By Josh Speer / September 8th, 2016
It’s a special kind of joy to try out the same game at consecutive PAX shows and seeing it progress and grow. That goes for all games I enjoy, but it goes double for Viking Squad. I first saw the game way back at the Seattle Indie’s Expo back in 2014. It wasn’t even on the convention floor, but I knew something special when I saw it. Fast forward to the next year, and Viking Squad was in the Indie Megabooth, entertaining a roaring crowd! Fast forward one more time to this year, and the crowd has only grown bigger. But so have my expectations, which raises the question: how does the latest build of Viking Squad stack up?
First off, everything I originally enjoyed about Viking Squad is definitely intact. You still go into battle, either solo or with up to 2 friends, and mash the ever-loving shit out of humanoid polar bear warriors, angry penguins, crabs and much more. It plays out a lot like the old arcade TMNT games or Final Fight, but it does so without feeling dated or unresponsive. Frankly, playing Viking Squad reminds me of what we’re missing out on these days, where video game arcades are very few and far between.
Besides having the same flow and style, Viking Squad also had a few new tricks up their hairy sleeves. First off, they have polished things up, and bosses are now introduced via a splashy comic book style intro. I like this for two reasons. First, I love reading comic books. Secondly, this also shows off the boss’ name. I always want to know the name of the monster I’m beating to a pulp, it just makes me feel more invested in the process. Though that’s a bit of an exaggeration, since the bosses in Viking Squad are no joke. In my time with the game, I took on two demented polar bears named Shock and Aww, a giant crab named Pinchy, and a very nasty Kraken.
However, the feature I was most impressed with this time around were the mounts. You are able to jump on and ride either a wolf or walrus in the demo, and I picked the walrus for the simple reason that it looked derpy as hell. I quickly found out that, derpy or not, the walrus packs a real punch. It headbutts foes into others, and can generally make a lovely mess of enemy formations. The wolf, meanwhile, was more stealthy — but nothing says party like a giant walrus!
I’m very happy to see that Viking Squad is still coming along smoothly, and am very excited for when it releases. It is slated to release sometime this year for PS4 and PC, and you can be sure I’ll be one of the first people to be playing the game. Slick Entertainment have done a great job with their squad of vikings!
1 to 3 playerbeat-’em-upIndiePAX WestPCPS4Slick EntertainmentViking Squad