Viking officially pillaging PS3, 360

Sega unveils the first next-gen game from Total War creators The Creative Assembly: a God of War-style actioner steeped in Norse mythology.

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Last week, the ears of the Scandinavian gaming diaspora perked up when a PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 game called Viking: Battle for Asgard appeared on online retailer GameStop. The game's product page indicated Sega as its publisher, but offered no further details in the few hours before it was taken down. However, the reference to the mythical realm of Asgard sparked speculation that the game might do for the Norse pantheon what God of War did for Greek mythology.

As it turns out, that speculation was prescient. Today at the Leipzig Games Convention, Sega officially announced Viking: Battle for Asgard, a game that the publisher claims will let gamers "experience for the first time ever the brutal yet spectacular world of the Vikings and their all-powerful gods." Like God of War, it will feature a "powerful yet flawed warrior" protagonist who battles newly imagined incarnations of ancient deities. In this case, he must stop the death goddess Hel's demonic armies from overrunning Midgard (aka Earth) and starting Ragnarok, the cataclysmic final confrontation between the Aesir (Odin, Thor, and so on) and the forces of evil.

Viking will be the first next-generation console title from The Creative Assembly, developer of the acclaimed Total War real-time strategy series for the PC. To date, the West Sussex, UK-headquartered developer's only console game has been 2005's Spartan: Total Warrior for the Xbox, GameCube, and PlayStation 2. However, the shop has previously made Norse-themed games in the form of the 2003 Medieval: Total War--Viking Invasion expansion pack.

Viking: Battle for Asgard is set for a simultaneous release on the PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 next spring, and has not yet been priced or rated.

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