Expeditions: Conquistador - Review Roundup
Here are a few more reviews for Expeditions: Conquistador.
Indie Luchador, 4/5
Outside of combat, Expeditions Conquistador has a lot of great RPG elements. You will take missions from the Spanish governor as well as others along the way. The dialogue for this is great and makes you feel like you're in the historical time period of the 1500s. The characters match the setting perfectly, and saying the right thing can give you an advantage. You can use things such as diplomacy to avoid combat in certain situations altogether. You will also have a lot of interactions with your team of conquistadors -- during exploration you may take some time out to get to know a few of them better or make some decisions based on their actions. This can help them trust you or despise you and everyone on your team will react in a positive or negative way depending on your reaction. These decisions range from outside opportunities for team members or even religious beliefs which really adds morality and your own belief structure into the game. This helps to gain attachments to some of the characters, and it is some great storytelling.
Although the writing, and its depiction of characters both American and European, doesn’t shy from the horrors of the situation, the portrayal has enough complexity to avoid generalisation. Indeed, it uses fantasy tropes – forbidden rites, abandoned temples, mysterious shaman – and then casts them on their head. The writers also avoid the temptation of creating pure and noble natives pitched against thoroughly nasty Europeans. The people, whatever their culture, are flawed, interesting and frequently unusual.
The characters and plotlines are the game’s strength and they’re strong enough that even when I was feeling the strain of yet more wandering, camp management and combat, I still wanted to continue, to see what happened next. In its depiction of the theme and times, the writing hits the sweet spot between historical accuracy and flexibility, allowing female characters much more active roles on the frontline than might be expected, and permitting the player to make decisions that are modern and almost entirely based on hindsight and an anachronistic worldview.
No matter where you are in the world, what you do, how the people are spoken to, the decisions that you make, everything affects each and every person in your crew. Have a few aggressive followers? They won’t hesitate to assert their feelings on the natives, but don’t be too hasty! The more open-minded, peaceful folk might take offense to purging a town full of women and children. Do enough to upset specific followers and they could leave your expedition altogether or, even worse, rise up in attempted mutiny. Character interaction on this level hasn’t been done this well since Baldur’s Gate II: Shadows of Amn – which, to those in the know, understand how large of a feat that is.
This last review is also available in a video version
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