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Viking: Battle for Asgard

PUBLISHED: 14:17 12 August 2008 | UPDATED: 13:31 05 October 2010

Publisher: Sega
Price: £44.99
Format: X360 (also on PS3)
Age rating: 18
Drawing its inspiration from Nordic folklore, Viking: Battle for Asgard places you in the lea

Publisher: Sega
Price: £44.99
Format: X360 (also on PS3)
Age rating: 18
Drawing its inspiration from Nordic folklore, Viking: Battle for Asgard places you in the leather boots of Skarin, a young muscle-bound warrior who's something of an expert when it comes to simultaneously wielding a battle-axe and a six-foot sword. It's a good job he's a bit useful on the

battlefield, too, as The Goddess of Hel has raised an army of undead warriors to invade the mortal realm of Midgard and it's up to your lone warrior to stop her petty human-destroying antics in as violent a way as possible. Unfortunately, it's not possible to wade into battle alone. Well, it is, but it's not really recommended unless you have suicidal tendencies. In fact, it's best to bide your time before taking on Hel's legions and attempt to recruit as many Viking soldiers as possible to your cause. Sadly for you, all the best warriors have already been taken prisoner so you've got to dash around the game's huge maps rescuing them all, either by stealthy means or just picking a fight with an encampment full of guards. Once you've swollen your ranks it's time to drink lots of beer and enlist the aid of some friendly firebreathing dragons before finally crushing some skulls.

If all of this isn't making much sense, don't worry. It doesn't have to. While the first part of your quest is really rather boring, once you've assembled your army you can leap straight into one of the game's many set piece battles. You'll be able to storm some of the bigger military encampments and strongholds as you and your men take on thousands of opposing orc-like warriors. At first, it's all terribly exciting as you wade into battle, body parts flying everywhere as your men stand and fight by your side. However, the monotony of it all soon kicks in, especially when you realise that the struggle can be won simply by dispatching a few enemy shamans to stop them summoning reinforcements. You can do this yourself or call in an airstrike from the aforementioned dragons, but there's little strategy involved in any of this. Okay, we're probably being a little disingenuous here.

Not every battle is as easy to win as we're making out, but that's no excuse for overly repetitive combat sequences that quickly grow stale and dull. With a greater focus on battlefield strategies we'd be considering a finer game.

As it is, Viking is mildly
RATING 4 out of 5

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