Zombie Vikings Review

By MunchMagic1986,
The minds behind the very enjoyable Stick It To The Man have returned with another game for Playstation 4 - Zombie Vikings. With a retail version of the title, Zombie Vikings: Ragnarök Editiön, coming out soon with new arenas and characters, we decided to go back and give this game a look over and see if it was the game that should have won the Playstation Plus Vote to Play promotion.

Zombie VikingsZombie Vikings


The story delves straight into the world of Norse mythology and some of its famous gods. The mischievous Loki has stolen Odin's one remaining eye and run off with it. With Thor and the other gods off partying (presumably with the Avengers), Odin must call for some help from four dead warriors - Gunborg, Seagurd, Hedgy, and Caw-kaa! The story of these characters are told throughout as you pass through their former homes on your quest to catch Loki. You will also encounter some amusing bosses and NPC's in ridiculous circumstances, providing you with even more laughs.

Comedy is a huge part of the game, with almost all of the dialogue being something funny. Much of the humour can be a bit silly, crude, and, at times, toilet humour, which may put some people off. This also applies to the enemy characters, both with bosses and random enemies who are on the opposite path. Sometimes this can be a bit strange; one level a boss is threatening to upload a picture of you on Instagram with a bad filter or something saying they bought an item on Amazon. The next, you are reminded that the internet won't exist for another thousand years. This doesn't take away from the fun though.

One of the many strange encounters with an NPCOne of the many strange encounters with an NPC


Each of the characters has his own unique moves, from grabbing enemies with large tentacles to building up muscles so large that they explode. You can also hold down the attack or signature move button to charge it up to unleash a more powerful attack. Unfortunately, the defense falls a bit flat. You can defend in two ways, block and dodge. Blocking an attack is as simple as hitting a button; dodging on the other hand requires you to block before you can roll away. By the time you are able to dodge out the way, you have already been attacked and no longer need to dodge. Hitting block should cover you from the attack before you can dodge, but only if it blocks in the right direction. cn_L1 and cn_R1 will both initiate a block but only in the direction you are currently facing, which can sometimes be an issue when in battle. If one button was for the left and one for the right, then the defense in this game would be significantly improved.

At the start of each level, you will select your character (unless it is a character-specific level for story), your weapon of choice, and a rune. There are a lot of weapons to choose from, and they are all unique. Why have a regular sword when you can have a skunk tail that poisons your enemy? How about a cat-on-a-stick that attacks your enemy for additional damage? As said above, humour is a huge part of the game. Each weapon also has a funny quip about it, and while they are fun to read, they are also in place of combat stats. These can be purchased from the selection screen or from shops located throughout the levels or unlocked by completing side-quests. The runes work the same as the weapons, comedy and unlock process, and provide you additional support in combat, from additional and regenerative health to increased movement speed.

Cat-on-a-stick weaponCat-on-a-stick weapon


The art style is almost identical to the team's previous title, Stick it to the Man, and fits perfectly with the setting and the humour of the game. While it looks like a 2D side-scroller similar to the likes of Golden Axe, it is more of a "2.5D" game, with hidden paths at the bottom of the screen allowing you to venture out and find treasure chests and side-quests. These side-quests are pretty straight-forward, asking you to retrieve a lost cat, a pink bow, or something similar. Upon completion, you will receive a new weapon that is influenced by the quest, the above mentioned cat-on-a-stick, for example. Of course, there is even more humour for you to enjoy from the quest-givers. The layouts of the level tend to stay the same with the only changes being the backgrounds. Some levels do change up the playing style with you getting chased by an angry mob or requiring you to throw bombs at a target.

The animation can be quite troublesome though. During combat, if you unleash a charged attack on the enemy you can still get hit by the enemy you are attacking. Since you are in mid-attack animation, there is nothing you can do to prevent this, and it can cause you to get killed and have to restart the section of the level. You can pick up small enemies and bombs to throw and give you a ranged attacking option, but a lot of times throwing a bomb will just explode the instant you throw it or land at your feet, causing damage. The movement of the character can also feel quite slow and sluggish.

Loki sure knows how to pick his lady-friendsLoki sure knows how to pick his lady-friends


While it is billed as a multi-player brawler, the game can be played entirely in solo play although co-op is the more stress-free option. During co-op mode, players can revive each other when downed, so there is less time replaying entire sections of the game caused by poor mechanic fatalities. As the levels can get a little repetitive (due to them staying the same throughout except for the background themes), playing with some friends can take out some of the monotony and replace it with some enjoyment. You can also go head-to-head with your friends in the Versus Arena, where 2-4 players can compete against each other in a variety of stages. Each match consists of only one round, so these can be quite quick to finish but will go longer if you can gather three other friends to fight with you.

The trophies are very good in this with a nice mix of tasks required to gain them all, including completing the game and side-quests, defeating some bosses and enemies in certain ways, and other miscellaneous things. Some of them can be a trophy hunter's nightmare, requiring four players doing a certain task in co-op; luckily there is online co-op, so this shouldn't pose too much of a pain.

Defeat your friends.....with bicep explosions!Defeat your friends.....with bicep explosions!


Summary

Overall, Zombie Vikings is an enjoyable and funny adventure. It doesn't try to be something it is not; it knows it is an adventure with a silly, quirky humour and fully goes with it. The combat can be pretty fun, especially in co-op and with the variety of fun weapons at your disposal, despite some animation issues. Hidden side-quests give a good reason to replay some levels. The main selling point of this game, however, is the comedy, and that is something that is done brilliantly.
3.5 / 5
Zombie Vikings
Positives
  • Tons of humour
  • Great variety of weapons
  • Unique characters
  • Art Style
Negatives
  • Poor defense controls
  • Sluggish movement
  • Slightly repetitive
Ethics
Jordan played the game for seven hours in both solo and co-op modes, earning four of the game's 34 trophies. A copy of this title was provided by the publisher for the purpose of this review. He will be continuing to play this until the platinum trophy is earned.