Blood, guts and dragons

3) Raping and pillaging

Okay, so you don't actually rape... and you're only pillaging treasure that rightfully belongs to your people. The masculine Viking spirit, though, seems very much alive in Battle for Asgard. The hero's as big as a bear; he controls like he has some real weight to him, much like Gears of War.

What's more entertaining is your home village, a drunken cesspool of testosterone. One corner of town consists simply of burly men pushing and shoving each other for fun. Another section is devoted to eating, drinking, belching and yelling. You don't actually get to engage in these activities (at least not in our time with the game), but you do get extra money every time you bring back a barrel of mead.

4) A method to the madness

As we said, Viking is a hack 'n slash action-adventure; that doesn't mean it's a dungeon crawler. The game attempts to give the fighting purpose and reward the player with a sense of progress.

For example, we started the game trekking across the open world map, searching for captured comrades to set free. Admittedly, this consisted merely of us killing monsters and then inexplicably tapping the "B" button to untie the prisoners' knots (why doesn't he just chop the ropes?!), but in the grander scheme of things, we were building an army. Only when we had rescued enough soldiers, completed enough quests and recovered enough magical artifacts could we accomplish a bigger task like laying siege to an enemy fortress.

Also, every time we cleared an area of evil, the land would transform from rainy, scorched earth to a pastoral paradise of shining sun and singing birds. Pretty satisfying.


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