Every week we bring up mostly retro games we want to see come back. Viking: Battle for Asgard came out in early 2008. Most gamers ignored it for other titles and SEGA fans didn’t know what to expect. Reviews where mixed. But guess what? I loved it and want Creative Assembly to continue the franchise.
Creative Assembly is a great team that have released lots of quality content. The only issue here is that this content is for PC. They have a huge fanbase for their Total War games. The team has always had a rough time trying to break onto consoles. At first they did some Rugby titles for EA, but their big console break came with SEGA in 2005.
SEGA announced that they were going to publish a spin-off of Total War for consoles, the game would be titled Spartan: Total Warrior. The game hit all three major platforms at the time (Xbox, Playstation 2 and Gamecube).
The title had you playing a lead character who was a total badass, ran around shirtless taking down hordes of enemies, having huge amount of enemies on screen and tons of ways to destroy them. You could decapitate enemies and even burn them. Some fans of Spartan: Total Warrior consider it superior to Viking: Battle for Asgard. I think some parts of Spartan where indeed better, but Viking turned bigger and better thanks to new hardware.
SEGA announced Viking: Battle for Asgard for HD consoles, to be released sometime in 2008. Even though the franchise dropped the ‘Total Warrior’ moniker, it picked up right where Spartan left off. This time instead of using Greek Mythology, the team switched it up to Norse Mythology; which is pretty obvious with a Viking on the cover.
SEGA promoted the game by releasing online trailers, each one looking more epic than the last. It seemed that this game was just for me. I love mythology, any mythology; especially Norse mythology. So I was surprise someone hadn’t tried doing a game about a badass Viking taking over land… it just seemed so obvious. Most people compared the game to the God of War franchise, due to its mythological roots, but when the game came out it was more than just a God of War clone.
[Yes, this is gameplay. Imagine kicking some ass there!]
First of all, this game ran like hundreds of enemies on screen, you actually went in there and fought big wars. Basically the story goes that Gods are fighting, like they always do in Norse mythology. Well the conflict affects the human world and you (Skarin) become the champion of Freya and have to help her destroy Hel.
The game has you complete missions, which can involve some platforming, stealth or just running in there and killing a ton of enemies. Usually the goal is to build up your army by rescuing viking comrades from Hel’s demonic creatures. After you beat the missions, you start a big war and move on to a new location to conquer.
One of my favorite aspects of the game was the combat controls. To me they felt great, they were a bit heavy but the hit impacts felt so much better. It was simple. The dodging had a cool slow motion effect that made the battles look epic.
Even though I loved playing the game and had fun, I could see what was wrong with the title. It felt rushed out the door, which it probably was. The open world was empty, no vikings hanging around only demonic enemies here and there. Usually open world games have stuff to explore, this had a few platforming areas to get extras, but nothing too interesting. Something a new game could really improve.
Another thing that most open world games provide are side missions. This game had a few, one of them involved collecting beer kegs that washed up on shore. Really? That’s all? At least it had some really nice looking water. If there’ a new game, it definitely needs to have some creative side missions.
You can’t upgrade squads. I wish the game would have let you give them armor you make by doing side missions or exploring the open world. All that happens after you rescue them is that they join you and stand around camps acting like douche bags. Options like these are what makes their Total War franchise so popular on the PC. Just the massive amounts of hours you will invest in little things.
The last thing I will complain about is that it didn’t explain itself too much. I have noticed that when I lent the game to friends, they always got confused. They didn’t use stealth when they should, just ran in and fought. Forcing them to give up. Rumor is that The Creative Assembly is working on a new console game, and I hope this next console game is the another game in this series, because I don’t want Stormrise 2.
[If you don’t own this game, you can get it for $5 used at Gamestop, or if you are reading this in February 2016 you can get it as part of SEGA’s Make War Not Love promotion for free on Steam. GET IT!]Ad: