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Viking: Battle for Asgard (Xbox 360)

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6 Reviews

Published by: Sega / Genre: Action & Adventure / Release date: 2008-03-28 / Subcategory: /Adventure

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    Your dooyooMiles Miles

    6 Reviews
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      30.05.2010 15:37
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      Good if your interested in ENDLESS killing.

      Viking battle for Asgard is a well, a Viking game in which these things have risen from the underworld trying to take over the world led by their leader Hel (Ruler of the Underworld). You play as Skarin, a Viking blessed by a Godess (Freya), you have to go round freeing civilisations such as Farms and Lumbermills and then do a task for them so they will join your army in a massive assault of the city that the Underworld have captured. You have to do this on about five or six islands so it can get a little repetitive and boring. Not only this but the fighting is mainly the same (unless you learn moves for money) Luckily you can fight an array of enemies from ones with shields to well gigantic giants and then Hel herself at the end of the game. This game promises to deliver limb severing goodness throughout for those interested in that sort of gaming and with such things as throwing axes and Flamepots (the old version of a grenade). Though if massive explosions isn't your thing you can summon the power of lightning, fire and ice to quickly dispatch your foes in some very interesting ways including five gamerpoints for the best way you kill an enemy with those elements. Over all this game is fairly good but a bit boring but i reccomend it if you like endless killing.

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      02.09.2009 21:05
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      For those who can't be enough of that red water

      Viking: Battle for Asgard is a hack and slash game with a huge free-roaming map and even huger battle scenes.

      Battle for Asgard is a game featuring many aspects of Norse religion and mythology.

      Skarin is a strong warrior who is selected by Freya, the goddess of war to fight against the forces of Hel, a goddess banished from Asgard, the realm of the gods, to stop her causing armageddon and destroying Asgard (if you are following, your doing well).

      You fight on the mortal realm of Midgard (our world) doing battle with Hel's ressurected viking warriors across 3 islands during this conflict, you must free captives, destroy portals and summon some 'backup'.

      Features:
      Immense dismemberment, blood and gore
      Very appealing art style
      Huge battles
      Epic storyline

      Another thing to mention is the mix of hacking and slashing as well as stealth which not only gives you an advantage but is also optional, you can go in all errrrr axes flailing and swords slashing but its going to be a difficult slog or you can can use stealth and speed things up.

      Unfortunatley, this is where the criticism starts.

      Although this is a hack 'n' slash, the chocie of weapons is very poor, you get an axe and a sword and you may get throwing axes and firebombs later but thats it and after the 300th kill, the combo system starts grow boring aswell even though you are utilising the power of ice, lighting and fire.

      The huge battles do deserve praise but they are showed down your throat after the first two huge ones, you want something more but they just throw smaller scale ones or ones of similar size and you are left wondering whether or not, the developers realise that you have appreciated their engine by now.

      And the open world is far too sparse of interest even though they have tryed to liven it up with scattered chests or bags of coins, you will find yourself counting down the time until you get to the next objective.

      And when you get there (assuming your on the second island) you will start the same repetative quests that you did on the first island.

      The story, graphics and voice over are solid but the gameplay lets it down, so if you want to see huge battles with swords slashing and magic flying, you might be able to look past the flaws but for me money is best spent else where.

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      02.08.2009 20:33

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      average game but could be worth buying if you see it cheap

      before getting this game i read all the reviews watched all the videos and trailers and it looked sooo good. i ordered my copy and was so excited to finally get it through the post. i ran upstairs put it in my xbox and started playing. and then it seemed as if the house had just fell on me. it was such a dissappointment. the objective of the game is to build your army by freeing all the captured vikings and take over all the cities that are ruled by the norse gods. for the first time this is amazing but then it just gets repetitive.

      the graphics are good and everything looks realistic apart for the fact that people leave their valuable gold in urns :S. this helps with the gameplay as you get the feeling you are really there, until you play it for 20 minutes and get bored. the controls are simple to fight all you have to do is button mash the x button (after all it is made by sega) and that will string together combos for you. this however does give some truly epic fatalities such as cutting off their limbs and then their head or cutting them directly in half! the gore factor is good but thats about it.

      the game is still a good buy as it is quite enjoyable but it will become boring after a while.i would give this game a 6/10 but to say it was a great game would be too much its just average.

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      05.03.2009 20:27
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      I'd suggest sifting through it on the weekend as a rental.

      No game is perfect. Some have iffy controls, others have lame stories, and a few just have weak enemies, but even with these natural foibles, glitches and hang-ups, a videogame can transcend its limitations and be heralded as a title where the sum is greater than the parts.

