Sorry for the delay in this review, I’ve been in the hospital and had some down time so I needed a little break before I could get back into finishing my review for Zombie Vikings… and here it is!
The guys over at Zoink Games generously gave me a copy of Zombie Vikings to review and I was pretty hyped when I finally got the chance to sit down and play through it. From the creators of indie smash hit Stick It to The Man! comes a new one to four-player co-op stab-you-in-the-gut-a-thon. It’s time to embark on a dead funny adventure with the Zombie Vikings. A putrid posse sent on a mission through the most epic of worlds to retrieve Odin’s lost eye!
You get to play as the most fearsome Vikings ever raised from Norse soil – Gunborg, Seagurd, Hedgy and Caw-kaa along with some other neat unlockable characters you’ll obtain throughout your journey. But alas, it’s time to hack through the gingerbread swamps of Molgaga! Cruise through the intestines of the Midgaard Serpent and fight some giant poultry!
Zombie Vikings is an excellent side scrolling hack-a-thon-beat-em-up game that reminds you of similar titles such as Castle Crashers, Streets of Rage and the likes but easily brings enough to the table to make it stand out compared to its competitors. Zombie Vikings definitely has more character and an emphasis on its story in comparison to some of the titles I previously mentioned and I think this makes it more enjoyable to play through as it breaks up the gameplay and allows you to become more invested in the characters and the world that is Zombie Vikings.
The story begins with you being summoned to carry out a task for Odin and retrieve his eye from the troublesome trickster that is Loki, throughout your journey to retrieve Odin’s eye you always get the opportunity to learn more about Zombie Vikings main characters. As the game progresses various sections of the game are split up into a few themed levels that to focuses on a specific character, giving you an insight into their origins and a bit about who they were and are. It also provides for some humorous segments of back and forth with your squad and some of the characters around you.
Zombie Vikings story is a simple one and your goal is present throughout the game, it never really deters from its main path and I think that’s quite good. There are a few sections that somewhat sidestep from the main journey, but they all seem to fit into place in the grand scheme of things. If you’re looking for a serious story then you’re looking in the wrong place, Zombie Vikings isn’t a title that takes itself seriously and that’s where it’s real beauty lies. Everything is over the top, funny and out of this world and that’s what made playing through its story so much fun in the first place, its great to see a change like this in this type of genre.
Although I thoroughly enjoyed the game, I did run into some issues during my playthrough. Some of which were just minor graphical issues with characters being stuck in the background during a cut scene and others were almost game breaking for me. I ran into some enemies that just would not die, these enemies were the ones that could only be killed by parrying their own attacks back at them (See in the video above). Instances of this became very tiresome as I spent ages trying to get through it and would have to repeat levels over and over until I got lucky. This isn’t a fault of the game, but when I was trying to record this, somehow Cortana assumed that I asked for me to sign myself out of my account which then chucked me out of the game and meant I had to redo the level anyway… Yay! Sometimes using the Kinect for recordings is not the best approach… next time I’ll use my Elgato!
Anyway… I did my best to not let it dampen my spirits and came back to it later that day to continue through the game and finish it off. There was also some instances of being stuck in the terrain when it was transitioning from area to area and this also meant I had to restart and repeat certain areas over again… which became tiresome eventually. Luckily these weren’t frequent and it happened in the later half of the game, so it wasn’t a massive issue but it was worth noting regardless. These are likely things that are going to get patched, so I wouldn’t consider something to worry about. One thing that I have just noticed upon writing my review is that I completed the game and did not receive the related achievement for doing so… which is very disappointing, hopefully, this will resolve itself but I’m not a big fan of this type of thing.
Zombie Vikings can be played alone, but I really feel that this game was created with a coop experience in mind. I think the interaction between characters on the battlefield, the combos you can carry out with friends and the likes is really where the game’s strength lies. I played the game solo so I cannot comment on the multiplayer yet, but I intend to get some friends around and give the multiplayer a chance to see just how it mixes up the gameplay and what it brings to the table.
There is the option for online multiplayer, but I really think Couch Coop is how this game is meant to be done. I say that because there were a few times where I felt that some of the fights, story segments and the likes would have been far easier and more enjoyable to play through if I had a few other players with me. Not only that but I missed out on the opportunities to utilise some of the team based runes, combos and achievements. So I would highly recommend playing this with friends, but it can be done alone if you wish to do it that way!
I really enjoyed the presentation of Zombie Vikings, the attentional to detail, the unique environments and just how horrid some of the NPCs and enemies looked was just beautiful… Similar to Stick It To The Man, they really showed their A game with the presentation here.
Unrelated but I was really digging this little easter egg appearance!
Zombie Vikings sports an excellent soundtrack and I can’t help but laugh when you hear some of the random sound effects playing as you prowl through the game. From the pause menu music, the “Yeahhh!” that plays when you get through a wave of enemies or even the noises that randomly blurt out of Oink, the unicorn pig. I almost always found myself laughing at something when it came to the audio effects of this game. You should also check out the full soundtrack on Spotify, you won’t be disappointed!