Tribes of Midgard is one of the more surprisingly great games in recent memory. Judging from what I saw of the marketing and its timing with rival Valheim, it seemed like a copy of its competitor in every way excluding its art style and top-down perspective. That’s not to say it was a carbon copy, but trailers didn’t do it any favors. After getting the chance to experience it though, my opinion quickly turned around. With its focus on blitz survival, requiring careful thinking and choices, it manages to stand both apart from Valheim and its contemporaries in the survival space as a whole. It’s not perfect though, as to be expected with any game currently in early access. Tomorrow though, Tribes of Midgard will get even better with Season 2: Serpent Saga! I had a chance to get hands-on with the update and from what I’ve played, it’s a solid if imperfect addition to the content readily available. Without further adieu, here’s what I thought of it!
Viking Ventures Into the Open Seas
For those otherwise unaware, Season 2: Serpent Saga for Tribes of Midgard dives straight into the open seas of Viking legend, introducing plenty of seafaring inclusions and hostile forces. Alongside the standard regions you’ve come to know and die in, the brand new Open Seas region can now be accessed from the various Ash Beaches sprinkled throughout your world. As for how you traverse these major bodies of water, you now have access to both swimming and boats!
Boats on one hand can be accessed from the new Shipyard building, allowing you to construct various vessels based on how many players you have joining your voyage. While that may seem mostly uninteresting for solo players, as the first boat will suffice, that can be forgiven seeing as 90% of you reading this play the game strictly in co-op, to begin with. And for what it’s worth, it’s a well-developed system. It suffers from the odd bug here and there as your boat asks to get trapped in the exact wrong place, but maneuvering through treacherous waters presents a fair and welcome challenge to spice up your point A to point B.
While boating feels great though, swimming feels somewhat underdeveloped. Allow me to explain. When going up to any body of water that you couldn’t traverse normally, you can press your roll key to jump into the water and swim around. This is a great thing for dealing with small rivers that you’d have to find a bridge for otherwise, but that’s the extent of its usefulness. See, the team introduced a stamina system for what on paper are understandable reasons. If swimming was just a free boat, who’d go through the effort to make the Shipyard in the first place? The issue comes with how little time you get in the water, as you have no more than 5-10 seconds before you begin to drown and take massive damage. This may not seem too bad, though if you somehow lose your boat mid-trip…well you better hope you didn’t have too many souls built up.
Again, the boating system largely makes up for this, and its niche use can save a lot of time in your travels. It’s just a shame to see it underutilized, feeling more like an afterthought than anything.
A Challenger Enters the Waters
Moving on, a new season means a brand new Saga boss to join the gigantic wolf Fenrir. This new boss, as the name of this season aptly implies, is the serpent Jörmungandr. Now I don’t wish to go too far into details here, given it’s something worth experiencing yourself and all, though the new Saga Quest and boss battle do feel welcome in their own right. There’s a little less buildup as compared to Fenrir, though its focus on exploration of the open waters helps it fit nicely into the roster of quests. It even hosts its own level of challenges, with Ash Beaches being some of the hardest zones Tribes of Midgard has to offer in Season 2: Serpent Saga.
The same goes for its new enemies, with various sea-focused adversaries making their debut. From shamans that heal to strange amalgamations of both seal and human, it offers a challenge that’s equal parts strong and disturbing. Oh, and did I mention seals make their debut? Because they show up and they’re quite cute. As for how you defeat the two former enemy types, I’ll leave that for you to find out, but be sure you’re well equipped with strong armor and weapon sets. That, and perhaps a strong base should you not immediately find a nearby shrine in the open waters. Beyond these, the Unsunken make a much stronger appearance than they did previously. There are no new units so don’t expect to have to learn some fresh attacks, but expect to see a lot of them.
Tribes of Midgard’s Season 2: Serpent Saga update offers quite a bit for players to be excited about. Introducing not just an entirely new Saga Quest and boss to tackle, but a brand new massive region and some methods of traversal alongside it, there’s a lot packed into the new season. That’s not even mentioning all the quality-of-life changes, including armor perks and brand new equipment to bring to the strongest of tasks. While not every aspect of the update sticks its watery landing, Serpent Saga marks yet another great update in the road to launch for Tribes of Midgard.