When Vikings Attack is one of those games where the screenshots don’t do justice. It has to be experienced to realize its fun factor. “They’re just throwing shit at each other,” we said when we first looked at the gameplay from afar as Sean and I toasted our Heinekens and grubbed on hors d’oeuvres. “Pretty much,” said Cleverbeans Studio’s own Andrew Newton. When Vikings Attack is best described as a multiplayer game centered on super-deformed cliques playing “dodgeball” with pretty much any object that moves.
And the game’s story? “A battalion of Viking invaders land in modern-day Britain 1200 years later.” To us, that’s probably the best excuse for all crap that gets thrown all over the place. Graphically, the game makes cleaver use of cell shaded animation while still giving the game a family friendly feel.
Each gamer controls a group formed by a ring of citizens, vikings, neighbors who dash around and grab anything they can see and throw. Buses, Stop signs, rockets, trash cans, you name it. If you’re in a level where there’s an appliance store, expect to see washers or dryers being tossed around the area. If you’re at a planetarium, expect to see museum exhibits whiz by. Each level has a theme that reflects the type of objects you’ll be throwing. The gameplay sounds like the type of thing where it would be fun the first hour and boring in the next. However, When Vikings Attack avoids the novelty label by presenting a seamless learning curve all thanks to some ingenious metaphors.
As you keep playing you realize that the size of your group reflects its collective strength of how big and heavy an object can be picked up, thrown or even caught. But, of course, the bigger the group the bigger the target and nothing is more satisfying than seeing a whole group of people get rammed by a flying bus. See people running around aimlessly in the battleground? Tag them and they’re in your ring. That’s how quickly you get the game.
Parts of the environment are interactive as well. One boiler room level had pipes stretched all over the arena so that groups can deliver unsuspecting packages to their opponents. Other stages had places to bounce objects off of and the experience is hilarious. Such moments are the culmination of the game’s ridiculous scenarios.
When Vikings Attack aims to be a triumphant mess in pure fun. It’s a game that’s bundled in moments that stand out in parties and will be destined to be remembered by anyone who plays it.
From Cleaver Beans site:
Basically it’s a bonkers adventure/fighting game for up to 4 players, with co-operative and competitive modes, featuring on-line play between PS3 and VITA versions. This “cross-play” means that you will get exactly the same experience playing on your PS3 at home, or on your VITA on the bus or train. And since you will only need to buy one version to get the other one free, there’s no excuse for not doing so! We think this is a great move by Sony, who will be publishing the game for us.