Viking: Battle for Asgard
|Viking: Battle for Asgard|
|Developer(s)||The Creative Assembly|
|Release date(s)||PlayStation 3 & Xbox 360
October 17, 2012
|Genre(s)||Action-adventure, hack and slash|
Viking: Battle for Asgard is an action-adventure hack and slash video game developed by The Creative Assembly and published by Sega. It was announced on August 21, 2007 by Sega Europe and released in North America on March 25 and Europe on March 28, 2008. The game is based on Norse mythology, where the war between the gods has sparked further conflict in the mortal realm of Midgard, where Freya's champion Skarin must lead Viking forces against that of the Goddess Hel.
The game features three islands in the world of Midgard, which the player can explore freely. The player is able to search and find his fellow Viking soldiers and rescue them, and in return they can assist him in battles.
Since The Creative Assembly's last game of this style (Spartan: Total Warrior) there have been several changes. Quick time events being one, with them being used to bring down the larger and tougher enemies in the game, from bringing down giants to shaking off an assassin's grip. The way in which you fight is also different, where you fight each enemy individually rather than in groups, you can no longer do a sweeping attack to clear enemies away, you may only strike them one by one, which means becoming surrounded is a far greater danger than before. The RPG element means that you must buy combos and specialist attacks as you advance through the game.
The world has plenty of settlements which the player can attack and capture. When the player finishes his missions in each island, he must fight a large battle, which can be a great siege or a clash between large armies. One of the main features of the game is the large armies - in many battles there can be hundreds of soldiers fighting to the death.
The player may use different ways of weakening his enemy, such as killing their shaman, who summons enemy troops, or getting into the main fight and use combat moves and combos to kill enemy soldiers and champions, who drop dragon runes. These runes can be used to call upon dragons to attack enemies from the air, destroying them. The combat system of the game features a hack-and-slash style, much like the previous The Creative Assembly action game, Spartan: Total Warrior, although it is considerably more violent. It features very graphic violence including dismemberment. Throughout the game, the player has the ability to raid various Legion-held locations on the three main islands. This can range from sneaking into a lumber mill and freeing the Vikings held there, (who will help destroy the Legion garrison) to launching an all-out one-man assault against a quarry or tower.
A fierce struggle is taking place within Asgard, the realm of the Norse Gods. The battle has escalated, spilling over to the mortal world of Midgard and now a Champion must be found, a warrior that can sway this war, which threatens the fate of Asgard and the gods themselves.
The Goddess Hel – daughter of Loki, Norse god of mischief, has been banished from the heavenly kingdom of Asgard for defying Odin’s rule. Angry at her fate, she seeks to release the ancient wolf-god Fenrir, which legend tells will bring about Ragnarok - the apocalyptic battle that will destroy Asgard and the gods. With her army of resurrected Viking warriors, Hel marches on the unsuspecting mortal realm of Midgard.
Freya, Goddess of war, is appointed the task of stopping Hel and defending the future of mankind. For her champion she chooses Skarin, a great but troubled young warrior, ignorant of the true reason for his favour with the Gods and thrust into the midst of their bitter war.
As the player strikes down Hel she screams, "You have not freed Midgard!" The player then sees Skarin asking for his place in Valhalla but is refused by Freya, causing Skarin to release Fenrir and begin Ragnarok. A cutscene then states that, although the gods have been destroyed and men now make their own decisions, the essence of the gods is nevertheless still present.
Viking received mixed to positive reception with an average critic score of approximately 70% at GameRankings. While many critics praised the epic battles, brutality of the combat and overall concept, others criticised the minimal story, empty game world, repetition and lack of sound at times. GamesRadar included it in their list of the 100 most overlooked games of its generation. Editor Jason Fanelli stated that the game's world felt empty yet praised its missions.
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