May 24th, 2008, 17:28 Posted By: Shadowblind
I was hoping for something like God of War or ninja Gaiden when I rented Viking. I was hell-a-off....
Viking: Battle for Asgard
Developer: Creative Assembly
Genre: Action Adventure
You are Skarin, a Viking warrior mortally wounded in battle. On the edge of death, you are visited by Freya, a Norse goddess, who summons you to become her champion. You must defeat the goddess Hel and her undead army before they take over all of the land. To do this you must recruit an army, and use it to liberate the land.
Viking mythology was never this boring
The game starts off with a cutscene where you jump straight into the plot. Thats basically it. There is no lead up whatsoever to the general plot, making for an extremely annoying beginning of the game. The story at best is rather shallow, as it never really goes beyond anything except for the classic hero vs. villain mentality that pervaded many a 1970's movie. Thats not unnecessarily a bad thing, though, and could easily be overlooked. However, when you own character is the most static in the game, it becomes amazingly irritating to see no emotion or life from your character whatsoever. At the beginning, you learn of your father's death in the battle that almost claimed yours as well. What does your character say or do to express loss for his father? Nothing. Not a single thing except that you have a new mission. Character development in this game is absolutely gone, and the characters are the most static I've seen in a long time. The game is also uber violent, which may be the single redeeming quality here. I've never really cared much for violence, but when there is so little else to hold this games story and atmosphere up, you have to aim low. Blood and guts will follow you everywhere. This goes beyond God of War and Conan, as you do finishers that could only be replicated in games like Ninja Gaiden 2. However, that barely replaces the messy story and the lost everything else about the presentation. Menus tend to be confusing, and even the achievements are weird (wanna know how I got a gamerscore ending in a 2? This game.)
Onto graphics. To its credit, Viking does sport some nice looking character models, and the magic effects look fine and nice. Environments need lots of work though. Enemies look great, especially when your cutting them to shreds. The blood flying every which way and the entrails (starting to get a little queasy here)splat in full texture. Unfortunately, you'll be seeing the same enemies very, very often. Back to environments for a minute anyway. The main lands and grassy plains that you fight on a plain, boring, and uneventful. Castles and forts actually look interesting, though, but thats only from the distance. Up close they get bland and repetitive, showing good artistic direction, but terrible execution. The ocean water looks like waves of white lines, and caverns all look exactly the same. To clean up the point, none of this necessarily looks bad, it just doesn't look good. Mediocrity rules this games graphical direction in almost every which way you can think of.
It doesn't look bad. It just doesn't look good.
Have I gone deaf? No wait, This game is just dead.
Sound. As far as music goes, there is absolutely nothing. There is basically no music whatsoever. The only music there ever is only happens during fights, so your mind basically blocks it out. Even then there is nothing to hear. Sound effects aren't too shabby though. The fierce attacks of enemies and the slashes that your sword makes into their lower sternums are glorious. Unfortunately, these sound effects repeat themselves over and over and over constantly, and once you've heard some of the sound effects, you've hears all of the sound effects. Voice acting is terrible. Mostly the acting consists of fake British and Norse accents (whats a norse accent sound like, anyway?) spewed to a very badly written script. Some of the Viking warriors have some decent lines to say though. Don't must your TV when playing this, but to be honest there isn't much to hear.
Hack-and-slash is fun, but repetitive
For those of you willing to forgo storyline and sound, and deal with mediocre graphics, you've still got some interesting gameplay going for you. You may think differently when you first begin, though, as your best attacks include mashing the A button over and over (even more then dynasty warriors). If your patient you'll get a few more combos, and eventually some pretty sweet magic attacks. Gathering your Viking warriors is pretty fun for a good while. Getting gold and doing quests extend the fun you have a good deal. Did I mention, the Vikings you release join your army? They do. These utterly massive armies lead to some really awesome epic scale battles in the game, as you and 1000 Vikings battle thousands of Undead enemies (Really think of this--the game can take thousands of enemies and allies on screen at once. Thats one da** good engine!) The epic battles get even better when you get the ability to summon dragons, who tear the battlefield into pieces (not literally) and rip apart undead like a lawnmower in Dead Rising. Like always though, Newton's law of physics comes into play here, and for every good gameplay action theres a bad one. This time, Newton's a little off--there are bad parts to the gameplay, but the good outweighs the bad by a margin. While combat and battling is fun, after a few hours it will get extremely repetitive, and the very thin level of stealth featured in the game is just annoying. After killing the same enemy type thousands of times, it starts to decline significantly. Also, later in the game when your outnumbered 5 to 1 and your Viking teamates aren't doing too well, things start to get frustrating. Enemies block and counter all you attacks, and magic gets useless. Still, for the most part Viking has some good hack-and-slash fun to be had, if very shallow fun to be had.
Asgard is a one-trip ticket
Once your done, your done for good. You can easily do most every task the first play through, and afterwards there is literally nothing to do. exploring the island doesn't work because everything is the same, fighting doesn't work because you've done it so much, and powering up doesn't work because most extra combos never do anything at all. Except for the main storyline which is a good 12-15 hours long, replay Value isn't there.
Lets get to it then! (Ya got blood onma knife....)
Confusing menus, bad story, and lack of character development whatsoever deserves to go to whatever the Norse inferno is.
While it has decent sound effects, voice acting is horrific and music isn't there.
They aren't bad, but there aren't good. Despite decent character models, this game screams mediocrity.
Fighting is great fun, but for only so long. Soon repetition sets in, and it becomes a chore to finish the game.
Replay Value: 2/5
Beyond one play through, there is no replay value.
This game screams mediocrity. While gameplay and combat is interesting, everything else just either falls or isn't interesting in the least. Creative Assembly had an interesting idea, but it just didn't work out quite right.
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