      That isn't the case with Viking: Battle for Asgard.

      Set in the time when the Norse Gods ruled and people hid gold in glowing urns for some inexplicable reason, Viking, the latest from SEGA and Creative Assembly, tosses you into the massive boots of Skarin, a shirtless warrior who packs a sword and battleaxe. The game opens with Skarin mortally wounded and about to take a one-way trip to Valhalla, but Freya -- Odin's daughter -- steps in to save the Schwarzenegger-like brute as long as he pledges allegiance to her and promises to go after Hel, queen of the Underworld. Skarin agrees, gets this glowing amulet from Freya, and we're off!

      Now, taking on the queen of the damned isn't a one-man gig. The problem is, Hel's Legion -- an army of blue-skinned, undead bad guys -- is roaming the countryside and has imprisoned the very Vikings who would be willing to fight alongside Skarin. This means that the majority of your time in Viking is spent scouring the mountain tops and grassy plains looking for men who are usually locked in giant ribcage prisons or tethered to skull poles. Find the camps, kill the Legion, and free the men. From there, the troops usually give you some task to complete such as gathering a healing honey or eliminating a traitor, and once the odd job is complete, they join your team.

      Short and sweet: Viking could've been great. The massive battles are a neat idea, the world can seem huge, and while simplistic, the hack-and-slash gameplay is fun for a while. Sadly, the problems in the game make sure that none of those good things can standout too proudly; glitches, reptitive gameplay and a story mode lacking depth. The battles stumble thanks to chug, the worlds get repetitive, and when you're not really interested in the story or your ultimate goal, hack-and-slash gets on your nerves no matter how many times you cut a guy in two.

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      01.11.2008 19:19
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      Asgard needs you

      'Hel, goddess of death, orders her merciless army of undead soldiers to enslave mankind and destroy Asgard, the realm of the gods. As Skarin, last hope of the Vikings, control every vicious blow of your sword and axe and drench the battlefield with the blood of your foes' (Game Blurb)

      STORY
      ~~~~

      Asgard and the Underworld have been in conflict for centuries and now Hel and her army of undead Vikings, the Legion, have targeted Midgard. The reason? Hel despises the allegiance between the Vikings and the Goddess of Asgard, Freya. Hel's plan is to steal the souls of the Asgard younglings to create her own Valhalla.
      Skarin (You) are a Champion of Midgard and this prompts Freya to seek your help. She calls upon you to lead an army strong enough to rise up to Hel and her Legion and bring them down, thus ending the war between the Underworld and Asgard forever.

      You will begin in Brighthelm, the last outpost of the Viking at the time of Hel's attack. Only Skarin, with the assistance of Freya and the blessing of rebirth, can help to make Midgard a peaceful land once again.
      This is a good mythical storyline and ties in with knowledge of the Norse religion. The sotryline is however slightly complicated to pick up initially as there are many names and different aspects to it. This problem is very short lived and once the game gets going, which doesnt take long, the storyline evolves well and holds strong.

      In terms of longevity, the game could be longer. I played it sporadically so it took me around a week to complete it but in terms of cumulative hours of gameplay it would take about 8-10 hours to complete. This should really be longer due to the epic style of the storyline. This is a drawback of the game. Maybe its just because i enjoyed the game that much that I was disappointed when it ended.

      CHARACTER
      ~~~~~~~~

      One of the main reasons I decided to buy this game was because of the main character, Skarin. He is the strongest warrior in his home settlement and is revered for it. He was overlooked from the army due to his recurring seizures brought on by haunting visions. This led his kin to treat him with caution, believing him to be cursed. The anger this causes him is great as he is constantly trying to prove himself in battle. Only after Freya shows him his true power does he realise his importance to Midgard. He is simply a cool character. Anyone who carries both a sword and an axe is cool, and there is something great about being a Viking. This is a brilliant aspect of the game.

      WEAPONS
      ~~~~~~~

      One of the available weapons is Runes. These are prayers to the Gods of Asgard to give great elemental powers. In order to buy more and better Runes, gold must be collected throughout the region which buys the Runes from the local blacksmith.

      The art of the Warrior is key to this game. As the game progresses, you will get the chance to learn new, more destructive moves in the Asgardian Duelling Ring. Combat Runes are exchanged for more complex moves, taught to you by a Valhalla combat expert.
      Once distilleries are liberated, the shop will stock Flame-Pots. This will vanquish many enemies in a fire-ball when thrown. Another throwing weapon available is Throwing Axes. These can be used to accurately bring down enemies from a distance. Great for if you want to target a Shaman first.

