Expeditions: Conquistador PC Game Review | Turn-Based Strategy RPG

Expeditions: Conquistador PC Game Review | Turn-Based Strategy RPG


Lots of historical eras have been used as
video game backdrops, pretty much ever since the creation of the medium. And while particular eras tend to be more
popular than others – usually the relatively recent ones – there are some that have been,
for various reasons, more-or-less absent from video gaming. One of these somewhat-absent eras is the informally
named Age of Discovery, a period of approximately 300 years during which several European powers
undertook extensive overseas exploration missions, discovering new continents, circumnavigating
the globe creating trade and colonial empires and generally being assholes to the indigenous
peoples they found. Coincidentally enough, it so happens that
the title I’m talking about today addresses exactly this subject, this is Expeditions:
Conquistador. Developed by Danish indie dev studio Logic
Artists, Expeditions: Conquistador is an incredibly well-designed game, especially when you consider
that this was their second release and their very first PC game, the first one being a
mobile title. Conquistador features quite a bit of content,
branching storylines, challenging combat, some very interesting resource and party management
mechanics and not to mention some pretty atmospheric music to boot. Part of the game takes place in a very Heroes
of Might and Magic-esque type of map overview, where you travel from place to place, gather
resources and stumble upon random encounters. When you have to camp for the night, that’s
when some of resource and party management features come into play. The rather large amount of gameplay mechanics
might seem daunting at first but the devs did a great job of introducing each of them
steadily into the starting few quests of the campaign. The explanations are very straightforward
and you totally understand how to do everything when the time comes. Navigating through the world can prove to
be a bit disorienting and/or distracting, the latter one being especially true when
you get side-tracked by a chest, a boar or some herbs somewhere close to your path. Thankfully there is a way to solve this problem,
you can use the map to actually target already known locations and then the game will plot
a path for you. Mind you, you might have to do this several
times when you need to go off the beaten track but trust me, it will save you a lot of time
in the long run. Fighting in Expeditions: Conquistador is highly
tactical and wonderfully challenging. Approaching combat for any sort of extreme
will most likely turn into a fail or barely a win. You get to choose your fighting party’s
make-up and amount of equipment before each fight and so you can experiment a lot with
the various classes however, general RPG rules apply, I suggest you go heavy on the soldiers
and have at least one healer in the group. I found that when fighting with a group of
6 characters, having 1 healer, 1 hunter, 1 scout and 3 soldiers makes for a pretty versatile
party. It doesn’t guarantee success though. The great thing about combat – and the game
in general – is that after losing a battle, the game doesn’t end, or at least you’re
not obliged to start it with new characters, you get to deal with the consequences of losing
the battle – injured members, less resources and maybe a blow to morale – and then you’re
on your way. But your doctor or doctors can heal up your
party in a few in-game days so that they’ll be up to full strength in a little while. Obviously, in some cases there might also
be some story-related consequences to your defeats but that just adds to the immersive
nature of the game. I haven’t seen a real importance being placed
on obstacles and traps in computer role-playing games in a long-ass time and very rarely have
I seen it so well done as it is in Expeditions: Conquistador. Not only can you usually place the traps and
obstacles on the battlefield before a fight, but you can actually have your party build
these cantrips while traveling, using the various resources that you find and/or trade
for. Make no mistake about it, using traps and
obstacles can definitely tilt the odds of a particular skirmish in your favor. And I’m nowhere near done talking about
the combat features but there’s no need to go into the particular choice of turn-based
setup or the class abilities – these are your standard RPG fare – but I do have to tip my
imaginary hat to the devs for not leaving their combat success conditions at whoever’s
left standing. Granted, most of the fights will be a standard
you versus them encounter but Logic Artists were thoughtful enough to diversify the win
conditions with some survival time-trial type goals and evacuation missions. Always keeping thing fresh and the player
on his or her toes. Even though the combat is so interesting and
challenging, the world map unfortunately, is neither. Considering that we’re dealing with mostly
swamps and forests with only a handful of resources and a couple of static goals and
random encounters, there’s very little thrill in exploring the map per se, as opposed to
the upper mentioned Heroes of Might and Magic series which had a crap-tonne of resources,
monsters and places to visit each in-game week. Expeditions: Conquistador on the other hand
makes up for the mundane map with its many interactive narrative mechanics. This is something that I’ve mentioned to
be a great factor for immersion in other indie games in the past – such as The Great Whale
Road – and it is used to great effect in the current case as well. As the leader of your expeditionary force
you’ll have to make a variety of decisions when encountering locations around the map
as well as decisions regarding to how your expedition interacts with the indigenous people. There will also be random events happening
from within your party – somebody will get hurt and will need healing, or they’ll find
a watering hole and your hunting numbers will increase, or in the case of the plot-crucial
characters, they’ll interact with you in a more personal manner. The narrative aspects of the game are also
the ones which will affect the morale of your troops to the largest degree. There are several moral or psychological archetypes
in your party that will react differently to your decisions. What will please some will disgruntle others,
there’s no real way to satisfy everyone, and it is a great touch of realism which further
helps with immersion. This will also further play into the decisions
you make as part of the overall story of you being, more or less, an invader in a strange
land and how you relate with the indigenous civilization. Is it worth the twenty euro price-tag, I say
definitely – is it an even easier choice if it’s during a discount period, totally – but
in case you’re not convinced by this title in particular but you like the overall approach,
take heart because Logic Artists are rather deep into developing its sequel: Expeditions:
Viking, and from what I’ve seen of it till now, it appears to be an improvement on all
aspects over Conquistador. Not to mention the viking theme, which personally
I find more appealing than the Spanish one. So keep an eye out for that one as well, I’ll
be sure to cover it. And that’s about it, thanks for watching
this video and I hope you found it informative. Please like and share it with your friends
and don’t forget to subscribe and check out the rest of my channel for many other
game and movie reviews, I make videos every week! I’ve been StefaNonsense and you’ll hear
me soon.

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