Tribes of Midgard: Witch Saga: Hel Hath No Fury Like a Viking Scorned


Tribes of Midgard’s fourth season, Witch Saga, launches today across all platforms. A brand new Ancient has arrived to terrorize Midgard, with players once again choosing to team up or battle solo against the hordes of Helthings and, eventually, Hel herself. We had an early preview of Tribes of Midgard: Witch Saga, taking some of the first steps into Niflheim and testing out new tactics to emerge victorious from the realm of the dead.

Like the previous three seasons, players are given a bit of narrative exposition through the new quests. Fallen god Baldr has been captured by Hel and taken to the underworld of Niflheim. Naturally, it falls to the player and company to rescue him. The first quest is to find an Undergate portal. There’s a few that will spawn around the map and, depending on how lucky you are with your world, you might not have to travel too far to find one. On your minimap, a portal can be identified by a purple and yellow gate icon.

While your first port of call might be to locate a portal, it’s best not to go unprepared. Guarding the entrance to Niflheim will be Draugr: tough, undead guards with a penchant for frost spears. This encounter will set you up with what to expect from Niflheim. Aside from the waves of Helthings of various strengths, Draugr are plentiful and quick to sap away at your health. Niflheim is also a bitterly cold biome, so suitable ice protection is mandatory. 

It’s a tough challenge, particularly for the solo player in Saga Mode. Managing your base and making headway to Hel is a lot to juggle by yourself, but the progress feels rewarding. If you’ve got a game strategy down from the first few seasons, then it’ll likely serve you just as well going into Season 4. My personal tried and true method involves getting my hands on the level 2 lightning-based Nornir Axe as soon as possible — effective in cutting through nearly every adversary, with a bit of healing magic thrown in for good measure.

Once you’re suitably prepared, cold protection aplenty, your next objective in Niflheim is to find Modgudr who guards the entrance to Hel’s arena. Much like the blockades of previous seasons, she’ll ask players to gather a selection of items before she’ll let you pass. These include Event and Quest fragments which you’ll need to remain aware of throughout your Saga run. This time around, players will also need Nidhoggr Tooth Chips and Hvergelmir Serpents. The former can be found usually guarded by high level Helthings and Draugr, ensnared by dark purple vine-like substances. The latter is a bit harder to find and requires some fishing.

Somewhere in Niflheim is an arena which, aside from the usual Helthing inhabitants, contains a special pool of water where you can fish out these water-creatures. In my solo run I needed just nine to submit to Modgudr. With everything gathered and offered up to the sentinel blocking my path, it was time to face Hel.

Crossing the now open, and very evil-looking, bridge, Baldr is seen trapped and chained in the middle of the arena. It’s clear that releasing him will beckon Hel, but with no way back it’s the only course of action. Immediately after freeing Baldr from his chains, Hel approaches slowly but menacingly. After a short and dramatic pause, the battle begins.

Maybe we can talk this out?
Maybe we can talk this out? / Norsfell, screenshot: Alexandra Hobbs

Thankfully, Baldr sticks around for the fight. Be it out of courtesy or circumstance, who’s to say. He’s not very strong and will most likely fall numerous times throughout the fight, but he’s a good distraction from the small mobs that Hel will summon periodically. If you have the Nornir Axe you can actually defeat Hel with no healing potions, using the healing ability at crucial times instead. Baldr distracts the enemies enough for you to heal in time before he gets knocked down again, and Hel’s attacks offer just enough reprieve for you to help him back up. I didn’t set out to take down Hel with no potions. Rather, it was Day 10 with Fimbulwinter fast-approaching, and I’d poorly misjudged my available resources to craft more potions. It was do or die, in my eyes.

Tribes of Midgard: Witch Saga follows the same formula as its previous seasons, albeit with a few distinctions and quality of life updates: follow the quest directions, ensure you collect enough Event and Quest fragments, give them to the receptacle (in this case, a stranger blocking a bridge in Niflheim, find a few extra things from the surrounding area and hand them over, too. Then, head on through to slay the Ancient. But even though the steps are mostly the same, it's still a lot of fun.

This fourth season will no doubt scratch that itch for players looking for more content. It’s everything you’ve enjoyed up until now, made more intuitive and given a new underworld-themed coating. It’s a great addition for players looking to shake-up their three Ancient runs, or even tackle four Ancients. Tribes of Midgard: Witch Saga is a natural expansion. A new biome, new enemies, new ancient — and all the quests and tasks to go with it. With the overworld now thoroughly conquered, it's time to take the fight directly to the realm of the dead. Just don't expect a warm welcome.

Tribes of Midgard: Witch Saga, developed by Norsfell, is available now as a free update on Steam, Epic Games Store, PlayStation 5, PlayStation 4, Xbox Series X|S, Xbox One, and Nintendo Switch. Crossplay for Steam, Epic Games Store, and Xbox has also been enabled. 

DBLTAP was provided with a copy of Tribes of Midgard: Witch Saga for review by its publisher, Gearbox Publishing.