Now, instead of our lone wolf, we’ve got a band of baleful bearded behemoths who pack much more of a punch when it comes to taking on the patrols littered throughout the quarry. Still, we make sure to keep our heads down in the cover of grasslands (while keeping out a watchful eye for assassins lurking in trees) on the way back to home base, before the demo fast-forwarded to fight night!
Despite CA’s heritage being inexorably bound up in their seminal Total War series, it’s important to remember that Viking is very much an action game - and Skarin is commanding this army by his deeds, not his mouse clicks. So if you think the left flank of your forces should storm a certain point in the enemy defences, it’s up to you to physically make it happen.
This might involve taking out a nearby Shaman (protected by four defence pillars in this new build), issuing a dragon strike or even going toe-to-toe with one of the many giant ogres. It’s time management with added blood but, frankly, we rather like the idea of a tad more strategic influence instead of the dumbed-down fare on show here. Similarly, combat - though appreciably bloody in ways only Conan can rival - is a bit simplistic. Skarin can’t scavenge the battlefield for any weaponry beyond his trusty sword-axe combo, and we’re concerned the one-trick-pony scrapping could get a bit repetitive fairly sharpish. A genre mishmash it may be then, but Viking still has every sign of shining, given that it’s still early days.