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Viking: Battle of Asgard is a surprisingly simple action game for the PlayStation 3 that has some very elementary RPG components, but is mostly just a repetitive fighting game. It’s fun for about an hour, then you realize that the gameplay never changes very much. It does at least take a good 10-12 hours to finish, but without any multiplayer ability, this one is best served as a long weekend rental.
In this game, you play a Viking who has returned from a battle where many thought you had died. This comes into play later on in the game. You return to your village to find that the land has been overrun by a group called the Legion, and they have taken many of your fellow Vikings hostage. You have to go around from village to village, freeing the hostages and having them join your own army so you can take the island nation where you live back over. In the meantime, you have to make the occasional ‘fetch and retrieve’ quest.
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This game looks like an action RPG, but it really is not. Your character does not gain levels and there are no stat points to assign. Instead, you can learn a few little special moves, but other than that you just run around and kill stuff. You do eventually gain the ability to summon a dragon, but the novelty wears off quickly. Having so little control over your character really brings the game down. Like everything else, it is just too limited.
There is a pretty big world to explore in this, but you do the same few things everywhere you go. You either fight some bad guys, free some hostages, or do simple tasks like find an item and bring it back to someone. It is never that challenging, even when fighting the boss type characters. You also get to watch the same few death animations way too many times, and they get old very quickly.
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Graphics and Sound
The graphics in this are OK, but not really up to standards for the PS3. Everything has a very washed out, bright look to it. I also noticed some weird shimmering problems when it comes to drawing shadows of objects like trees. The maps are all designed with lots of hills and long ramps to climb, which really amounts to you just having to walk around a lot. The animation is decent at first, but gets very repetitive, much like the rest of the game.
The sound is not so great, either. In fact, it is yawn-inducing. There is no in-game music at all, and the ambient nature sounds made me want to fall asleep. The voice acting is decent, but stereotypical of Viking type movies where everybody sounds gruff and tough. You could play the whole game with the sound off and not miss a thing.
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In the end, I was disappointed by Viking: Battle of Asgard. It’s a decent concept, but you just do the same things over and over again until they aren’t fun anymore. This one will soon be in the bargain bin.