The Creative Assembly’s Viking Heading For Steam

By Jim Rossignol on October 11th, 2012 at 10:00 am.

Fight! Fight! Fight!
Sussex-based strategy captains The Creative Assembly aren’t just making strategy games these days, no sir, they are also making some action-led games. One of these was their 2008 hack ‘n’ slash console game Viking: Battle for Asgard, which is now headed for Steam. SEGA studio Hardlight tweeted the news, revealing that the game will appear on PCs next week. It will apparently receive a graphical overhaul for PC, which is probably for the best.

There’s no PC-specific trailers yet, so you’ll have to forgive the blurry old console one that I’ve dug up to post below.

Vintage 2008-quality YouTube video capture! Yum.

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55 Comments »

  1. WoundedBum says:

    This was a lot of fun, but quite flawed. The world felt quite dark and oppressive if I remember and the dismemberment is pretty top notch. I’m hoping this will fix probably the biggest problem the game had which was the framerate just completely bombing during the huge battle sequences like these:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yIK_-klCIgY

    Oh and it’s actually possible to use stealth if I remember, which was nice. Slicey stabby.

    • Frosty840 says:

      RE: actually being able to use stealth:
      The lack of any significant stealth mechanics in Dark Souls narked me right off. If I’m sniping someone, I expect a backstab bonus because they weren’t prepared for the shot, and I expect silent kills to be silent and not alert anyone.

      Sniping anyone in Dark Souls would inevitably start a gigantic clusterfuck of enraged enemies screaming and rushing toward you. It didn’t reward stealthy gameplay at all. I’m pretty sure you couldn’t perform surprise melee attacks, either (there is “backstabbing” in the game, but it refers specifically to circling around and attacking an enemy who has performed a powerful attack with a long animation).

      I adapted to it, but it always felt like a lost opportunity.

      • Necanthrope says:

        @Frosty840

        There is stealth in Dark Souls as I employ it all the time. Enemies spot you via vision cones and the sound you make. Circling round enemies takes care of the former (where possible) and light armour the latter. You can also employ the Hidden Body spell to make yourself only partially visible. This roughly halves the enemy detection radius based on sight. However it is far outclassed by the Fog Ring which provides the same effect permanently. You can also use the Slumbering Dragoncrest Ring to muffle all sound your character makes. Thus allowing you to wear any armour you want.

        Using both rings it’s fairly easy to take out a lot of enemies one at a time with their compatriots being none the wiser. In addition you can use the spell Aural Decoy to get enemies to move out of position while they investigate. Although its probably easier to use an arrow to achieve the same effect. This will allow you to ‘pull’ enemies to at least create gaps to get in behind them. On that subject if you know your in game shortcuts you can sometimes tackle areas backwards. This means the enemies are generally facing away from you.

        Invest time in the game and you’ll see there are many ways to play and most things are possible.

        • Frosty840 says:

          Keeping out of sight wasn’t my issue with the gameplay, but your points are well made. I was more complaining that without damage bonuses for attacks on unaware enemies, “stealth” just boils down to (as you mention) “pulling”, which will always feel to me like a crappy game mechanic.

          If I’ve managed to pull an enemy out of position and attack it while it’s unaware of my presence, I want to kill it with a single hit (or at least severely damage it), not just have to fight an otherwise standard fight.

          • Necanthrope says:

            @Frosty840

            I hear what your saying and I agree the game doesn’t implement full stealth mechanics. That said its not really a stealth game imo.

            Whilst there are no damage bonuses for hitting an unaware enemy you can still backstab them while their unaware of your presence. Backstabs are already a critical hit and often one shot enemies so there’s little practical difference between this and a general unaware damage bonus. Of course if your using a ranged weapon you’d think your out of luck but your not. Headshots are also critical hits in fact Queelag as an example is stunned if hit in the head and can be beaten this way if skilled.

            For big criticals use the Hornets Ring and either a Rapier or the dagger available in the dlc area. The former provide a hidden bonus to backstabs and rispostes and the latter has the biggest crit multiplier of any weapon. There’s also a tearstone ring and the power within spell to further boost damage but they have their downsides.

  2. CKScientist says:

    This does not look like a very interesting game to me.

    • Bobby Oxygen says:

      I played this on the 360, and I was really disappointed. Making decent weapon based beat ‘em up’s is a lost art I guess :(

    • DrGonzo says:

      It was good, I may pick it up again when it’s released on PC. The combat is very satisfying, if I remember correctly button mashing wasn’t very effective.

      But it’s not just a beat em up, it’s about recruiting an army or something along those lines. It never took advantage of it properly, but was fun running about in giant battles, even if the 360 dropped to really low framerates.

