GC '07: Viking: Battle for Asgard First Look

Creative Assembly unveils its new action game that lets you lead Viking hordes into oh-so-glorious battle.

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LEIPZIG, Germany--Creative Assembly has a fondness for Vikings. The developer best known for Total War is now working on a new franchise, one that bears little resemblance to the popular strategy games it's made its name with. Viking: Battle of Asgard will throw you into the boots of a fearless Viking warrior caught between a war of two goddesses. And while you'll be able to romp around and slay monsters and enemies on your own, the highlight of this game is undoubtedly its huge siege battles, which let you charge headfirst at the front of an army that's hundreds of warriors in size.

You play as Skarin, a young warrior in service to the goddess Freya, who's in a bit of a tiff with rival goddess Hel. Well, it's a bit more than a tiff, as Hel seeks to bring upon Ragnarok--essentially, the end of the world. Your mission is to raise an army for Freya, and that will involve pursuing lots of quests in order to free groups of enslaved Vikings, who will then serve in your army to help you take down walled towns and cities through epic sieges. It's what Vikings do for fun.

Viking will have a large, open world that you can roam around at will. Think of it sort of like Grand Theft Auto with swords. You can pursue all sorts of quests, both required and optional, though even the optional ones come with rewards that you might want to take advantage of. For instance, a quest to liberate a lumber mill might pay off in the form of a siege weapon later on. Meanwhile, the best quests will befriend you with mighty dragons who can aid you in your time of need. Dragons are essentially the Viking equivalent of air support.

When you get a big enough army, you can go tackle a siege. This usually involves a battle outside of the city's walls to destroy its army, and this unfolds quite like the epic scenes in Braveheart. Skarin is a mighty hero, and he can aid his forces by boosting their morale. More importantly, he can tackle the key bosses, drawing them into single combat and finishing them off with a repertoire of finishing moves, like a minigame that has you mashing the buttons rapidly in order to drive your two-handed sword through an opponent's neck. Or you can help your army by taking out key enemy units, such as warlocks who constantly summon reinforcements.

Sieges are multistage affairs, so once the enemy army is removed, you can get to the business of taking down the walls, a task that's aided with siege weapons. Knock down the walls, then charge into town with your men, killing everyone in your way. It's not all pure action, though; you can partake in many stealth missions as you scout enemy towns. You can also try to take out key enemy buildings ahead of a siege. Eliminating an enemy barracks means that your army will face a lot fewer warriors in the battle to come.

Sure, Viking doesn't bear much resemblance to history, but it's clear that this is a game designed for those who'd rather hack-and-slash their way through medieval armies in an action game rather than command such units in a strategic game. And it's certainly colorful. Creative Assembly's previous games have no problem putting tens of thousands of warriors on the screen, and while the battles in Viking won't be as large as those in Total War, they're still big. Viking is being developed for the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3, and it will ship in early 2008.

Discussion

17 comments
Arch_Angel_21
Arch_Angel_21

Just started keeping my eye on this game, the screens look excellent and the idea's behind it sound like there was some serious thought there, and the plost doesn't sound exremely overcomplicated. I'll definitely be buying this on day of release or shortly after. I just don't see this game being bad at all...

madmoose7
madmoose7

Only 4,233,600 seconds until march.go ahead check to see if my math is right. even if im wrong who cares this games awesome!!

balrogthane
balrogthane

No game will ever be able to match Rune. Rune had such a great storyline and deep combat system. I mean, one single attack button... that's genius right there. And doing away with any sort of combo system at all let them really boil combat down to pure simplicity. And who can forget its charismatic main character, with all his brilliant lines?

darkprince99
darkprince99

people dont compare Valkyrie Profile to this game Valkyrie Profile is a roleplaying game im not sayin its not nice its nice i have but its totally not the same

whoa_neli
whoa_neli

Its Rune 2 with a different name....the character even LOOKS like Ragnar from Rune :P Ah well, i'm not complaining This is one to watch I do believe, as long as theres enough gore...can't have a viking game without tonnes of gore...its just..."untextbook" :P

Wintersword
Wintersword

It's about time we saw a decent game on the Vikings... I've never had a chance to play Valkyrie Profile yet but I have high hopes for this.

eminem_trick_01
eminem_trick_01

Viking...i never play viking games before or heard of it , so this sound cool , with smashing and Eliminating the enemy with an army that u build is such a great idea from Sega, Creative Assembly , it's sounds like braveheart or grand theft auto with swords (as it's said above).

MusashiSensi
MusashiSensi

I'm feeling the idea. I would like to see the game in action before I actually spend some cash on it, though.

Shinedown220
Shinedown220

Open world, that's awesome. I just don't like the name.

JeS_Ter
JeS_Ter

A VIKING FREE ROAMING GAME! MY WISH HAS COME TRUE!!!!!!! THANK YOU LORD!!!!!!

gerthegamer
gerthegamer

hell yeaaah! gonna be good... stalls comparisons to GOW right now... those who made them earlier are stoopid!

keci_kt
keci_kt

Can't wait to play as Skarin and star raising that army to kill conquer and destroy!