Games let us be whatever we want to be. We can be a marine in space, a marine in a warzone, a marine under the sea and sometimes there’s even games where you’re not a marine at all! At Gamescom we were invited to come and have a look at War of the Vikings – the spiritual successor to War of the Roses – which says to me that I don’t want to be a marine anymore. I want to be a Saxon with a massive bloody sword.
War of the Vikings is an online PVP game where you’re either Vikings or a Saxon. Your aim is to find out those from the different country and give them a good ol’ battering, medieval style. I played the demo with one other journalist and it’s easily one of the best multiplayer demos I’ve played with a complete stranger. This is a rare game in that even when you die, you’re happy and brimming from ear to ear. You kill someone with a special move? It looks and feels awesome. But you get killed by someone doing a special move on you? Then it still looks and feels awesome, you just derive into that nice mix of ‘Awwww’ and elongated laughter. It’s much like Chivalry in that the deaths can be hilarious too. Jumping down off of a bridge to an unsuspecting Viking below and piling a sword into him is spectacular.
In this alpha state there were three different classes. Two swordsmen, one light and one heavy and one class who helmed a bow and arrow. In this 1v1 mode the bow and arrow was near useless to use, but when hearing how many players can play together online, then it became clear that the bow and arrow sniping class may become very handy. In the smaller maps there is a maximum of 16 players, but in the big maps you can pile in up to 64. I literally cannot comprehend how amazing a full map would be like. The controls are extremely intuitive; Hold down the right mouse button and rotate to bring up your shield and then hold the left mouse button and swipe in a direction to attack. Graphically it’s also fantastic and – a very important point – is that it’s not overly gory. It could easily be a total gorefest with the amount of death that will happen in a match, but each swipe gives just the right amount of blood spill settling the game very much in reality and not giving it hyperactive blood fountains.
The game has just finished Alpha testing and will now go through a balance check based on the players’ feedback. The game will then go forward into beta testing for a release in Q1 2014 on PC only. It’s been just shy of two weeks since I played War of the Vikings and the adrenaline is still pumping through my arms. This is a game that should be an absolute hit and essentially acts as the digital equivalent of a heroin addiction. I just need another hit.