Paradox Interactive released the Northern Lords Flavor Pack for Crusader Kings III, its intriguing grand strategy/roleplay-your-ruling-dynasty game. It’s the first DLC for the game, which launched in September. Crusader Kings III has already sold more than 1 million copies.
Northern Lords Flavor Pack adds Norse-themed content to the game. Northern Lords is not as beefy as a new expansion, so it’s being sold for $6.99. The flavor pack adds new art for Norse characters — including hairstyles, clothes, and beards that can be used during the character creation mode — and new map models for units. There’s new music, and random Norse-inspired events will pop up among the usual rotation of schemes, betrayals, and murders.
Players can immerse themselves in the Norse culture and way of life through strange pagan rituals such as erecting rune stones to honor your ancestors or sacrificing prisoners in a ritual to the gods. Dynasty Legacies have been improved to be more interesting and unique depending on which path you choose for your Kingdom, such as the Adventure and Pillaging path. Of course, it’s not all about raiding and war, as Norse Kings will occasionally have special events like characters visiting your court, offering some unique role-playing moments that better defines what kind of kingdom and ruler you are. The pack also adds some new army types that are unique to Norse Kingdoms like Holy Warriors, Shield Maidens and Berserkers.
In terms of core gameplay, the biggest new feature are the Varangian Adventures, which essentially allows rulers stricken by wanderlust to pick up their realm lock, stock, and barrel and move it overseas. When you decide to go on an adventure, you’re granted a large bonus army of pissed off Vikings, allowing you to conquer realms that would usually be a bit too powerful to take on. If you win your war, you take over the new realm, but have to give up your old holdings and vassals. It’s a major price to pay, but hey, sometimes you just need a new set of scenery! Varangian Adventures, along with some tweaks to raiding, lets players embody that Viking spirit without all the fuss and planning usually required of overseas wars.
The Norse Flavor Pack (does Norse taste like salted fish?) also adds:
- Norse Adventurer Realms: You may ditch your home and lead a Viking host into other lands to set up your own kingdom
- New warrior units: Jomsvikings and Shieldmaidens. It also adds poets who can “compose stinging rebukes or romantic overtures.” (Great, just what I need when my vassals get frisky)
- Cultural additions include special dynastic legacies, Norse blot sacrifices, trials by combat, and more events that add Norse color.
- New art and music.
- Berserkers, missionaries, runestones, Varangian adventurers, new decisions, and other things highlight Norse history and culture.
Of course, Crusader Kings III wasn’t the only game covered at Paradox Insider, where developers mentioned new content for its sci-fi-focused games, Surviving Mars and Stellaris. Surviving Mars is planned to receive new content later this year, including new buildings within your domed communities. Stellaris fans have also been given a release date for the highly anticipated Nemesis expansion, coming out next month on April 15.
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