Northgard, the hit Viking strategy game from French independent studio Shiro Games, has received today its most expansive free update since its launch last March. Named Ragnarok, this update comes with a host of new content, such as a cataclysmic-themed map featuring new tiles and events, a new neutral faction, and the addition of a new gameplay mechanic, the Military Paths.

Inspired by the end of the world as described in Norse mythology, Ragnarokbrings new features and mechanics that will drastically change the way players approach the game:

  • New Ragnarok map: promising to be a testing challenge to beginners and veterans alike, this cataclysmic-themed map comes with new tiles and events illustrating the devastating results of the end times. No fertile land remains, and farming is now impossible, with prospective clan leaders having to plan carefully if they want to survive and stand victorious on this demanding new map.

  • New Volcano tile: occupying the centre of the map, the Volcano will violently erupt at random times, throwing massive boulders across the map. They are both a blessing and a curse, as each rock crashing in a clan’s territory can be mined for valuable resources during four months. If players fail to do so, each stone left unchecked will turn into a powerful and extremely aggressive Rock Golem.

  • Ancient Graveyard tile: home to the souls of fallen Viking warriors, these hallowed grounds can be colonized and studied, resulting in the recruitment of Spectral Warriors boasting very high defence. While such supernatural allies can prove useful, Vikings are highly superstitious and the clan will suffer a happiness penalty as long as these ghostly beings remain in the player’s territory.

  • Fallen Sailors event: as the apocalypse draws near, the countless souls of the Fallen Sailors drowned during the long journey to Northgard are eager to return to the world of the living. This event can occur at any moment and will see a wave of Spectral Warriors invade and haunt the players’ shores, attacking any Viking in sight.

  • The Myrkalfars: a new neutral faction of Northgard, these dark elves are particularly aggressive and will raid random clans every year, stealing their resources over time. To be spared by future raids, players can choose to trade with and befriend the Myrkalfar, making a good amount of Krowns in the process. Cooperation is not the only way, however, and, while it may prove challenging, any clan able to raze the dark elves’ camp will be able to recover some of the stolen resources.

  • The Military Paths: defeating enemies or losing a unit now grants players experience points which can be spent to pick one of the three Military Paths available – the Tactician, the Guardian, and the Conqueror. Each path features three unlockable skills providing a variety of powerful improvements to the player’s army and allowing further specialisation.

We are very happy to see Northgard grow and be able to offer our most expansive update since the game’s launch for free,” declares Sebastien Vidal, CEO and co-founder at Shiro Games. “We still have a lot of cool ideas in store, and our community can expect more content updates in the upcoming months.

Northgard was released on Steam Early Access on February 22nd, 2017 and quickly became one of the most popular strategy games on the platform, selling over 800,000 copies. The game officially launched out of Early Access on March 7th, 2018, and is one of the highest-rated PC games to be released in 2018 so far, with a Metascore of 80.

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