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When Vikings Attack

E3: When Vikings Attack is good for drunken party play

6:00 PM on 06.08.2012 // Allistair Pinsof

Okay, so State of Emergency wasn’t the GTA III-killer that Rockstar hyped it up to be. So, what? Sometimes it’s fun to play an embarrassingly dumb game about throwing things into other things. I want to flip cars and incite an angry mob!

Though SoE is forgotten by most, When Vikings Attack captures that same kinetic energy and stupidity, albeit in arcade form.

When Vikings Attack is a top-down brawler combined with dodge ball. Sounds awesome, right? You control a mob and throw things at enemy mobs, until you clear the small rectangular arena and are shuffled off to the next one. There is some nuance to the combat, but that’s pretty much all you do.

The size of your mob is your health bar. As you take damage, your mob buddies will run off. You can dash and chase after them, but if they get away, you’ll lose some lifting power as well. To lift cars and other big objects, you’ll need a large mob. If you are left with only one guy, you won’t be able to lift much.

The game comes to life once you start putting some spin on objects by rapidly pressing the triggers, and by catching and throwing objects back with an impeccably timed button press. Some levels will have environmental factors that give you more options, but things never get more complicated than this. For good reason, too -- the game is complete chaos with four-players. In the game’s 15 level co-op campaign, friendly fire is always on, so get ready to throw some punches at your friends.

Whether you play it on the PlayStation 3 or Vita (where it looks bit dimmer), When Vikings Attack is best played with drunken friends. The second you start thinking about the game’s dumb, shallow combat and repetitive nature, you’ll become disenchanted and want to turn the game off. This is no killer app, but if you like doing stupid things while drinking a lot ... why not!?

Allistair Pinsof,
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