Zombie Vikings Review
Welcome to our CHEATfactor Game Review of Zombie Vikings. We review the game and then factor in how the available cheats affect the overall game experience. For better or worse, our reviews will help you decide whether or not to use cheats when playing the game.
My sense of humor is a bit skewed. I love awkward humor, the more uncomfortable the better and maybe that's why I took to Zoink's Zombie Vikings as much as I did. Much like the developer's last game Stick it to the Man the game is full of the in-type humor that's so prevalent with cartoons these days but also features a good amount of really weird humor that calls back to such greats like Ren and Stimpy. As a potential property, Zombie Vikings nails it, even if as a beat-em-up it's less inspired. I had a lot of fun with Zoink's latest, even if the playable bits were some of it's weakest.
That's not to say that Zombie Vikings doesn't have anything going for it gameplay wise though, you'll just figure out how repetitive it is about midway through the experience. It's an old-school beat-em-up in the style of Final Fight or Castle Crashers. You play as one of four Zombie Vikings on the hunt for Loki who stole Odin's eye. You'll hack, slash and dash through vikings of the human type, slugs and a few other inspired enemies that I'd rather not spoil. Like any brawler like this, the game is unquestionably better the more players you have as each of the four characters are built for different play styles. There's nothing all that surprising here, some characters are faster than others and others are more brutes and can deal out more punishment with their special moves. The game gives you the chance to reselect which character you're playing as after each section, so you'll get a chance to try others.
The game actually gives you plenty of chance to change up your play style through the use of collectible (and purchasable) weapons and runes. Want your big brute character to move a bit faster, attack a bit quicker? Stop at a merchant and pick up a sword made from Narwall skulls or a rune that increases your attacks. Again, it's nothing that you haven't seen before in so many similar games but it's a good addition to the formula here. Not such a good addition that you'll want to go back through and play with other weapons or runes mind you, when I finished Zombie Vikings I had no desire to go back and play through it again.
That's mostly because Zoink games hasn't learned that variety is what made a game like Castle Crashers so enjoyable in the first place. While Zombie Vikings does feature a number of cool set pieces that did have me laughing the first time I played through them, the game repeats these formulas over and over until they're no longer novel. Say what you want about the core gameplay being repetitive in a game like Castle Crashers but it was always dotted with different locations and boss fights that I would have to figure out but with Zombie Vikings I felt like I figured out the game within the first hour and there wasn't much else to it after that. Zionk never claimed that this would be a deep and smart game but I got bored with the game a lot faster than I thought I would.
The only thing that kept me going when the game got too monotonous was it's awkward sense of humor. Please understand, it's not going to be for everyone and if you don't like jokes about angry cat warriors peeing on you or a slug stealing a zombie's body to take pictures on instagram, you're probably going to have a bad time and think my sense of humor is dumb, and I'm ok with that. Much like Stick it to the Man, I would love to see more from the world of Zombie Vikings in the form an Adult Swim cartoon or a comic book. It's a great property but one that may not translate quite as well to the interactive environment as it would to a passive one.
With Zombie Vikings I couldn't decide if I loved the game or I just loved the idea of it. It's full of the type of adolescent humor that I love but you have to be ready to dumb your brain down if that's not what you're into. As a brawler it's more pedestrian and wears out it's welcome far faster than I expected it too. Still though, if you're looking for a good brawler to play with friends, and you've already played through a game like Castle Crashers, you could do a lot worse than Zombie Vikings.
Joe started off writing about video games for small fan sites when he realized he should probably do something with his communications degree and didn't want to get into the grind of daily reporting. Joining the team in late 2008, Joe is the featured game reviewer for Cheat Happens, producing up to 10 CHEATfactor Game Reviews per month.
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