Zombies have been a popular troupe since the 1930s. And it’s to a point where they have infested every form of media, there is. There’s even a “Robinson Crusoe on Zombie Island” novel. And naturally, video games are no exception. As there are dedicated and well-known zombie games on the market such as “Left 4 Dead”, “Dead Space”, and “Resident Evil,”. However, even some non-zombie games have some reanimated corpses like the strangely sexy, undead Rottytops from the “Shantae” series. And then there are the few games where you play as zombie heroes, and “Zombie Vikings” has raised the idea back from the grave. So, what is the goal for our necrotic vikings? Are they out on a mission to save the world from evil? Or do they go out for battle and glory? Nope. Odin simply brought them back to the land of the living only to retrieve his one good eye from Loki.
“Zombie Vikings” is a 2.5D beat’em up game where you go running around and have fun whacking enemies with swords, all while you´re picking up some hilarious side quests (such as finding an old witch’s “cat”) along the way. Aside from side questing, there are boss fights and chase scenes (or “reverse chase” scenes to be accurate) to mix up the action. There are also sections where you and friends could combine to be a sort of Frankenstein Monster to plow through a part of a stage. Like any good beat’em up there is a selection of risen viking, whom can be equipped with a sword and rune (special traits) which more will unlock as you progress and do side quests. The characters are unique themselves as they each have their own quirky personality and special attack.
There are also a couple of DLC characters you could buy. And in a recent update, since the Creative Director is a big fan of “Psychonauts,” we got Raz-ombie as a free playable character. With a nicely sized roster of geeks to choose from the PC port offers both online and local couch co-op. If you can’t find people online, your local friends could either huddle around the computer or hook up the PC to your home entertainment center to play. The art style also seems to have taken some inspiration from “Psychonauts” as it is as abstract and bizarre, which fits well with this ghoulish odyssey. Character models seem to take “Paper Mario” as another design inspiration since they are paper-thin. Their animations are also similar to the physics in “Paper Mario” when they fold their arms and turn to another direction (giving it a bit of the same story book feeling that “Paper Mario” went with).
The music is usually upbeat and memorable with some background tracks that convey a cut-scene’s punch line. While there are some catchy tunes that you can jam to the most unforgettable song is the jazzy lounge “Pause Menu” track when you take a break from the game. The voice acting is hilarious with lines you wouldn’t normally expect to hear in a comedic Norse story. The cast will also take jabs of a number of pop-cultural, mythical, and historical references, such as Caw-kaa’s remark on how she should have been a sexy vampire and not a sparkly one. One of the types of jokes you’ll keep hearing are social media references, even though the Internet wouldn’t be invented a thousand years later (according to a witch, of course).
The controls are easy to pick up and learn with customizable mapping for attack, jump, grab, sprint, special, and parry. Attack, grab, and special can be charged. Drop kicks are done by hitting the attack button midair, and releasing or tapping the special button before a full charge has a different effect. Each character’s special will vary, such as Raz-ombie’s quick is.
+ Fun beat’em-up action with side-questing and boss battles.
+ Quirky humor in story and gameplay.
+ Anti-Twlight saga.
+ Multiplayer options include both online and couch co-op.
– “Zombie Vikings” is not meant to be a solo “lone wolf” kind of game.
– Even with a catchy soundtrack the only song you’ll remember is the Pause Menu.
– The social media references are very popular with this one.
Replay value: 3/5
“Zombie Vikings” is a very enjoyable beat’em featuring a cast of fun zombie characters, but you’ll need to recruit some friends if you want to enjoy the game. However, even if you solo this game (like I have) at least, you’ll get a pig on a few stages to help you. And I´m talking about a zombie pig that has a unicorn’s horn, feathered wings, and (eventually later in the line) a cannon you can toss around like a football.
Title: Zombie Vikings
Developer: Zoink Games
Genre: Action, Adventure, Beat’em up
Resolution: Various (In both Windowed and Full Screen).
Release date: 2015-12-07
Spent time: 6+ hours
Average grade internationally: 80.00% Gamerankings.com
PEGI/ESRB age rating: PEGI 12+/Teen
Robin Ek – Editor
The Gaming Ground
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