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Northgard’s apocalyptic expansion Ragnarok is free to download now

Northgard, the excellent Viking RTS which launched earlier this year, has released a new and free expansion. Titled Ragnarok, the expansion adds an impressive number of features, all of which are themed around the Norse end of the world myth.

The primary addition is the Ragnarok map, a vast expanse of desolate hellscape which you have the unenviable task of colonising in either skirmish or multiplayer modes. Northgard’s strategy involves colonising map “tiles”, which require a certain amount of gold to purchase, and can only sustain a set number of Viking colonists. Moreover, each tile often includes a unique combination of resources, hazards and enemies.

The Ragnarok map introduces several new tiles and tile features. Foremost amongst these is the “Volcano” tile, which occupies the centre of Ragnarok’s map. The volcano cannot be colonised and periodically erupts, hurling molten rocks across the map. These can be mined for resources, but if left too long, will turn into Rock Golems that will wreak havoc in the area.

Meanwhile, new random events have been added to the game. The Blood Moon increases the attack of all units outside of their territory, making for a more aggressive experience all around. In addition, you’ll have to watch the coastlines for Fallen Sailors, ghostly spirits that will harass shoreline settlements with their spectral blades.

Ragnarok’s updates don’t end there. It introduces a new Dark Elf faction called the Myrkalfar, who are hostile toward all players and will attack factions at random, stealing supplies and generally being a proper nuisance. Lastly, the Ancient Graveyard tile offer a new research opportunity for your faction’s Loremasters, rewarding players who study it with two spectral warriors. Neat!

Supporting these major additions is a scaffold of smaller gameplay adjustments, including a new “Military” research path that grants access to three trees of unlockable skills, re-balances to clans and AI kobolds, and the introduction of a new multiplayer season to commence with the Ragnarok map.

All told, it’s a hefty update, and it’s all free, assuming you own Northgard already. If you don’t, you can pick it up on Steam right now for $15/£11.89. PC Gamer contributor Fraser Brown found Northgard to be a fantastic RTS, and I very much enjoyed what I played of it too. Ragnarok is out now, so should come packaged with the game.