      GAMEPLAY
      ~~~~~~~

      The gameplay of this game is another plus point. It is based around an open-world game engine with three islands in the region of Midgard. This is good as it creates a level of interaction between the gamer and the story as the gamer can chose when and where he goes in an attempt to free Viking soldiers from various prison camps over the region. The larger battles occur when the gamer chooses, basically once they feel they have got enough viking support to win the battle. Another good aspect of the game is the large battles. There can be hundreds of soldiers fighting epic battles, with Skarin right in the middle.

      There are different ways of weakening the enemy. One way is to attack at the heart, the enemy's Shaman. They summon more enemy troops so it is a good tactic to target them first. The hack-and-slash style of the close combat is fun as well. Flailing an axe around will do the desired damage, even if it isnt particularly subtle. This combat style has been seen in other Creative Assembly games such as Spartan: Total Warrior. I am glad Creative kept this combat in Viking because it is exactly what the game requires. Though fortunately it is much more violent which is great fun. This is where the 18 rating comes from, as it displays graphic violence including dismemberment.
      Unfortuanately there is no multiplayer option for this game. It would be fantastic to be able to battle other human controlled vikings but alas this isnt the case.

      The gameplay offers many different tactics for each rescue. Sometimes it will be better to go all out on a rambo style one-man mission, and sometimes a bit of Bond like stealth is required.

      GRAPHICS
      ~~~~~~~

      The graphics on this game are good. The game looks fantastic on an HDTV which gives the game a much more real feeling. There are many different weather styles throughout the region, especially as areas under the control of Hel are rainy and gloomy. This all looks great through Hi Def and the graphics are definately another plus point of the game.

      SUMMARY
      ~~~~~~

      For anyone that enjoys the more mythical RPG such as Lord of the Rings etc. this is a good example of what to do. Each of the giant, epic battles are unique and can and possibly should be fought in different ways. This gives the gamer far greater degrees of interaction which is something I definately look for in an RPG, especially these more mythical ones. For people who dont necessarily favour the more mythical games this may not be for you. There is a good degree of 'God' Storyline and magic etc.
      I would advise anyone considering a game of this genre to buy Viking: Battle for Asgard as it will keep you enthralled for quite some time. I would also suggest to people who dont necessarily go for the RPG to try it out in order to see how well Creative Assembly and Sega have done with this game. The game has now been out for a while and still hasnt dropped below the £39.99 level so it may be worth waiting in the hopes of a price drop in time for christmas.

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      06.05.2008 17:19
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      A surprise in 2008.

      Back in 2005 Creative Assembly teamed up with Sega to release Spartan: Total Warrior for the consoles of the previous generation. While it got some great scores, the official PS2 magazine gave it a 9/10, I believed it was a bit of a disappointment. The limitation of the system, the lack of evolution in the game and a number of other quirks and poor design choices kept Spartan from being great in my mind, and certainly not a competitor against God of War. Now, just under three years later we have Creative Assembly's second attempt at a hack and slash game in the form of Viking: Battle for Asgard. With the power of next-generation hardware and the chance to change past mistakes, is Viking a meal fit for a meal in Valhalla or will it cause food poisoning?

      -(The Story)-
      Vikings: Battle for Asgard tells the tale of the battle between two Norse gods-Hel and Freya. Hel wants to destroy the world with her army of evil Legion which are blue skinned demons, Freya doesn't want that to happen but like most video games involved with fighting gods they can't fight each other so Freya puts the trust of a nameless, faceless, voiceless bland brute known as Skarin. He must travel through the Viking world, freeing fellow Vikings from capture and completing other objectives to free the three islands you travel on. This plot is pretty untapped, as it doesn't add much to the game with thanks to bad voice acting. The Sin City cutscenes are beautiful, but the acting is ear bleeding.

      -(The Controls)-
      Viking controls really well. The D-pad is unused in Viking, which sounds like the perfect place for hotkeys. But Viking handles these very well, as you simply hold the right bumper and press one of three face buttons to select the item. The same goes for Elemental powerups, though instead it's the right trigger. It's all easy in Viking, plus you can still do an attack while in your hotkeys which means you can defend yourself while selecting. The main controls are fantastic. The face buttons are used for combat, interacting with the environment and jumping. The triggers are used for selecting powers and blocking and the bumpers are used for inventory selection and turning on the rage mode. You can call up your inventory with the select button which you'll be using often. Viking controls very well, with little quibbles. They're simple and responsive.

