With all of the sweet looking armor, brutal axes, and epic beards, it's a wonder that we don't see more Vikings in gaming. But if you've been looking for the Norse brand of violent, close-quarters combat, War of the Vikings looks like it will have it all. We had a chance to meet with developer Fatshark and play the latest version of the now Steam Early Access title, and the new additions make the battles even more intense than ever.
In previous builds, our warrior classes only had access to a select few swords, axes, bows, and throwing weapons. This time the developers have added several new two-handed and single-handed axes and an addition weapon type: the spear. The spear is limited two normal strikes: a high stab to the face, and a low attack to the gut. In the right hands, the simple weapon is devastating thanks to the longer range, but you'll have limited defenses.
The other major addition is what the developers call battle chatter. This is a feature you might notice in some shooters out there. Team mates automatically shout out, "Grenade!" or "Sniper!" when there is danger nearby. In War of the Vikings, its that same idea, but instead of warning you of explosives, teammates will automatically yell to take cover from arrows, or to bring up your shields. It might not sound like much in writing, but when you're hacking down foes and hearing your comrades yelling for you raise you shield against and incoming arrow volley, the experience is super badass.
Interested in playing? War of the Vikings will be available to play for free this weekend starting today (12/5). Download it on Steam to get in the game. If you want more information, images, and our previous coverage of War of the Vikings, check out the following slides.
Fatshark announced that female warriors will be a customization option in the future.
A dueling mode is one possible match type the developers said may come later.
This--is--probably somewhere in England!
Weapons can now be picked up off the ground.
You have my axe
What's better than being a knight in shining armor, running down victims on horseback and slicing through foes with greatswords? Well, probably being a vicious Viking, throwing axes into enemy skulls and growing massive beards. Developer Fatshark made competitive medieval multiplayer an up-close-and-personal experience with the release of 2012's War of the Roses. Now, it's taking the battle to a new era in War of the Vikings.
Players choose between Viking and Saxon armies to bash, slash, and stab each other to death in Team Deathmatch, Domination, and the new confined Arena mode. Vikings' fighting mechanics are similar to its predecessor, using precision controls that determine the angle of each strike. Accuracy is the key to landing a killing blow, but a few more defensive abilities have been added to your combat actions in Vikings. For instance, using your shield now requires you to position the block in front of an attack (much like blocking with a weapon in WotR), and the lightly armored warriors are much more nimble, enabling them to dodge attacks using quick sidesteps.
As in WotR, players can customize their characters' loadouts and appearance as they progress. We asked the developers if they had plans for beard customization options (we are talking about Vikings after all), and the answer was a lot more interesting than we expected. Fatshark is toying with the idea that the more experienced Vikings will have more elaborate beards, outfitted with braids, jewels, and other Viking vanities; the noobs will have wussy, five o'clock shadows. Theoretically, that would mean players could identify battle-hardened, bearded badasses on the battlefield by looking at their facial hair, rather than having to look at a level ranking.
Check out the following slides for more information and images