Itís an incredibly detailed and satisfying combat system, which makes your choice of class all the more important. The warrior Viking brings melee bonuses and a measure of rage-filled leadership, the Paladin-like Skaldís charisma can draw more units to his banner and resurrect casualties, while the Soothsayer makes up for his relative lack of forces with devastating magic options. The problem, as fans of the previous games will be all too familiar with, is that the entire combat portion of the game remains woefully unbalanced.
With no visual indication of the enemy composition when roaming the environment, the player can never predict whether the ensuing battle is going to be a genuine test of their tactical wits, or a lop-sided affair that sees them eliminate the opposition in a handful of turns or get their backsides handed to them by a random, obscenely over-powered unit in the enemy ranks. With the punishment for defeat being a return to your stronghold and the loss of all your precious forces, requiring you to build them back up from scratch, the game can quickly descend into an exercise in toe-curling frustration.
Itís a shame, because the additions Katauri Interactive have made for Warriors of the North, if not game-changing, encourage experimentation to use to their full potential. Between the elaborate threefold skill tree, the new Rune Magic school - packed with suitably ice-themed attacks - and in particular the Valkyrie companions thereís a lot for any fan of tactical turn-based play to get their teeth into.