GamesBeat War of the Vikings: Historical, challenging combat April 16, 2014 3:25 PM Benton Frisse This post has not been edited by the GamesBeat staff. Opinions by GamesBeat community writers do not necessarily reflect those of the staff.Above: War of the Vikings uses unique battle mechanics and a customized class system to fit your playing style. Pray to Odin and slay the Saxon dogs! Or well, that’s the goal if you’re on the Vikings side of the battle. If you’re on the Saxon’s, it’s quite the other way around. War of the Vikings, which within the last week has become available on Steam as a full release game, is an underrated, aesthetically pleasing, challenging, and creative game. Made by Paradox and Fatshark, who made War of the Roses, the game is of course strikingly similar yet has a unique twist to the game. In this game, you’re either a Viking or a Saxon in an assault against each other via deathmatch, team deathmatch, or other game modes. The game, which offers stunningly clean visuals, gives players the ability to customize their classes based on the ranking system within the game. With the appropriate rank (which increases by experience gained when killing, team killing, playing, or winning matches) one can customize their colors, shield characteristics, weapons, helm, cloak, and even their beard! What viking is complete without a braided, long beard to make their foes quiver with fear before their might?! Whatever custom combinations you make for either side (Vikings or Saxons) can be accessed on either team. Also, each side has unique weapons, armor, and colors. However, customization options aren’t just limited to weapons and aesthetics. There are many traits available, too, that make a large difference in the build being utilized. Certain traits or perks allow bonuses with weapons or maneuverability. The maps in the game as previously mentioned are stunning. Not only do the maps transport the player back to 700 AD, but allow the player to utilize the environment around them. Walls, trees, buildings, and even other players provide great cover from throwing axes, throwing knives, javelins, or even the much feared bowman classes that some players play. Warning: don’t fall in the water. Say away from water. The most interesting part of this game is the simple fact that it is a difficult game. One can’t just install the game, and go 30-0 in the first match they play. Learning the games physics and proximity of the characters is a tough thing to get used to, but frankly, it’s because the proximity and range of your weapons seem to be much more realistic than that of other games. For players like myself, the difficulty of this game is part of the allure. Once one gets the hang of using the mouse to not only swing but choosing what direction to swing, the game is a blast. Each match I find myself determined to get more kills and die less. The realism of the game’s health system is much more real than other games. You can’t take a whole lot of damage because let’s be real here: If you caught a bearded throwing ax to the cranium, you wouldn’t be slaying many foes. It takes a few games and maybe even some practice with a friend before things start to click, but once they do each round gets the blood pumping in your veins. In conclusion, War of the Vikings offers an invigorating gaming experience full of historical authenticity and beautiful graphics. The game’s unique gameplay mechanics and customization options can allow the player to play with what weapons and style feel most comfortable to them. The game offers a challenging player vs. player environment that can hook the player for hours of endless fun. Don your helm, your shield, and your mail. Grab your axe and your shield mate and conquer the Saxon lands for the glory of the gods! Or defend your homeland from the invading heathens! The choice is yours!