Viking: Battle for Asgard Preview

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Gamepro recently checked out a near-final build of Viking: Battle for Asgard, set to hit retailers March 25th for PS3 and Xbox 360. The game is being published by Sega and developed by the gurus at Creative Assembly, the team behind the enormously successful Total War franchise. Expect viking brutality and huge scale warfare in this gorgeous actioner—just be sure you don’t look cowardly in front of Odin.

The game puts you in the ox-hair boots of Skarin, a deceased warrior who has been reborn to raze Hel, literally. You see, the gods in Valhalla are battling for supremacy, and Midgard (Norse mythology’s Earthly plane) is paying the price. Hel, Norse god of the underworld, has summoned some nasty beings to earth and Freya, Norse god of love, doesn’t take kindly to trolls and dragons destroying the fertile world. With new life, care of Freya, Skarin protects the land and leaves blood in his wake.

Viking: Battle for Asgard is all about carving any sorry sap on the wrong end of your war ax. The combat is unparalleled in terms of ruthless violence and gore: dismembering, decapitating, and general slaughter are all par for the course. Creative Assembly has designed three islands in Midgard for Skarin to freely explore, each highly detailed with villages, forests, and of course, roaming baddies. Skarin can also sneak into enemy encampments to save his fellow vikings and to get some much needed help in the fight against darkness. You’ll have a compass and a handy map to guide you to objectives and tell you who to cut. Each mission you complete brings you closer to larger scale battles, culminating in epic wars with hundreds of characters. Viking: Battle for Asgard has more in common with the Total War series than you might think: elements of strategy and skill progression will keep gamers glued; from dragon air strikes to ballista sieges, expect bloodshed of unseen magnitude.

Don’t let this one slip under your radar. Viking: Battle for Asgard looks to blend action and strategy elements in a large-scale setting, with some of the slickest animations this side of Ninja Gaiden. Creative Assembly has done great work in the past, and vikings have a poor rap sheet (see recent Beowulf game). Don’t be fooled, Viking: Battle for Asgard will be some bloody good fun.

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