XI
you are not logged in
Review

When Vikings Attack Review (PS3, Vita, PSN)

It's berserk.

Most games portray a mass invasion in one of two ways. They either put you in the shoes of the one unlikely – but eventually all powerful – saviour of humanity or they put you in charge of the whole resistance. When Vikings Attack is a little different: it puts you in charge of a riot.

You don’t get sophisticated weaponry or a research budget either. You get bales of hay and picnic tables. No launch codes for these missiles, you’ll be hoisting them above your head and using your mob’s collective arm power to propel them towards the baying hordes of Viking warriors who have, almost inexplicably, attacked your little corner of rural tranquility.


Sometimes success comes down to one remaining team member.
The game consists of a number of teams who are tasked with staving off an invasion by throwing whatever available objects are at hand into opposing groups of Viking invaders. You’ll control a group of, for want of a better term, civilians and you’ll be throwing railings, tables, boxes, cars and all manner of other modern-day detritus and street furniture at your attackers

When Vikings Attack is a cutesy, cartoon-styled, multiplayer-focused war of attrition. It couldn’t be much simpler to control. One face button for throw, one for dash.

The shoulder buttons allow you to rotate the item your mob has hoisted, automatically, above their heads and the left stick controls movement and aim. On the face of it, there’s not much to it. But don’t let the simplicity of controls belie what is quite an adaptable little game.

The campaign mode is a series of stages, each set around a common theme. You’ll control your own little mob against waves of Vikings as you move through the arena’s different stages towards a climactic boss battle. You can choose to allow your game to be open to the public, in which case you might be joined by other players, or to lock it down to invite-only. If there’s more than one player, and some of the end-level bosses almost require it, the game is cooperative but each player gets an individual score to rank them at the end.

Because all of the action takes place on single-screen stages, you can also play all of the multiplayer modes – campaign or dedicated modes – locally. With up to four players, the multiplayer side of the game is the most hectic but it’s also obviously the most enjoyable way to play. Whether you’re competing in the Last Man Standing or Vikings Vs Vigilantes modes to simply stay alive or in the Gold Rush mode to meet certain task-based criteria while beating your opponents, multiplayer is the way to play this game.

Even the Quest Mode allows local or online assistance to cooperatively carry the fight to the Viking invaders. In fact, going it alone can be a real hindrance to making progress at certain points. Some boss characters carry shields which severely limit the risk of damage from the front. You can see how being able to flank these enemies would make beating them a lot easier.

So, in broad strokes, the game is very simple in its mechanics and controls. Just about anyone could pick this up and within a few seconds, they’d know what they were doing and they’d be able to compete with anyone. There are a couple of tricks to really understanding how to get the most from When Vikings Attack, though. The dash mechanic is more useful than it might appear at first glance. It allows you to catch items thrown at you without taking any damage and it allows you to bounce into another group and steal whatever they’re carrying. Given the variation in weapon types, this can be extremely useful.


Environments are cute but you won't get much chance to look at them.
There are switches in certain stages that open doors, alternate conveyor belt direction or allow the fatal flow of traffic. If you can hit these at the right point, they do much of the hard work for you. They’re also occasionally incorporated into some basic dexterity puzzles in the Quest Mode so you’ll need to be adept at aim and movement just to get through certain areas. Surfaces that bounce or otherwise redirect your projectiles can also be incredibly useful for taking the enemy by surprise.

Another layer of complexity is afforded by the different weapon types. Most of what you throw will be everyday objects but there are a number of rocket types in the game too. The simplest just explodes, inflicting splash damage, but you’ll also find others, like the paint projectile that will convert whoever it hits and send a number of their mob running over to join your side. This can be incredibly handy for bolstering your numbers in a hurry rather than waiting for the panic-stricken reinforcements that sporadically run across the maps.

It’s not just about the more showy projectiles, either. Sometimes the ordinary items can be devastating if used correctly. For example, throwing a post box, end on, at your enemy might take out a fair few of them but if you hit the shoulder button and rotate the post box so that its long side faces the enemy, you’ll have a chance at hitting the entire group and clearing them out completely. Of course, the time it takes you to rotate the object might be enough for your enemy to launch something into you, causing you to drop your weapon.