      -(The Gameplay)-
      Viking: Battle for Asgard revolves around you exploring a huge world, freeing trapped Vikings to join your army as well as other tasks like upgrading your weapon and finding an item. The game sports an open world, or worlds would be more appropriate, as you're constantly changing to another island. The game definitely allows for freedom, as you can explore all the islands you explore as much as you want but unfortunately Creative Assembly have seemed to not taken all the advantage of it, as there is actually little reason to explore. The world lacks hidden items to find, and the only temptation to explore is to find hidden Vikings that are tied to a skull which isn't really worth it. The islands are also slightly sparse and un-interactive, as you can only talk to key pedestrians and there aren't a lot of wild animals wondering around like Elder Scrolls IV, which would have been cool. There is just little reason to explore. I won't bash the free-roaming design too much though, as there are little hack and slash games like this plus the free-roaming design works well as it's easy to find the objectives plus with portals constantly placed around the world walking isn't much of an issue.

      The objectives are a little repetitive unfortunately. The game usually revolves around one of three things. The main mission type is where you have to go to camps, kill all the enemies in the camp and then free the fellow Vikings trapped in a cage. They will join your army sometimes straight away, but mostly after doing a task for them (like saving their souls wasn't enough!) which are mostly revolved around collecting something for them. The other objectives are usually collecting missions or revolved around something else. Sometimes you'll have to travel to a gorge with giants in it to upgrade your weapon. All the objectives revolve around becoming powerful enough to assault a part of the map, which I'll explain about later. The reason the mission objectives get repetitive is because they don't vary much. As I said before, the assaults on the camp will pop up frequently, sometimes eight times in one section of the map!

      Thankfully, the combat itself is constantly fantastic. At first it's not that deep as you only have two types of attacks. You could mix the moves into the combo, but it will seem shallow at first. But once you buy some new moves, master using fatalities and unlock the ability to use the elements, hacking and slashing in Viking becomes amazing. You unlock new rage moves, which when held with the left bumper and an attack button is pressed will be a bigger, better attack or combo. You can't just use these moves though, as you must use standard attacks to be able to use Rage moves. This means you must strategise as better moves use more power. The other key moves in Viking are elemental powers. These are when you can either use Ice, Fire or Lightning to do more damage. If you're using Ice it will freeze them, Fire will burn them and Lightning will electrocute them. Like Rage moves, you must have enough magic orbs to use these which can be earned by killing enemies.

      The best thing about combat is Fatalities. If you do enough damage to an opponent they will be groggy with a giant X button icon hovering above them. This means you can do a fatality on them, which will draw some comparisons to Mortal Kombat. In Vikings, these are bloody satisfying as these are not only incredibly violent but cool. Whether it's chopping a head off, cutting someone in half or even ripping someone's face clean off, the moves are bloody violent. These also translate into stealth kills. There are some missions that have so many enemies you will die trying to take them on. Instead, you need to use stealth to infiltrate and do your objective. You could sneak by them or use stealth kills. While the kills are good, the missions are not as it's frustrating that you'll get spotted behind an object. If you get spotted, you're as good as dead.

      The quality moments in Vikings come from the large scale battles which you'll find throughout the game. Once you've gained enough men and done what else is needed to be done, you can assault a place filled with Hel's legion. These are quality moments in the game, as there are tons of enemies onscreen fighting at once, and it gets especially cool once Giants are introduced and dominating the battlefield. The objectives are a little dull though, usually requiring you to kill the Shaman that is respawning the enemies. The only other alternate to this is to kill the giants. The simple thrill of the many people fighting overshadows this. You'll have to slash your way through lots of enemies. Plus, Dragons will also come into play as you summon them to decimate a target, whether it's archers, a giant or a shaman. The epic battles are the best moment in Viking, though more would be appreciated.

      The game can be quite hard at times too, sometimes frustrating. These usually come into the stealth missions, as when you're randomly spotted behind a house, it's hard not to get upset. The game can have some really frustrating missions in the game, and it's sad really considering a lot of Vikings' difficulty is just right. Unfortunately, the frustration somehow slipped into the end of the game, with perhaps the most frustrating final levels in gaming history. As you are spawned in, enemies crowd around you and kill you. As you start climbing the stairs, you are killed and must fight the two groups of enemies again. It is quite long too so die after a while of gameplay and its back to the beginning. And don't get me started on the final boss fight, where fire is spewing around you and enemies are spawning as well as the boss. It's a disappointing end to what was a great game. Still, the battle before it was excellent, and if you're good at games you'll get through it.

