Skarin, the Viking Warrior
You know sometimes an overlooked or underrated game can turn out to be pretty good. You can understand why its underrated, maybe because of some important but easy to get over flaws, but If you go into it willing to overlook some flaws and keep an open mind, you can have a lot of fun. And usually these games are cheaper too! Viking: Battle for Asgard is one of these games. I’m a huge fan of action games with a fantasy setting, and I came across this one while looking for new games to play on my ps3. The combats kinda clunky until you get used to it, and it lacks some “polish” in some areas but I still really enjoy this game.
Let’s Get Started
You play as Skarin, a silent hero warrior who wields both a sword and an axe. He brings brutal death to the legions of undead vikings brought back to life by the goddess of death, Hel (one “L”) who intends to overrun mankind and bring upon the apocalypse. You explore 3 different islands liberating your trapped viking brothers and increasing your army size which eventually leads up to a siege on an enemy encampment. These battles are really huge. Your entire army, plus dragons you control, are at your side to fight the legion warriors. Towards the end of the game when the battles get even bigger you’ll run into some slowdown, with so many people on the screen at the same time.
Brutal, satisfying but clunky
Let’s talk about the main thing you’ll be doing in this game, Fighting, It’s brutal, satisfying but clunky. It severely lacks a dodging move. You can guard but there is no dodging. And there’s enemies who you can’t block their moves! So what are you supposed to do? The combat works the best one on one or maybe two or three but if your surrounded by enemies you’re screwed. Outside of the big battles, when your just exploring, there really aren’t any good ways to deal with groups of enemies. It’s best to run away or maneuver around objects so you can fight them one on one. You’ve got quick, light attacks and slow, heavy attacks plus some special moves when you hold L1 and attack. There’s also an element of stealth because if you can sneak up behind enemies without them noticing, Skarin will take them out with one strike. The clunkyness comes from the lack of dodging and also from if you wiff one of your attacks, Skarin will take a second to “regain his fighting stance” I guess, and you cant move or attack again until he does. You’re left wide open for attacks. So If your going to swing your sword or axe, make sure it’s going to hit an enemy.
You can summon a warrior from Valhalla who can teach you new ways to fight and dismember your enemies in exchange for coin. You can also use your coin to pay for throwing axes, fire bombs and small health potions, which you can only hold 3 at a time. The blacksmith at your settlement can upgrade your magic runes, not your weapons or armor like you would think. You have fire, lightning and ice powers that you can activate while fighting. The fire rune ignites you foes around you and the ones you strike, the lightning rune does the same but with lightning, and the ice rune freezes the enemies you strike. The magic rune powers are an interesting addition to combat but i didn’t use them very much. You have to use the red bar which you fill by collecting red orbs that slain enemies drop. They also rarely drop green orbs which give you health.
Prove your worth
So as I mentioned before you explore an island that Hel’s minions have overrun and liberate captured camps and buildings. All the while freeing captured warriors who add to your army size. Sometimes Viking clans won’t join your fight until you prove your worth by doing something heroic enough for them to pledge allegiance to you. You also discover way points that you can use to fast travel around the island. There are gold bags scattered around and occasionally chests with gold in them. That’s pretty much all you collect, gold. No new weapons, no new armor or items just gold. It’s a pretty simple and straight forward action game, it’s not an RPG, however I feel like it could have been improved by adding some RPG elements.
One major complaint I have about the game is its very repetitive. You do the same thing on every island. Start at your encampment, clear out the areas around the map, increase your army and then fight the battle at the enemy base. I usually can only play it a few hours at a time because it gets a little repetitive. But like I said, if you can over look some flaws and go in with an open mind you can really have some fun with this game. The viking theme is cool because you don’t see it too often and the combat is fun when you get used to it. Also, I really enjoyed seeing how big my army had become when it was time to take on the legion at their base. Overall, it’s good. Not Great but definitely worth playing if you like these types of games. Give it a try!