Viking Squad is a 2.5D beat-em-up game in which you hack at things and slash at some other things while playing as a squad of Vikings. Basically, it’s everything it looks and sounds like it is: Fun. Well, fun on the condition that you’re playing with friends. There is a maximum of three players and it is highly recommended that you make the most of that. Playing on your own in this game isn’t the end of the world and you’ll still likely enjoy it, but only for the first one or two hours. Eventually, without friends, this game starts to become a bit of a drag, especially when it starts showing real signs of difficulty quite early on.
In each level you will run from left to right occasionally stopping to fight a wave of enemies. Your goal is… well… to be a Viking I suppose? Something about Loki? It’s not really made clear, but the game certainly doesn’t need one and neither do you, as beating the Hel out of people is reason enough to keep going.
You have four Vikings to choose from when you play; one with a sword and shield, one with daggers and a bow, one with two hatchets and one with a fairly large hammer. For playing alone the one with the shield is the most useful as he is the only one who blocks instead of dodging, it seems likely that he was designed this way with solo players in mind. If there’s two or three players, any choice is a good choice though as they all have their own unique style which are all fun in their own rights. This game becomes a lot less tedious when playing with friends, as waves of combat can be dispatched of much more easily giving this game a far more savory satisfaction, which is the type that best fits any beat-em-up style game. As well as this, teamwork can be utilised when carrying a large golden fish, or some other type of loot, back to your ship. Since you can’t fight while carrying it and the treasure itself can take damage from enemies, carrying and defending that thing alone can be irritating at times.
The visuals in this game are a mixed bag. All the character models and enemy models look fine, but when it comes to the environment there’s definitely something lacking. The environments are very typical of things you will have seen before, which can at times make the game feel quite bland to look at, especially in moments between combat. It isn’t game ruining by any means and the art style is fine, but it would have helped to have more varying and unique scenery. A more dynamic colour scheme certainly wouldn’t have hurt either. I know, it’s Vikings, there’s snow and ice everywhere, but what if for once we saw Vikings outside of their homeland? That would be nice.
The soundtrack doesn’t quite hit the mark either. It definitely isn’t bad and it sure sounds like Viking music, but it just isn’t quite fast, catchy or epic enough to match the pace and fun of the gameplay. Usually it’s quite typical sounding and sluggish.
This game likes loot almost as much as the Vikings, and it’s extremely important. There are two main currencies; coins and goblets. Coins can be used to buy upgrades you find out in the field, as well as health potions or keys, which can unlock doors and chests while in a level. Trophies are used to buy certain weapons and items, but are mainly used for upgrading your stats of which there is health, attack damage and Runic power. Runic powers are essentially a special attack with a cooldown which gets stronger and combines with attack combos more as you invest trophies into it. Each Viking has their own unique Runic ability.
You can pick this game up for roughly £12 and I would have to say it’s only really worth it if you enjoy beat-em-ups a lot and if you’re going to have a friend to play it with. It’s a neat game to have if you’re ever in the mood to run a lot and hit stuff a lot, and it’s a game you can very easily jump in and out of. Overall though, this game has some good gameplay elements but isn’t particularly unique, original or memorable. It’s a solid game but a very standard and safely developed one.
REVIEW CODE: A complimentary Sony Playstation 4 code was provided to Brash Games for this review. Please send all review code enquiries to firstname.lastname@example.org.
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