      There are also two huge issues with Viking. The first is repetition, and the other is inconsistency. Viking is far too repetitive, with you summoning a dragon, liberating a mill and clearing out a watch tower three times in the game as you go from island to island. The huge battles, as great as they are, also don't change much as you go through epic battles more than four times. It's easy to forgive repetition-DMC4 suffered from repetition but that is still a fantastic game, but the inconsistencies are immensely frustrating. There is no consistency between standard battles and the bigger fights with hundreds of fighters. You can never use your army to siege some of the locations in the game, you can't use your dragons to kill a large group of Legion marching down the road and other annoyances make you wonder if the epic battles were shoved into the game or something like that. Also used a lot are quick-time events, where you must press the button on-screen. The gory finishers that use quick-time events are shameless stolen from the God of War series, but they're welcome here, but having to mash the B button while opening a chest, holding up an amulet and other menial tasks is annoying.

      Viking is rated 18+ for issues mentioned before. While the game has no language, sexual references or anything like that, the violence is incredible. Heads chopping off, bodies being sliced in half, faces being ripped off-it's incredible. It's all close, sometimes in slow motion, and while it is satisfying it's definitely not for younger players. And the frustrating moments will annoy younger players, so this game is pretty much for the older audience.

      -(The Graphics)-
      With Spartan on the PS2, you could tell ambition was there in terms of graphics. For the cost of detailed characters and environments, Spartan could handle lots of characters onscreen at once with no slowdown. It was good that it could do that, but I did want more. Now, with the next-gen hardware of the Xbox 360, Creative Assembly has created a stunning game. Detail in Vikings is immense, with gorgeous environments and characters. As you travel through the countryside, your mouth will drop as you notice the stunning details like the water effects and the draw distance. The game handles lots of characters onscreen at once, though the characters do get slightly repetitive. While standard battles have maybe ten people at once, the massive battles could have up to fifty people all killing each other with fluid animation. There's also a nice effect where going from friendly territory to hostile territory changes the weather effects from sunny to dark. This does push the system a bit, and as such the game will slowdown at times and there is some nasty pop-in at times with the grass stubs but as a whole, Viking is a stunning game on the system.

      -(The Sound)-
      The sound, on the other hand, is pretty weak. The biggest issue in my opinion is the music, or lack of it. As your going through the countryside of the game world, you'll hear birds chirping and the wind but no music at all. There are lots of moments in the game where there is almost no music to speak of, which is fine if you're trying to be tense like a horror game, but not when you're going for an epic feel. Sure, in the game's biggest battles an epic score comes in and gets your blood pumping, but these moments are really the only times music is even in the game. It's too silent, though not as bad as the thrash rock from Spartan. The voice acting is quite weak too, with lots of hammy acting and bland dialogue. The only saving grace is the effects, which are quite satisfying. As you're cutting heads off or chopping bodies in half, the sound effects are near perfect with the blood squirting, the squish of bodies cutting and more. Its not enough to make the sound great, but it certainly helps it rise from mediocrity.

      -(The Replay Value)-
      Viking: Battle for Asgard is of a good length for a hack and slasher as any longer and it would have been extremely tiresome. At about 10 hours it's good enough to satisfy but not too long to bore you. That said, there is only the single campaign to play through, and once you're done you probably won't play through again. The achievements don't really help, as I got about forty of the fifty achievements on my first play through. That said, they are good achievements where you are rewarded for doing a number of kills/fatalities as well as killing certain types of enemies and completing the last level without dying which is no easy feat! Xbox Live support would have helped greatly as the ability to download new missions or show your skills in multiplayer modes would have been cool, but sadly it's not to be.

      -(The Score)-
      Controls=10-Solid controls make combat simple.
      Gameplay=8-Brutal combat and a unique free-roaming design which is sadly untapped.
      Graphics=9-Lush environments and huge battles.
      Sound=6-Wooden acting and sparse music.
      Replay Value=7-Good length but not much after that.
      Overall Score=8.0

      -(The Ending Comments)-
      Battle for Asgard is definitely a step up from Spartan, even if it doesn't quite outclass God of War. The whole free-roaming aspect is a breath of fresh air for the genre, as there are very little games that let you go through an open world killing enemies. It could have been fleshed out a bit more, like respawning enemies around the world to give you a reason to explore, plus maybe more hidden items around the world .Those quibbles aside, the free-roaming aspects are definitely welcome. The core combat is bloody fantastic, with tons of gore, cool fatalities and moves. It's not quite up to the depth of God of War, but who cares? Plus, stunning visuals definitely help with detailed characters and environments and tons of enemies on screen, despite slowdown and pop in. The sound is a little sparse, and like most hack and slash games this gets repetitive but if you're looking for bloody violence then this is a perfect choice.

      -(The Extra Info)-
      This was published by Sega and developed by Creative Assembly.
      This was released on March 28th, 2008 and is also on PS3.
      This is available from Amazon for £34.98

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