By Diana "DumeeGamer" Dumee on September 5, 2015
Autumn is almost here, which means October is almost here, which means it’s almost Halloween. Do you want to go trick or treating as a Zombie or would you rather be a Viking? Well, why not combine the two and become a Zombie Viking?! This is what our friends at Zoink! Games must have thought when creating their latest game: Zombie Vikings. So, after a lot of information, waiting and a test run at GamesCom 2015, we can now finally enjoy this game for ourselves!
Zombie Vikings takes you on an adventure with four fantastic playable Zombie Viking characters: Caw-Kaa, Gunborg, Hedgy and Seagurd. They all have their own part in the storyline, so every one of them will be a must-play character at some point in the story. That’s no problem at all, because they all have a great personality and their own personal playing style. Some of them attack with more speed but do somewhat less damage, while others attack a bit more slowly but, as one might expect, do more damage.
As our story begins, our fantastic Zombie Viking quartet is summoned by Odin, who is in a particularly foul mood because Loki has stolen his eye. Odin wants his eye back and the only way that can ever happen is by sending his trusty Zombie Vikings after Loki. On this crazy adventure we learn more about the Zombie Viking characters and why and how they died. Now, they have a chance to set thing right or get even with some ghosts of the past.
Zombie Vikings is basically a 2D / 3D hack ‘n slash platforming adventure for up to four players. Each character has a basic attack and its own unique special attack, making them all play and feel unique. You can even pick each other up to form a Zombie Viking Tower and reach tose formerly out of reach places. Every character and object on the playing field is a stunning piece of 2D art, while the playing field itself does have depth, giving the game an overall impression of a 3D environment. I think you can best compare it with older games like Golden Axe or Double Dragon, where everything was 2D, but you still had the illusion of depth. Needless to say, that is where this comparison stops, because Zombie Vikings looks a hell of a lot better than these games ever did! The world of Zombie Vikings is really beautifully hand-drawn and extremely rich in detail and it contains more than its fair share in easter eggs and references to other media. For those of you who have played Zoink! Games’ previous title, Stick it to the man, the art style may seem familiar. The characters are truly flat, so when they turn around, it gives the illusion of a piece of paper being flipped over, which I personally think is really cool!
As you start playing, you’ll receive your starter weapon, which is a nice average sword, to decimate your enemies with. During the game you’ll find money, which you can use to buy more and better swords. You can really see that the developers really put a lot of effort into coming up with and the design of the weapons in Zombie Vikings. They are all really cool, both in look and in name. The only downside to this is the fact that it makes it damn hard to decide which weapon to buy first. I mean, come on; who in their right minds can honestly say it’s easy to choose between the Feel Good Falchion and the Stab-a-Thon?! Besides swords you can also equip a rune. And, much like the weapons, there are plenty to choose from. One will, for instance, grant you more overall health, while another will increase the damage you inflict. There are also a few tricky ones, which come in really handy for you, but may adversely affect your friends when playing together with two or more players. There is a rune which will drain half the health of the last teammate you pick up.
The multiplayer mode is definitely awesome. You can play this game by yourself if you want, but with two or more players (online and local) you’ll have so much more fun! Will you help or thwart each other? When a Zombie Viking runs out of health, his head will pop off and fall to the floor. Now, it would be great if one of your companions could just run over and put your head back on your body, but your severed head can also be used as a weapon. So, it’s really up to your friends whether to bring you back to life or just run around with your head, leaving you to your miserable fate.
And then, on to my favorite feature of the game! Once in a while, you’ll come across a big glowing circle that looks like a cross between a really slow tornado and a force filed. When all players step into this circle and start mashing the appropriate button, your characters will merge into one giant Zombie Viking behemoth! Sounds awesome, doesn’t it? Well, believe me when I tell you that it is just that! Running around, swinging your sword and hoping that your teammates want to go in the same direction you were planning on going in. When playing with two players, each gets to control half of this Zombie Viking titan. When playing with four players, two players each control one arm, the third controls the legs, while the fourth is in charge of banging the battle drum. It’s just a really cool feature and adds something new and exciting to the world of platform gaming.
Next to the storyline, you can also try out the söccer mini game. Yes, söccer, not soccer. Ok, it’s kind of similar, but not quite. Just settle down and listen, and I will explain how to play soccer… damn… söccer. First, forget everything you know about soccer, except that you need 2 goals and a ball. But that’s where the parallels end. It’s very simple: Stick your sword in the ball (represented by a gnome with a ball for a hat), and try to throw it into your opponent’s goal (a giant steel, pointy-toothed fish monster) in order to score. When you don’t have possession of the ball, your main job is to get it, tackling your opponents left and right as you run across the field. The result of all this is one chaotic and amusing form of soccer. It is also a must to master this game, because at some point in the storyline, you’ll need to defeat a pro team in order to continue. It can be hard, but with a little practice you will definitely defeat the team and be on your merry, undead way.
Zombie Vikings is a really, really, REALLY fun game, wrapped in a great comic art style, combined with a cool and original soundtrack. Just put the game on pause, just for the heck of it, and you’ll see and hear what I mean. A lot of attention went into creating the world and the characters of Zombie Vikings, as well as the story and the cutscenes. It’s fun, it’s good, it’s humourous and as far as we’re concerned, Zoink! Games did a great job developing this phenomenal game! This game is guaranteed to bring you a lot of hours of fun and hilarious gameplay, whether you play by yourself or invite some friends to come over and play. Needless to say, I’m enthusiastic about this game. Zombies and Vikings are the best combination ever, especially for a videogame. So maybe I’ll see you online for some good, old-fashioned and awesome Zombie Viking ass-kicking! Or, as our Viking friends may call it, a serious can of whøpäss!
September 1, 2015 (PS4)
Fall 2015 (PC / MAC)
Winter 2015 (Wii U)