Turn Based Strategy Game Brings The Realism
It’s hard to believe how many different historical strategy games there are. Most of them take place in a great war in either past or future. Normally the rest are in Europe where you constantly dance a political line, which I am not insulting by any means. Point being that the well of originality seemed to be running dry until developer Logic Artists came up with a new idea.
They did a little digging and brainstorming, and decided to take us on a primeval trip through Mexico. As in pre Christopher Columbus Mexico. I have yet to find another game to take a look at this time period, and nothing comes close to the level of detail found here.
Expeditions: Conquistador puts you in charge of a small band of loyal brothers in arms. What I found fascinating about this was that you get your choice on how to build your team. You pick how many doctors you want, or if you wanted more hunters than warriors. All of that is up to you. In addition, you can pick them based off of their personality, and not have to choose someone you don’t want because of better stats.
After you rename your character and choose your stats to upgrade, you start on the main campaign. A narrator fills you in on the events leading up to your landing on the small Spanish colony of Hispaniola.
Once you’re there, the governor holds your ship until you help him with his rebel issues. From there you get to learn the controls in a very in-depth tutorial that had me comfortable in a matter of minutes. Games this complex need a great tutorial, and you would be surprised how many don’t have one. Kudos to Expeditions: Conquistador for including one, and a good one at that.
One thing I found absolutely amazing was the Oregon Trail element to the game. After so many moves per day, you have to camp for a night. From there you have to assign tasks to hunt for food or guard supplies. In addition there are random events that happen and can really derail your momentum. While the fights are challenging in and of themselves, the outside influences make it a very hard venture to undertake.
Conversations add to the realism of this game. Sometimes characters in your party will talk to you more about their backgrounds in Spain. Also, during scenes where you need to make a choice you may have two soldiers who have different views argue over what you should do. As with most games like this, every choice you make has consequences.
Graphics in Expeditions: Conquistador are nothing short of flawless. All of the scenery is drawn perfectly. Every tree looks absolutely gorgeous and the cities look realistic. Every soldier, Aztec and Spaniard are nicely drawn and were really lifelike.
There were quite a few examples of great audio in Expeditions. The primary one is the music. A soft soundtrack plays really well with your exploration through the Mexican wilderness. Fights pick up a more dramatic sound which gets you pumped for the coming fight. Ambient noises add a great new dimension to your exploration through the thick jungles and are aided by the stellar sound effects.
Logic Artists really set a trail with Expeditions: Conquistador for everyone else to follow. This is a masterpiece, especially given that its an indy developer. But they’ve shown how to make a great adventure game. I give this game a perfect 5 GiN Gems for their treasury, which is something I almost never do. But Expeditions: Conquistador more than earns it.