Viking RTS Northgard has just swept out of Early Access, adding a singleplayer campaign in the process. Think of the game as a bit like Age of Empires, only with more snow and four-winged dragons. It sold more than 600,000 copies in its year-long Early Access, and T.J. enjoyed his time with it last year when it was still just a Skirmish mode vs the AI, so it might be worth a look.
You start off foraging for food, eventually gathering enough resources to build a settlement and have your villagers specialise in a particular job, like a warrior or a woodcutter. Where it differs from the classic Age of Empires formula is that the map is split into sections, and gaining control of each area (either by spending resources or defeating an enemy force in that area) will let you construct more buildings—each area has limited building space.
The update that brings it out of Early Access is a big one, and that campaign mode is the main addition. You play Rig, son of the Viking High King. Your father is murdered and his Regal Horn is stolen, and it's your job to quest through the wilds for vengeance. During its 11 chapters you'll get a chance to master each of the game's six clans, which should make it an ideal intro for beginners and give you some of the skills you'll need in skirmish and multiplayer.
Speaking of, you'll now be able to create solo or online multiplayer games across seven different environments. The latest update also adds combat penalties that ramp up as you travel further from friendly territory and rebalances the clans, which you can read all about in the patch notes.
It's been on my list for a while, and I'm definitely keen to check it out. If you are too, then it's $22.50/£17.84 on Steam, which includes a 25% discount that lasts until next week.