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Viking: Battle for Asgard

version: pal (es) - year: 2008 - developer: the creative assembly - publisher: sega - format: ps3 - condition: near mint - rarity: common

The Creative Assembly was bought by Sega, and I felt a nostalgic sting in my heart when I saw that white and blue logo...who knows, maybe one day, Sega will bring out the Dreamcast successor! It's not forbidden to dream, right?!

 

Stealthy attacks allow for spectacular 1-hit kills. Learn them as quickly as you can!

 

Gruesome finishing moves resulted in the game getting an 18+ rating...

 

Take a good look at what awaits you...

 

then jump into the action and unleash armageddon upon your foes!

 

Taking down commanders can be tricky and when weakened, a QTE will prompt you to finish them off...

 

...in a highly violent manner!

 

Giants are almost invincible. Use explosives and then finish the job quickly.

 

Here, you can see their size compared to yours!

 

Summoning dragons will grant you a great advantage.

 

Skarin, the main hero you control is huge, blonde, tattoed and will kick any ass in his proximity!

 

The final part of the game is a bit tough compared to the rest of the adventure, as you'll be required to defeat waves of enemies before confronting the final boss. One word of advice: guard and push enemies into the flames a lot!

Review - Developed by “The Creative Assembly”, a company best known for its PC strategy series Total War, Viking: Battle for Asgard was exclusively released for the console market.

The Good: the premise of this game is excellent; you are tasked to free various islands from the legions of “Hel” in a bid to return the land to peace. The setting of Norse Mythology is particularly engrossing, and is fertile for all kinds of legends. The best aspect of Viking Battle for Asgard is without question the fact that to be able to re-conquer the lands, you’ll have to rally all the support you can from the scattered remains of the Viking tribes. This means, you’ll have to free them from slavery and often undertake certain quests on their behalf in order to win their loyalty in battle.

Also, to deal with the insurmountable odds against you, you’ll have to find the pieces of an amulet which will allow you to summon ancient dragons into battle. Once you reach all the criteria required, you’ll be able to launch a final assault on the legions' HQs to reclaim the island. And this is when the game really gets interesting, since you’ll be caught in the middle of a mass-scale attack against hundreds of enemies which will literally swamp the screen. I don't remember seeing such furious battles in a videogames for a long time, and the fact you can happily dismember enemies and finish them off in the most gruesome ways (and watch the slaughter in spectacular slow motion) is probably one of the highlights of Viking. Armies brutally clash while your opponents will try to crush each and every last one of your men.

Giants which are particularly nasty, will appear and require a fair amount of well-aimed blows and a final QTE (Quick-Time-Event) to get killed. Once defeated, they will grant you a Dragon Rune, which will allow to summon a dragon. You’ll then be able to direct the dragon’s attacks to a few key targets which must be eliminated in order to win a battle.

I also found voiced dialogues to be particularly impressive, with some really amazing performances. This really adds to the atmosphere, and is noticeably better than the rest of the game.

The Bad: not everything is as good as it sounds though because I found a few things which could have been much better.
Firstly, objectives aren’t always clearly laid out, and I am referring particularly to the infiltration missions of which the objective isn’t always immediately clear. This will often force you to run around aimlessly, in order to get a clue of what to do next.
Secondly, the color palette of the environments is inexplicably grey, even when you free a land from the legions, and the weather magically turns into some shiny Caribbean summer day.
Thirdly, when characters speak during cut-scenes, they don't even move their lips! I don't remember anything about Vikings talking to eachother using telepathic powers into history books, but whatever...
Fourthly, some sound effects seem to be really off sometimes or...missing altogether. Weird.
And finally
, when into melee battles, some annoying slowdown will really plague the action, and this is very surprising since I don’t remember seeing slowdown this bad from the times of the Atari Jaguar and 3DO! Slowdown on PS3?? That’s just lazy programming...

And the Ugly: and while we are on the topic of lazy programming, I must say that there are a few graphical effects which in all honesty, look like a third rate, first generation PS2 game. Need examples? Sure!
For one thing, shadows look blocky and generally pretty bad, so bad that I thought something was wrong with the graphics! Luckily, there is an exception to that, and that’s the beautifully detailed shadows of the dragons which you will notice sometimes on the landscape, when they fly above your head.
Also, environmental pop up is sometimes ridiculous, with grass suddenly appearing almost under your feet! You’ll feel like Snow White or some other Princess because wherever you walk, grass will grow!
Finally, water and lava surfaces plainly look impossibly bad. The water looks like some kind of slimy jelly dessert, while the lava looks like flatter than flat, and blockier than Tetris, what the hell??

Despite its visible flaws, Viking: Battle for Asgard remains a decent action game in the same vein of Drag-on Dragoon and Chaos Legion.

Bottom line: Worth a playthrough, but don’t expect the feel of a next-gen game, cause you’d be out of luck....6,5/10


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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