Posted by : Saturday, December 1, 2012

Einherjar – The Viking’s Blood is a free-to-play browser-based game mixed with turn-based tactic and role-playing elements. Set in the backdrop of conquest and exploration around the 10th century, it casts players in the role of Viking leaders who will build home and join wars for growth. Generally, it is built on the basis of RTS but designed with turn-based battles and more details such as aging units, production of various goods, cold sleep, marriage system and so on.

Einherjar – The Viking’s Blood is extremely slow, if not accelerated by real money. Have you ever upgraded a structure from Lv. 1 to Lv. 1.1? Honestly, it is the first game that seems to have pushed slow-pace to the extremity. To level up the Lordhouse from Lv. 1 to Lv. 2, you have to go through 10 phases, five minutes each. In the very beginning, you can but follow the quest line, one quest at a time. Only when you finish one task can you unlock the next.

The entire gameplay simulates real life more than any other strategy game does to certain degree. In it, you will need to make logs into wood or ores to stone; you can ‘sometimes’ collect stone ores while quarrying, or ‘occasionally’ catch bears while hunting; and you need to dispatch units with specific attribute such as x amount of intelligence to construct certain buildings. Besides, your military units will grow and age – those below 12 years old can’t make expedition; those grown up can marry and give birth to baby; and all units grow to learn new skills while aging makes them weak with reduced stats starting from age 30. The aging system is interesting but vague – there is no clear explanation about how the unit can be one year older.

You can choose your character out of three weapon-locked avatars, Axe, Sword or Spear. Along with it is the triangle relationship of strength and weakness – Axe beats Spear, Spear beats Sword and Sword beats Axe. This is the basic factor you need to consider in deployment of units in turn-based battles. As you move on, you can also get the other three class types, including Sister (use recovery magic), Half Elf (ranged spellcaster), Archer, Guard and Dark Elf, each of which can only be recruited with special items such as Gospel and Yggdrasill Branch dropped by rare monsters. So to build up a strong army is slow and requires grinding a lot in the wild. And the units can be lost forever if their Life Points are drained to zero in battles.

Once you have a group of units (old enough to explore), you can take them into battles against NPC opponents firstly. Such kind of quests are offered in the bar of Hedeby, which may send you to defeat Ragnar- the corpse manipulator if you have met the quest condition of having the Book of Necromancer. 20 days’ travel? How long is that in real life? More than an hour; of that, I’m sure of. Again, the slowness beings to dampen the playing enthusiasm and the battle morale.

Also in Hedeby, you can find the market, guild and arena, which are self-explanatory of their function. Besides, you can also combine collected materials to craft new items which allow you to increase stats, boost HP or unlock a new skill to weapon. The marriage system allows units above 15 years old to marry and give birth to children who have a chance to inherit the Viking blood and learn advanced skills earlier; and the Cold Sleep system allows you to preserve the temporarily unused units, but requires 300 Power, the premium currency, for 30 days. Money can also buy in-game advantages such as double EX, double drop rate and fast forward one year, etc.

Einherjar – The Viking’s Blood has traditional strategy gameplay that digs deep to details and reveals of rich contents over time. However, it is highly possible that many players will leave the game and never return before they can discover what’s stored in the gameplay due to its unreasonable snail pace.

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