Bad North Renders Vikings Cute and RTS Simple. No, Really
Bad North

Adorable and Brutal aren’t words you’d normally find strung together in the description of a common noun. Neither are Tactical and Simplicity but a quick glimpse of Bad North hints that it can be done.

From the fog that has settled on a seemingly idyllic kingdom of modular 3D tile-sets emerges an invasion; a band of Vikings keen on sending the descendants of a slaughtered king to the bottom of the ocean.

As one such descendant the onus of survival falls upon you, prince, with a horde of your home’s bravest at your disposal. The future is rendered bleaker however when told that Real-Time Strategy & Procedural Generation are your only means of defense.

The adorability ends where the deceptively cute shuffling of the participating warriors’ feet does, hobbling blood-stained under enemy barrage that progressively turns the holiday backdrop of ocean-green to shades of massacre-red. Real-time dramatic weather effects included, as the trailer illustrates.

The brutality meanwhile lies in the fact that despite the seriousness of your undertaking, the only control you’re given as commander-in-chief is over the broad strokes of battle. Meaning Bad North has players specify where exactly they’d like to place units of swordsmen, archers or fire-troopers leaving its programmers do the rest.

With each level procedurally generated by one Oskar Stålberg (previously Ubisoft, UsTwo and more than a little familiarity with procedurally generated demos), winning-strategy lies in identifying spots of advantage/disadvantage and overcoming them with positioned units.

Sort of like placing levees to stave off a flood, I’ve heard Stålberg explain of the A.I’s path-finding and simulation mechanics. Constant success attains upgrades and recruits over the unravelling campaign, balanced out by elements of rogue-lite that take away slain commanders for good.

The goal then seems to be accessible complexity, and it helps that backing the entire premise is a soundtrack reminiscent of a Braveheart or Apocalypto set piece. That’s Martin Kvale I believe, who alongside Stålberg and Richard Meredith (previously LittleBigPlanet, Little Nightmares) make up Plausible Concept.

Summer 2018 is the date set for this Raw Fury-backed premise and although it can be wish-listed on Steam, Xbox One, PlayStation 4, Switch and Mobile releases are imminent.


Ads (learn more about our advertising policies here)

About

Computer engineer turned whimsical games content writer circa Christmas, 2014. I'm at highereg.com and do a lot more.

Do NOT follow this link or you will be banned from the site!