What’s Good:

  • Simple mechanics make it very accessible.
  • Subtleties mean you can develop your skills.
  • Lots of multiplayer options mean plenty of scope for enjoyment.

What’s Bad:

  • With such simple mechanics, it can get repetitive.
  • Some bosses are almost impossible without help.

When Vikings Attack is not without its issues. Almost impossible bosses when you’re going solo end up frustrating and there are a fairly limited selection of levels to play through which could probably work harder to differentiate themselves. If you’re on your own, this can get quite repetitive quite quickly. But this game is clearly supposed to be played with friends and in those circumstances, it can be hugely enjoyable. Add to that the fact that this is a Cross Buy game with Cross Saves and interoperability between the PS3 and Vita versions – you can play against people on the other device – and it’s a fantastic package for the £7.49/€9.99/$9.99 price tag.

Score: 8/10

12 Comments
  1. Bodachi
    Member
    Since: Jan 2010

    Pre-order only cost me £5.49 which makes it just that much better. Played the trial and really enjoyed it.

    Comment posted on 05/11/2012 at 16:36.
  2. CR8ZYH0RSE
    Member
    Since: Sep 2012

    I’ve heard nothing but good things about this game,lots of people were coming away from the expo and were singing it’s praises.Cross. buy and a decent price and you can’t go wrong.

    Comment posted on 05/11/2012 at 16:39.
  3. Kivi95
    Member
    Since: Oct 2009

    Already pre-ordered it and tested the trial yesterday and so happy that I pre.ordered it! Really fun with multiplayer :D.

    Comment posted on 05/11/2012 at 16:56.
  4. Forrest_01
    Member
    Since: Jun 2009

    As a PS3 only kinda guy, i would say that £7.99 is actually a bit pricey for this one – It is a fun game, but a little repetition was beginning to set in at egx when i played it, so i definitely see it as more of a ‘quick blast’ game than a ‘sit down & blast through the entire campaign’ kinda game.

    Then again, i am notoriously stingy.

    Comment posted on 05/11/2012 at 16:59.
  5. Taylor Made
    Member
    Since: Oct 2011

    PS3, PSN is this also a retail copy or you just meant PSN lol

    Comment posted on 05/11/2012 at 18:09.
    • Forrest_01
      Member
      Since: Jun 2009

      No, it pretty much does need to be specified now, as you can get both PS3 & Vita games from PSN.

      Or SEN if you prefer. I don’t.

      Comment posted on 05/11/2012 at 18:12.
      • Taylor Made
        Member
        Since: Oct 2011

        Oh am with you now, thought it was listed as separate ps3 being hard copy then vita & psn. I will pick this up, am guessing its out with the store update

        Comment posted on 05/11/2012 at 18:16.
      • Sympozium
        Member
        Since: Aug 2009

        Its still called PSN, SEN is for the accounts.

        Comment posted on 05/11/2012 at 22:05.
      • Forrest_01
        Member
        Since: Jun 2009

        Depends who you talk to symp – Many at Sony still refer to the PSN wallet & in fact, i haven’t heard SEN used in any sort of offical way since it was first announced.

        That’s what you get when you try to change the name of something that has been in existence for a few years & don’t get everyone on board i guess!

        Comment posted on 06/11/2012 at 09:50.
    • Peter Chapman
      Team TSA: Editor
      Since: Forever

      yeah, it’s getting complicated!

      This is available on PSN and it’s compatible with PS3 and Vita (you buy one copy of the game and it gives you both downloads).

      Comment posted on 05/11/2012 at 19:10.
  6. gaffers101
    Member
    Since: Oct 2008

    I’m so glad this has received a good review, I really wanted to get this now I’m sold – thank you.

    Comment posted on 05/11/2012 at 21:01.
  7. matthangzhou
    Member
    Since: Sep 2010

    Issues with preordering, was always shown as £7.99 for me.

    Comment posted on 07/11/2012 at 14:15.

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.

Latest Comments

TSA Meets

  • None today