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Viking: Battle For Asgard Review

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Thor he's a jolly good fellow...

★★★★

Although British developer The Creative Assembly is best known for its all-conquering Total War series, Viking is a dramatic departure from mind-melting strategy into a dizzying world of dismembered zombies, hot-headed dragons and petulant Norse gods, where overwrought heroics and machismo rule the day.

Set on a series of sprawling islands – each boasting unique challenges – Viking is one of the most outrageous action games in months, the chunky hero lumbering from battle to battle, slaughtering everything that moves in the most gruesome way possible, and pillaging villages for gold.

But while Viking looks like a typical hack ’n’ slasher – and most of the action revolves around sickening violence – extra depth comes from the varied combat where you hero’s skills are constantly evolving, and the adventure’s freeform structure that allows you to approach the missions in a variety of (less aggressive) ways.

Best of all, though, are the sweeping battles where you fight alongside hundreds of beautifully-realised allies, the skirmishes becoming increasingly chaotic as the game unfolds, and immensely thrilling as you chop through legions of enemies to butcher the biggest and baddest barbarian in their ranks.