There is a forgotten era, when friends would venture over to each other’s houses to play awesome co-op and versus games. This modern age of ours has actually managed to kill off a wonderful form of entertainment. This form was replaced with multiplayer modes as we know them today, but some games (not many) choose to remember when multiplayer was better with just four friends rather than 29 strangers. Zombie Vikings is this call. A side scrolling brawler that supports a highly recommended, four players in a single epic, ridiculous journey through a self-aware mythological world that will have you in stitches at some point.
Resurrected by the not-so-mighty Odin, four undead warriors are tasked by the blinded All Father to retrieve his missing ‘good eye’ from the thieving Loki. As stories go, it’s solid because it understands just how silly it is. Hence why the in-game pause menu actually serenades the player by singing ‘we all need a pause’ when you press the button. This sense of humor isn’t in short supply either, with the main cast constantly quipping at the nonsense around them (for example, a worm talking about selfies and hashtags). This light-hearted massacre is supported neatly by a soundtrack that is nothing short of fantastic, with jiving notes and electric melodies that get any player pumped for a fight. The game also sports a unique cartoon-like art style that is very smooth on the eyes.
Like the sea of brawling and fighting games before it, Zombie Vikings functions on a 2D plane, with 3D elements that allow free movement as you cut through swathes of enemies. With four characters to choose from, you’ve no shortage of variety when it comes to this grand task. Each one is armed, and literally disarmed, to kill. Our heroes, Seagurd, Caa-Kaw, Gunborg and Hedgy, all possess unique skills as fighters, with some difference that helps spice up the inevitable button mashing that follows. Even when you’re playing on your own, this charming title doesn’t disappoint, as you’ll want to see what shenanigans come next. The world around you has a life, ironically, that is absolutely undeniable, even if you’re playing with a cloud over your head.
Like all button crushing titles before it, Zombie Vikings can quickly become stale after prolonged play. The grind for coins to buy new weapons and runes (used to upgrade the hearty crew) can turn into a drag as you hammer at boxes, barrels and chests in a desperate bid for more and more currency. It also suffers from some really stupid bugs that can interrupt the experience. Enemies’ models that twitch around the map is the best example, basically making it impossible to counter or defend against, meaning you are forced to simply go on the offensive constantly. This will likely be patched at a later date, however. Aside from the minor issues, Zombie Vikings is fantastic, single or multiplayer, and you’ll be coming back for more because it’s just so zany and fun to play.