  3. dawnmane says:

    I wish they would do an HD remake of Spartan: Total Warrior instead. That was a wonderful game.

    • DanPryce says:

      thisthisthisthisthiiiiiiiisssssss

    • Insidious Rex says:

      Spartan was excellent other than that bloody Archimedes mission. Slowly escorting an old man through waves of enemies was not fun.

      • Premium User Badge

        Okami says:

        This! Many, many times. The Archimedes mission was actually the reason I didn’t finish the game. I must have played it dozens of times and once even almost finished it, but died during the final enemy encounter. And then had to start the level all over again. And of course died right during the first combat. And tried again. And again. And then quit the bloody game and never touched it again.

        Viking had some great moments and could have been a really good game but it was at the same time deeply flawed in many respects. Still I remember it more fondly than a lot of other, slicker and better designed games.

      • Velko says:

        Ah, escort missions. At their best, timed underwater escort missions where the character you’re protecting moves faster than you walk but slower than you run.

    • Ed123 says:

      God yes. Spartan was a fantastic action-slasher. Would rather replay that than the mediocre Viking.

  4. Premium User Badge

    Deepo says:

    This is fantastic news! I look forward to completing it for the fourth time, this time with proper frame rates and resolution. Never thought I’d see anything of this game again, so I’m very pleasantly surprised.

  5. killuminati says:

    It was crap..

    • x1501 says:

      No, it really wasn’t. My guess is that people who diss the game never actually played it beyond the first half of the first island or so, because the game got considerably more interesting and satisfying after that introductory part. The game had a couple of interesting ideas, was fun to play, and evading those giant armies was an adventure in itself. It may not rate well by 2013′s standards, but I certainly enjoyed playing it back in 2008.

      • DrGonzo says:

        Completely agree. I even preferred it to God of War. For all it’s polish and shine, it was just very bland. Viking being a bit open world really added a lot to it.

  6. Syt says:

    It looked rather fun until those accursed quick time events entered the fray.

  7. Cinnamon says:

    So this is one of those games where you have to push buttons like mad just to watch one warrior fight? Interesting concept but I’m not sure it has a place in gaming as it is today.

  8. Choca says:

    Why not.

  9. Prime says:

    That video doesn’t do much to hide the repetitive nature of the gameplay, does it? I mean, I know it’s a hack-n-slash, and that’s always welcome on The Presumed-Dead Platform, but all we were shown was the same jerky, lunging movement coupled with an assortment of different QTE’s/Press Button For Awesome Kill. Diablo in 3D.

    Okay, have worked it out. I think this isn’t really my cup of tea rendering this entire comment superfluous. Thanks anyway, Creative Assemblers.

    • WoundedBum says:

      To be fair, this doesn’t show the other parts of the game. Its possible to sneak a bit and cut peoples throats and also at the end of each ‘land’ you partake in an absolutely huge battle. It’s repetitive, but not as bad as this video shows.

    • Fanbuoy says:

      Of course it’s repetitive!

      War… War never changes.

  10. mikmanner says:

    This game had a lot of interesting ideas, mainly the focus of being the most important asset of large scale battles, it would be your job to single out the areas that needed your attention.

    Sort of like how Bane and Batman wades through tens of smaller foes in order to get to eachother.

    The game never really hit that potential though from what I remember.

    • Snargelfargen says:

      So it’s Dynasty Warriors with vikings?

      • RizziSmoov says:

        No, because if you try to fight a large group of enemies by yourself, you will die quickly (this is pretty big for me).

        You go around completing objectives and freeing imprisoned vikings who you’ll use to fight the large scale battles at the end of a particular area of a fairly open world where things will turn certainly less quiet.

        • DrGonzo says:

          This, but it was clearly influenced by Dynasty Warriors. But the combat was more like God of War.

  11. Njordsk says:

    Got very found memories of this game. It was simply fun.

    I’m not sure it aged well though.

  12. Sinkytown says:

    I picked up Spartan for £2 yesterday from CEX in Manchester. It is probably the best game about fighting lots of guys ever made.

  13. Kein says:

    God-of-war-wannable?

    • sonofsanta says:

      Nope, was just based on three big open maps that you could wander round and approach at your own pace in your own way, rather than a God of War style linear-fest.

      Combat wasn’t dissimilar, though.

      • DrGonzo says:

        It felt like they loved the God of War combat, which is fantastic. But not the game, which isn’t (annoying platform bits, and so linear you may as well just tape the joystick to the up position).

  14. yurusei says:

    Now that they’ve shown dismemberment, clean cutting a body in half and limb flaying, I expect future Total War games to match this level of gore.

    You’ve set the bar high against yourself, CA.

  15. Shadowcat says:

    I notice that people in this game are often pondering pink squares, and that this line of thought is usually swiftly followed by their sudden and horrible death.

