Vikings – Wolves of Midgard is the latest game by developer Games Farm which isn’t really know for its quality (looking at Air Conflicts: Secret Wars). But here it is their latest attempt at making a game that is actually worth your time. So let me tell you if it is.
Vikings is an isometric dungeon crawler action RPG in the vein of Diablo, well it’s almost exactly Diablo but with a Nordic setting. The game sets you out by having to save a village exactly like Diablo 3 and from there you are set out on an adventure which really has almost no plot but it’s not like these type of games even need a story they’re all about the loot collection and monster crushing. At points I felt the story was of value but soon after I either forget or the game does by barely providing anything in the way of lore. It’s disappointing since set in a rich culture which is currently quite popular in media and with them not to really milk it for its worth is a gross mistake as it’s a waste of such great potential.
The game’s audio and visuals will not be winning any awards soon with the music being lacklustre and forgettable. The visuals on the other hand are far from bad and actually look quite aesthetically pleasing from time to time but the issue arises that it’s just really bland with most of the game having a washed out look to all the textures and with a brown bluish grey overtones it doesn’t really catch the eye. With that said it doesn’t get in the way of the gameplay which is a plus but it doesn’t improve the overall experience in my opinion.
Having pointed out the faults of the lore and audio/visuals it’s important to remember that the game does do what it says on the box and does provide an acceptable experience when it comes to that of Loot/ARPG gameplay but it does nothing new with such strong competition like that of Diablo 3 it doesn’t bode well for Vikings.
The game totes a deep skill tree with many abilities but again it comes with a range of issues. Firstly is that game restricts creativity when building out your skill tree as it only unlocks certain abilities at certain levels killing any different builds that could possibly be made. This basically forces you down a predetermined path that more or less puts an end to any different experiences that could be had by creating different character killing any chance of it being fun to replay once you’ve actually completed a character.
Vikings being an Action RPG relies on its combat to be a strong component to complete what is already an underwhelming package but again it falls below expectations. The game doesn’t deliver what is commonly considered good combat as the attacks feel weak and have no real effect on the enemy (other than lowering their HP) and sometimes the game “rewards” you with what is supposed to be a cool effect of a slow motion kill cam but the clunky ragdoll animation just causes the enemy to spasm all over and just makes what was supposed to be a brutal finisher just silly and borderline hilarious.
Loot is the name of the game when it comes to isometric Action RPGs. Unfortunately Vikings falls short of nailing that again, the game does have a loot system as expected but the way the developers have decided to distribute said loot is just the opposite of what you’d expect. The way the game works is by providing the player mostly with resources and by nudging you to create your own weapons rather than getting them from enemies or by looting them from chests, this is very disappointing as one of the best feelings in an ARPG is cracking open a chest and seeing a legendry weapon pop out of there and Vikings doesn’t do that and it’s a fun killer.
With all that said and done Vikings – Wolves of Midgard does provide an antiquated experience that does what it says on the tin but just doesn’t beat the competition. Its visuals and audio do the job but don’t evoke any emotions nor any lasting thoughts nor memories, again just average. With the genre being what it is a lot is expected of games like this and Vikings almost under delivers everything it sets out to do with loot being underwhelming and not worth searching out and skill trees that smother creativity and deviation from the norm it also fails to deliver what’s expected of this type of game. With Diablo 3 being available and at a much lower price I cannot recommend buying Vikings unless you are a huge fan of the genre and possibly if you have a friend to share the experience with in co-op gameplay.
REVIEW CODE: A complimentary Sony Playstation 4 code was provided to Bonus Stage for this review. Please send all review code enquiries to firstname.lastname@example.org.
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