War of the Vikings is an action game in early access beta developed by Fatshark and published by Paradox Interactive the same companies that developed and published War of the Roses. You play as a single warrior either a Viking or a Saxon in a third person perspective. You can customize your characters for both factions, this includes armour, shield paintings, beards, weaponry, perks and crests, so play style and aesthetical changes, this allows you to create a character to fit how you want to play the game. The gameplay is very close quarters combat with an emphasis on blocking an opponents attack and trying to deal damage to them with your own attacks, you do this with a variety of weapons like daggers, swords, axes, polearms, two-handed swords, two-handed axes etc. It’s not limited to close combat though their are also bows in the game for long range gameplay and throwing weapons like throwing axes, daggers and javelins, this blends nicely with the close quarters gameplay though and isn’t overpowered.
The game has only been released for PC so you use mouse and keyboard to play. The melee attacks are either left, right or overhead swing and are controlled by moving the mouse cursor in the direction you want to swing and pressing the left mouse button, holding it for a more powerful attack. Blocking is the same but you press the right mouse button instead and the bows are used by right button to aim and left button to fire. Other abilities you have are dodge (alt), bandage (b), sprint (hold shift), crouch (ctrl), jump (space bar), throw weapon (click mouse wheel) and a special attack (f).
War of the Vikings is a solely online multiplayer game with up to 64 players in a game at once, this is useful for my research because a lot of work will have gone into the level/map design. It’s also useful for me because the gameplay is similar to what I would intend to be played my own map and the viking age it’s set in is quite similar to a medieval setting so can give me ideas of assets to go into my map. There are currently 3 game modes you can play, which are:
- Arena – In arena you only get 1 life so when you die you have to spectate, last team standing wins. This game mode is played on smaller maps because this keeps the rounds quicker, if the rounds in the game went on for too long people would just be impatient and leave.
- Team Deathmatch – In team deathmatch you respawn and are trying to kill the opposing team players with the team that reaches 100 kills first wins. Team deathmatches are played on bigger maps then arena so that when you respawn you don’t get immediately attacked, it also gives players a chance to get out of the action and bandage up.
- Conquest – In conquest your teams goal is to capture all the objective points, each team spawns at 1 side of the map and have to fight to get all the points. Played on the same maps as team deathmatch just with more direction of where you need to go because of the objective points.
Gamemodes: Arena, Team deathmatch, Conquest.
Cliffs is a big map but narrow and runs you along a cliff side. There are many buildings scattered around for cover and a large statue in the center of the map so players know where they are on the map by locating it. At one side of the map is a large church and a bridge, the church courtyard is where the Arena gamemode takes place with the bridge closed. The bridge also acts as a good choke point and last stand in Conquest as a team defends there last capture point.
Buildings all very similar.
Sanctuary is a very small map because Arena is it’s only gamemode. When you spawn you can immediately see the opposing team, the central platform is used for cover and a vantage point for archers nearer the end of the round when there aren’t as many players alive.
Gamemodes: Team deathmatch.
Forest is a very big open map with no clear routes to travel on which is why Conquest isn’t played on it at the moment. There are a lot of ruined buildings, foliage and vantage points so it is a very good map for archers. Some choke points are created by the ruins but there is always more then one route around the flank.
With the map having quite a lot of cliffs there are ladders placed around to navigate easier. The river is a natural looking cut off for the map,
Gamemodes: Team deathmatch, Conquest.
Docks is a medium sized map compared to Forest and Cliffs but relatively big if comparing it to maps in other games. This map has quite a clear route in which the players from each team will go making it a good map for Conquest. The bridge is a key point in the map and where most of the fighting happens because everyone gets bunched up there.
There are flanking opportunities with players being able to use a ladder to climb down and run through the shallow river.