Review: When Vikings Attack
Its rare that a game makes you smile and laugh through gameplay alone. Playing with a group of friends, every little victory emerges as an act of hilarity. When Vikings Attack carries on the spirit of games like Power Stone, but crafts an experience entirely its own. Well, unless you’ve played Poy Poy on the PS1, but even then Vikings adds enough twists to its simple formula to make each and every match into a hilarious experience best enjoyed with friends, be them local, online, or on a different system entirely.
The central mechanic of Vikings is simple. The more people you have in your crowd, the bigger the objects you can pick up and throw. Get hit by objects thrown by other players and you lose some of your crowd members. Last crowd standing wins. It’s easy to pick up, understand, and have fun with. This became evident when my flatmate, intrigued by what was going on, picked up a controller and joined in my single player game. She doesn’t play games in her spare time, and even still she had a grasp on the mechanics within minutes, picking up objects and hurling them at enemies. She wasn’t particularly great at it, but Vikings’ nature is such that it doesn’t matter if you’re not good at the game, as you’ll be having fun regardless. Some stages add more to the formula with twists such as moving traffic, bombs that add extra people to your crowd, and the game’s pace never lets up. Its frantic and absolutely wonderful to play.
While the game’s single player is rather simple, the multiplayer is where Vikings truly shines. Supporting both Cross Play and #YOPO (You Only Pay Once), the game can be played by both PS3 and Vita owners in a variety of ways, from 4 player local to a mixture of local and online. The game’s action is absolutely unrelenting online, with furniture flying in every possible direction, and a frame rate that seems to never get hit by the physics based insanity unfolding onscreen. It’s quite simply a joy.
Vikings isn’t a game that will blow you away visually, but what is there is clearly defined and pleasing to look at. The characters are easily identifiable by player, and the enemies are stocky enough to stand out in the crowds. When there’s swathes of characters onscreen, things get a little hectic, but it soon clears up when the crowds start to form again. When playing with multiple people, it’s also easy to tell who is where, with bright identification for each player’s colour scheme. You can tell that Clever Beans put a lot of effort into making sure the game didn’t get visually confusing, and it helps a great deal.
When Vikings Attack is a Power Stone for the modern age, a game so singularly focused on being fun with friends that is takes on a spirit rarely found in multiplayer games. It’s a fantastic reminder of a time when multiplayer meant sitting with people within punching distance, and one of the best times I’ve had all year.
A copy of this game was provided by the publisher for review purposes. For more info on our review policy click here. This review is for the PlayStation 3 version of the game.
What I Like:
- Simple, accessible gameplay
- Great use of the Kazoo
- Hilarious multiplayer
What I Dislike:
- Throwing objects in the right direction is an acquired skill