War of the Vikings from developer Fatshark and publisher Paradox Interactive follows their original release of War of the Roses and continues in the same genre of multiplayer close quarter combat. Players select from either the Vikings or Saxon in battles that take place across various locales in medieval England. In a ever-crowded market of shooters, it's a refreshing change to swords and axes.
As with other online multiplayer games, players select from a range of classes that differ in their weapon selection from swords and axes to spears and bows. All of the weapons handle differently in the way they swing and endurance required for multiple swings in a row, which makes for varied and unique classes that each play differently. Balance between the classes doesn't feel as solid as with other online games as archers for example often seem massively under-powered. Fortunately, balance in battles is often more a result of how well players can work together on their teams.
Battles in War of the Vikings are often hectic affairs with swords and axes swinging about. Players must remain alert at all times to watch for flying arrows and axes and swings from oncoming enemies. Gameplay involves both attack and shield controls which ensure battles are never stationary events. Teamwork plays an even greater importance than other online games as lone wolfs are quickly defeated by groups of enemies. Players that work together must also maintain proper distance between each other as swings can easily injure friendly players or even worse, result in their death. Battles take place on maps that range from locales across Saxon-controlled England that include medieval villages and military encampments to smaller areas such as a cemetery.
Game modes range from the genre basic that players will be familiar with from team deathmatch to capturing various map points. The arena game mode is particularly entertaining as both teams are put together in a small map that literally leaves no room for mistakes. After completing matches, players gain coins which can then be used to purchase additional weapons, armor, and other character customization items such as capes and beards. Additional classes have been released for the game, but unfortunately they're only available as downloadable content, which is worrisome for balance issues. The major problem with the reward system is the pace at which coins and experience are earned, which is often at an unusually slow pace compared with other online multiplayer games.
War of the Vikings is a solid online multiplayer game that delivers entertaining and hectic combat. However, the slow pace of unlocking new weapons and gear and decision to release additional classes as downloadable content are difficult to overlook in comparison with other multiplayer games. While War of the Vikings delivers a polished online gameplay experience, the game ultimately suffers from not offering anything that is unique beyond past ventures in the genre. Fans of medieval combat should pick up War of the Vikings while other gamers will be better off waiting for a sale.
War of the Vikings is available now for Windows PC on Steam.
* The product in this article was sent to us by the developer/company for review.
I've been writing for Gaming Nexus since 2011 and focus primarily on PC games and hardware. I'm a strong advocate of independent developers and am always seeking the next genre-breaking and unique game release. My favorite game genres are strategy, role-playing, and massively multiplayer online, or any games that feature open worlds and survival elements. View Profile