilst there wasn’t enough there to keep me invested for long sessions right now, I’ll certainly be dropping in to check out the new updates and seasons over the coming months.
Tribes of Midgard Summary
Tribes of Midgard expansive co-op escapade is a real treat, with the vast world and survival mechanics complementing the survival experience. I’ve had a lot of fun playing through the game with both strangers and friends, whilst exploring the world, discovering new things, and then building up my character’s strength was rewarding throughout. Believe me, if you get a good group of friends together to play, you’ll have a blast.
It is guilty of being a bit repetitive right now though, whilst some aspects of the game do lack depth – especially base building, which lacks personalisation on the player’s part. With a roadmap of content coming soon though, the future does look bright for Tribes of Midgard.
– Expansive and vibrant world to explore
– A lot of fun to play in ten player co-op
– Satisfying sense of progress
– Can get a little bit repetitive
– Base building is too simple
Publisher: Gearbox Publishing
Platform(s): PlayStation 5 (Reviewed), PlayStation 4, PC