When Vikings Attack review
- Posted November 8th, 2012 at 08:55 EDT by Steven Williamson
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Great value for money, solid multiplayer content and addictive gameplay.
- Instant pick-up-and-play appeal and accessibility. Fights are fast-paced and fun.
- Excellent replay value with co-op and strong multiplayer modes.
- Visually entertaining and creative with nice cel-shaded backdrops and tons of quirky projectiles to chuck.
- Weapon variety is visually impressive but they're largely just projectiles that have the same effect.
- Auto-target mechanic takes away some of the challenge.
(continued from previous page) ...pace, which can be crucial when two groups are dashing for the same weapon. Overall, gameplay offers a nice blend of fast-paced arcade action and strategy and balances it well with accessibility and pick-up-and-play appeal.
The boss battles are extremely varied too and though generally you face a tough baddie with an extra-large health metre, there are some light puzzle elements involved. In one battle, for example, you need to pick up a hollow piece of tubing and twist it around using the shoulder buttons to send a projectile through two pipes either side of the screen, timing it perfectly to take out the constantly-shifting boss. In another, you’ll need to work out that only bombs cause him damage and no other weapons.
The further you progress the more frantic the action gets as multiple groups attack and the final boss challenges at the end of each level get progressively tougher. There's characters to unlock along the way, which join your battle, for beating stages and you rack up points for accuracy, speed and combos and are awarded up to three stars for your efforts at the end of each level.
The only downside, though this could be deemed a positive if you’re looking for an accessible arcade game, is the fact that objects more often than not auto-target. So, as long as you’re pointing them in roughly the right direction, the item that you throw will inevitably hit the enemy straight on. That does mean you can get away some of the time with just running around to grab objects and then spamming the ‘Square’ button to get hits. We’d personally have preferred a manual targeting system to make it more challenging, or at least have the option to switch from auto-target to manual.
Also gameplay can get a little repetitive throughout Quest mode as you're simply doing the same actions over and over again, albeit with different looking weapons and across different backdrops. Bearing in mind that When Vikings Attack is designed to be played in short bursts however, and as most stages won’t take more than 15 minutes to complete, the repetitive actions never really become much of an issue. This isn’t a game you’re going to play all day long, but it’s a title that you’ll probably dip into quite frequently, half-an-hour at a time.
When Vikings Attack really shines in multiplayer and the Quest mode is far more enjoyable playing co-operatively in a public game as you work together to complete some of the achievements and ‘ace’ the levels. Considering the game costs just £7.49/€9.99/$9.99 – and that’s for the PS3 and Vita versions - there’s a lot of value to be had from the multiplayer modes. There’s Last Man Standing (deathmatch), which pits you against one other player, Vikings vs. Vigilantes (team deathmatch), where teams go at in hammer and tongs and Gold Rush where teams fight to win five medals. It’s testament to the quality of the multiplayer that there’s plenty of people online to play with and when we’ve opened up our Quest game to the public it’s never too long before someone joins. Multiplayer mode uses the same backdrops and weapons from the multiplayer mode, but within the competitive online arena matches feel more intense and exciting.
When Vikings Attack goes to prove that a good developer doesn’t need a multi-million pound budget to make an entertaining game that keeps you coming back for more. Despite the fact that we’ve spent a lot of time simply running around fairly small cartoon-styled arenas pressing just two buttons, it oozes pick-up-and-play appeal and the fiercely competitive online brawls have kept us coming back time and time again for more. Taking into account the low price tag (one price for both the PS3 and Vita versions), the amount of content you get with offline and online Quest modes and the three online multiplayer games, plus the ample replay value, When Vikings Attack and developer Clever Beans deserves all the plaudits it gets.
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