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'War of the Vikings' at PAX East 2014: Your early access 'Ulfberht' is fake

"War of the Vikings," published by Paradox Interactive, is a player versus player game where up to 24 players can compete against one another in feats of strength and skill. The game is set during the Viking Age, in particular around the conflict between the Saxons and Vikings. Boston Games Examiner was able to touch base with Gordon Van Dyke, who is the Executive Producer for War of the Vikings, and talk more about his game this past weekend at PAX East.

Cover artwork from "War of the Viking"
Paradox Interactive

The game features "high impact combat" which focuses around swords, shields, two-handed axes, and bows and arrows. Those of you familiar with this combat style might recognize it from another game "Chivalry." However, don't be mistaken, there are plenty of things that separate the two so you won't be confused.

"War of the Vikings" runs on a newer engine and requires a bit more to run. So, from a technical standpoint, there is a difference. While Chivalry focuses more on first person combat, there is more total control when it comes to "War of the Vikings." "What's really important is if the game is fun and if you like it," says Van Dyke. Still, the game is a little harder and more complex to get into. And while the games do have their similarities, comparing the two is like calling "Battlefield" similar to "Call of Duty."

As of right now, the Vikings and the Saxons are the only playable groups, but if things become successful, and things allow them, there is a chance for expansion such as the Byzantines and Norwegian Vikings.

A great feature of the game is how players progress through the game. As you gain ranks, you unlock classes and perks that allow you to customize your character. However, they are not perks that increase certain aspects of your character like health or attack. The game is more skill based. Therefore, "when you add things like that it's kind of pointless because the guy who is already experience who would have gotten that [will have gotten] a huge advantage it doesn't make sense to begin with," according to Van Dyke. This has lead to the rewards being more cosmetic.

Van Dyke then added, "Those guys didn't buy a sword and go, 'Oh my god, this sword is going to give me +5 Damage. It's going to be so much more epic in the battlefield.' It was more like, 'I've survived so many battles, and I've looted so much, I have all the money and I'm going to buy this badass sword. I'm going to show off!' When you saw that you knew this guy had to be a badass to have this sword, and we wanted to reflect that in the game as well."

Speaking of cosmetic, those of you who caught that special on television not too long ago, the "Ulfberht" is in the game. However, players who have been in the early access may have noticed something odd about theirs. Van Dyke confirmed to Boston Games Examiner what forum members have been dreading. Just like in the history books, the current version is fake, but, rest easy, there are plans to release the real version in a future update.

"War of the Vikings" is currently available on PC via Steam.

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