Vikings are cool but underrepresented in the world of gaming so back in 2008 Creative Assembly decided the rectify this situation by creating a game featuring hundreds of the blighters.
You play Skarin, a Viking poster boy for steroid abuse who has been saved by the Gods in order to free the land of the Legion. As Skarin wanders the increasingly massive maps he will encounter areas which are controlled by the Legion. By capturing these areas Skarin will locate key characters who will ask him to perform a task and in return, help by supplying troops and weapons.[drop]Completing tasks also earns gold which can be spent upgrading weapons, learning new moves and activating runes to imbue your axe with elemental attacks.
As you progress you will find soldiers who have been captured by the Legion, free them and they will join your army which is essential to completing each map. Rather than have a single boss battle to end a level, Viking has you leading your army to war and when I say army I really mean an army – literally hundreds of characters join the battle.
These sequences are spectacular as you fight your way through the massed soldier to try and achieve certain objectives. You need to recruit as many soldiers as possible as the larger your army, the more chance you have of winning. In the later levels the battle can be turned in your favour with the assistance of a friendly dragon who will swoop across the battlefield and toast a few hundred Legion to a light crisp. Further on in to the game there are opportunities for tactical fighting and rather than wading in all axes blazing, you can tease enemies away from a group or try and sneak past them.
Much like my previous recommendation of Splatterhouse you can, for the most part, play the game as a pure arcade button masher. The three sandbox style maps offer plenty of opportunity to sneak, attack, behead and pillage all neatly tied together with a predictable but entertaining story.
It took me about ten hours to play through the game, longer than many of today’s full price titles and my play through missed many of the side quests which would extend the length by a couple of hours.
Rummaging down the back of the TSA sofa it appears we reviewed the game back in 2008, giving it a solid 8/10 and saying ‘It’s a game that’s far better than most of the tat on the shelves just now, and certainly deserving of your attention.’
There may be more more impressive games this year but Viking: Battle For Asgard is just as much fun today as it was in 2008, but now you can grab a copy for just £5.99 from Play.com.