    If I was a person in this game, I would endeavour to never think about a pink square, just in case.

  16. Premium User Badge

    Dilapinated says:

    I’ve had a bad taste in my mouth over the Creative Assembly ever since the official response to “Some people can’t read the tiny, tiny text in your game, please patch an option to make it bigger?” was along the lines of “There is no problem you’re fiddling the screenshots even if there was a problem it’s a tiny problem stfu thread locked”

    Maybe it was just one particular asshole moderator on their forums, but it didn’t exactly leave me with the impression they cared an iota about the accessability of their games. So I’m unlikely to pick up another.

  17. sonofsanta says:

    I found this game surprisingly fun and addictive, likely just because the central mechanic is slowly reclaiming a map and watching it all turn from BadGuyColour to GoodGuyColour. Gets me every time, for some reason. I’m a very specific breed of completionist.

    The boss battle at the end was gash, though.

  18. Bhazor says:

    I preferred Spartan Total Warrior personally. It was like a Dynasty Warriors game, but without being shit.

    • DrGonzo says:

      That’s what I would describe Viking as, with a big chunk of God of War. I may have to get Spartan now, as I would love a not shit Dynasty Warriors.

      EDIT only on consoles. I guess not then.

  19. Shooop says:

    …They’re re-releasing this game? This game? Really?

    Why?

    I’ve seen the PS3 release and it gets old after 20 minutes.

    • DK says:

      They’re re-releasing this game because they’re *mad*.

      Which is great, because Viking is goddamn fantastic underrated gem that simply didn’t run on console hardware at all. It was a grounbreaking PC game that didn’t come out on PC and was only released on consoles that couldn’t handle it.

    • DrGonzo says:

      20 minutes in and the game has barely revealed it’s mechanics.

  20. mehteh says:

    Looks far too console for my liking, especially the mechanics and quick-time events. I can only handle games with so much console focus and this just reeks of it

    • DrGonzo says:

      The QTEs were terrible. Especially that you have to mash a button just to open a box. Fuck you game designer.

  21. Armitage says:

    yawn

  22. ScubaMonster says:

    I was hoping we were getting a Viking strategy game. Then I clicked on the link and now I’m disappointed :(

  23. Premium User Badge

    Lord Custard Smingleigh says:

    I think I’ll take that headline literally, as in an actual Viking developer-warrior with battleaxe and horned helmet has rolled up his sleeves and set off on a journey to decapitate Valve employees.

  24. Premium User Badge

    BathroomCitizen says:

    I think I’ve been spoilt by Dark Souls, I’m sorry.

    • DrGonzo says:

      I very much enjoyed Viking more. But then I believe Dark Souls is the most overrated game possibly ever. It’s just terrible. It’s not even like I can see it’s well made and not my cup of tea.

  25. Chizu says:

    I’ll likely pick this up sometime, I had planned on getting acheap copy onthe consoles once, but never did.
    And I appreciate SEGA giving the opportunity to release some of these older games on PC. gives hope some other titles may show up one day.

    Also, the speed of the combat and sorta chunkyness of it in the start of that vid really made me think of The Mark of Kri for some reason. I loved that game.

  26. TwwIX says:

    Yes. Let’s dump some more console duds onto the PC without putting any time or effort into porting them.

    • DrGonzo says:

      Was a good game that flopped. I think all console flops that were good should be ported over on the cheap.

  27. DK says:

    Viking did Dark Souls style skill-based combat before it was cool. It had everything from tense 1v3 brawls to gigantic fights with hundreds of people clashing in sieges.

    It did pretty much everything right and failed utterly because:
    It wasn’t advertised.
    It looked like a God of War clone at first glance.
    The consoles simply couldn’t handle a game looking as good and doing as much sheer STUFF on screen at once. They chugged and crashed left and right.

    It finally coming out on PC is like someone stealing my brain and taking a look at my “top 10 ports I wanna see happen that never will” list – then doing those.

  28. elevown says:

    Viking plays like and should be compared to god of war from what i can tell of that trailer- fast paced combat with combos and press X to execute, mash buttons etc. Dark/demon’s souls play absolutely NOTHING like that- so no point comparing them.

    And demons souls was in development the same time viking orgionaly was- It came out 10 month after it, but whos to say which started dev first? You certainly cant say demons souls was copying viking- even ignoring the totaly different play styles.

    It would be fair to say, this is a games that was totaly overshadowed and lost out due to the god of war series though.

    • DK says:

      The trailers do make it look like God of War, which is part of the reason is failed. It’s nothing like God of War but was advertised as such in a period in which the consoles were overflowing with both genuine and cheap-knock off God of War games.