What is Vikings: Wolves of Midgard?
Vikings: Wolves of Midgard is a hack-and-slash adventure, in which players take on the role of the chief of the Ulfung clan, a ragtag group of ostracised warriors fighting for their place in the coming armageddon. Taking the fight to rival tribes, plundering resources and beating up many a troll, giant and goblin along the way, Wolves of Midgard is a combat-heavy title steeped in Norse mythology, as you step into the shoes of your own created (male or female) Viking warrior.
How do you play Vikings: Wolves of Midgard?
Without much in the way of complex quests to bog you down, combat is the name of the game here, as you smash your way through each level, taking out the hordes of enemies that stand between you and the final boss fight. Generally speaking, each level takes place over a number of open spaces, winding cave pathways and mountain-top bridges - and its up to you to navigate your way from one end to the other, defeating any enemies along the way.
Depending on which "deity" your character chose to worship, you'll be playing as one of five rough character classes, which in turn will affect how you fight - worship Thor, and you'll be equipped with a massive hammer, while followers of Odin use the staff, and those of the ice goddess Skathi weild a bow.
Fast-paced and button-mashy, it's up to you to fight your way through countless enemies, embellishing your assault with the odd special move - a spread of arrows that can one-hit-kill weaker enemies; a fiery arc to toast anyone nearby; or a furious round-house kick. Well-timed tactical retreats, rolls and dodges are key to your survival too, particularly when facing off against stronger opponents or bosses, as you slowly gain experience by defeating enemies, level up, and grow stronger.
How easy is Vikings: Wolves of Midgard to pick up and play?
With a range of difficulties on offer, from the easiest 'Peasant' difficulty to the unforgiving 'Einherjar' (with optional one-death-and-you're-out Valhalla mode), everyone should be able to find a difficulty level they're happy with in Wolves of Midgard. Aside from requiring some fairly quick reactions in certain fights, in general, this is a relatively easy game to get your head around, with simple, button-mashing controls.
One of the more unusual challenges is the game's 'exposure' system. In certain areas of the game, which are inhospitably cold, an 'exposure' bar will pop up on screen, and start ticking down. This essentially tracks how close you are to freezing to death - and if you want to stay alive, you'll have to keep making visits to any campfires you find in order to stay warm. As campfires aren't quite as regular as you might expect, with several groups of enemies often located between you and the next fire, it's easy to find yourself getting caught short if you don't play it safe, at which point your health will start to decrease, eventually killing you if you can't warm yourself up in time.
Viking: Wolves of Midgard is fully subtitled for all important and story dialogue. At the other end of the spectrum, there's relatively little in the way of reading, as most of the game is fully-voiced - about the only things that are text only are menus, optional mission prompts and the odd tutorial.
- "Iron Skulls: 2/3"
- "Imbues weapons with an icy chill that can freeze enemies on a Critical Hit."
- "Those filthy Jarnung grub about in the Mire, caring for nothing but themselves and their precious iron. Do they offer help when we are attacked? Do they Hel! Let us see how they feel when their own village comes under attack!"
Vikings: Wolves of Midgard contains substantial amounts of mature content, with mild bad language, moderate nudity, and gratuitous violence.
In terms of bad language, the words b*tch and b*stard crop up in the dialogue. For sexual content, one particular creature is a topless female, with exposed breasts.
However, it's the violence that provides the strongest content in Wolves of Midgard. Players battle enemies (giants, enemy soldiers, wolves) with axes, hammers and bows, with the odd magical spell thrown in. When hit, enemies emit puffs of red blood which splatters the environment, with defeated enemies lying in pools of blood when defeated. Sometimes, your hits decapitate or dismember an enemy, causing them to explode in a shower of blood, guts and severed limbs.
Format Reviewed: PC