by William Thompson
reviewed on PC
Modes and Maps
The usual multiplayer game modes take centre stage in War of the Vikings. Team Deathmatch is probably the mainstay, whilst Conquest is this game's version of capture the flag. There is also an Arena mode. Certain maps are only playable on each of the game modes. There are definitely enough maps and game modes to keep things interesting for gamers. Each of the maps requires different strategies, and I even felt that some maps suited a particular class of warrior (or disadvantaged one class). For instance, playing as a skirmisher (the archer class) on the smaller maps seemed a bit of a disadvantage. Although it is easier to shoot an arrow through the head of an opponent due to the relatively short distances, the closeness of the combat often meant that another enemy was about to behead you from behind. But having said that, the smaller maps also mean that unless you're a skirmisher, the game can become a slashers paradise, with groups of enemies swinging wildly at anyone who comes close. Battles can include up to 64 players, so it can often get quite hectic.
At first glance, War of the Vikings has a Mount and Blade feel to it, but I guess the time period probably has a bit to do with it. Stone castles and ruins litter the settings as do timber frames. The mountain areas are great for sneaking around and rivers and waterways shimmer in the sun. The Forest map is probably my favourite, as it blends the lush green forest with rocky outcrops and moss covered stone ruins. The wind often blows, and from time to time, rain falls adding to the experience. Enemy units are marked in red making them easier to spot, but at times it seemed that the colouring goes off and it is difficult to tell friend from foe. More than once, I fired an arrow thinking I was aiming at an enemy only to find that I hit a friend....sorry about that. It hurts too, because friendly fire does damage.
Players are also able to customise their avatar to reflect their mood. Art styles on shields can become quite ornate and allows for a reasonable amount of individual flair. There are also a small number of hair styles and facial features that can be chosen to individualise the avatar.
Meet you in Valhalla
All in all, War of the Vikings does an admirable job on all fronts. Although the combat is fun, battles can often end up as swing fests particularly when the servers are full and the battle is being played out on one of the smaller maps. You will eventually work out strategies to tackle each situation, but it takes time especially whilst you’re still a relative newbie. The game does look great though, with each of the maps having a unique feel to them. Running around the docks plays particularly different to the lush forests or the mountainous regions. The customisation is great too, giving players the chance to play to their strengths, either with specific weapons that they feel more comfortable with or with the perk system. Now, if you'll excuse me, I have some Saxons to slay.
Combat is fun, once you’ve learned how to fight in the field
The tutorial doesn’t adequately prepare you for online combat