Developer Fatshark's latest installment in its "War" series, War of the Vikings, brings the gritty, lifelike combat of the Middle Ages to the battles between the Saxons and the Vikings over Britannia
Gritty. Raw. Violent. Chaotic. These are just a few ways to describe medieval combat, and now developer Fatshark looks to bring the gory face-to-face fighting of the Middle Ages to life on PC with its latest title War of the Vikings. Much like their previous title War of the Roses, War of the Vikings drops you right in the centre of the brutal conflict between the Vikings and the Saxons as you seek to conquer it as a Norseman or defend it to the bitter end as a Saxon.
What separates this latest installment from its predecessor is the intuitive combat system which looks to make fighting more dynamic and bring a more realistic approach to the gameplay. When attacking, you move the mouse either left, right or above to choose which side you swing from, thus adding a layer of depth that could have you hitting an opponent around their shield or an attack from above they’re not expecting. This allows for more strategy in combat as you will have to know where to place your block, or when is the exact moment to parry to avoid death and hope to gain the upper hand on your opponent, as well as trying to diminish or completely eliminate the use of button mashing.
Currently the game is in its Alpha release and has three character types available: the Thane who is a medium class fighter armed with a sword and shield that is an all-around warrior, the Huscarl who wields a two-handed axe and is heavily armoured for high damage attacks, and lastly the light classed Hirdman who uses a bow for distance attacks as well as a light axe for when things get too close for comfort. Each is well balanced and fit for various environments as well as having a special attack for each weapon to create more diversity. Along with this, customization options are available to change the look of helmets, shields and armour to give each player a unique character that fits their desires.
There are two maps available to play that are both arena type settings with one being at night in a swamp like area and the other taking place in monastery grounds, with plans for more in the future. The game also looks to support 64 players on a single map with two game modes; arena where you have a single life, and team deathmatch where you can respawn.
War of the Vikings is currently available on Steam’s Early Access for $19.99 USD, or 10% off if you already own War of the Roses or Mount & Blade. Think you can handle the raw carnage of realistic Viking warfare? Don your helmet, axe and shield and prepare to find out.