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Our overall verdict "silver"

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Stick it to the Zombie!

Loki is a practical joker. No, not Loki from the Marvel Universe, the other one. That’s right, the one from Norse mythology. He’s only gone and nicked Odin’s good eye. Odin is far from impressed and decides in the dead of night to summon forth from their graves four Zombie Vikings to get back his eye. They go by the names of Seagurd, Caw-Kaa, Gunborg and finally a spikey blue haired hedgehog by the name of … wait for it… Hedgy. Sounds quirky doesn’t it? Well, we are talking about Zoink Games, the creators of Stick It To The Man, and this is their latest offering Zombie Vikings.

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Zombie Vikings is a four player co-op hackventure. This story brawler takes you on a stab-you-in-the-gut-athon through over twenty five levels across eight worlds as you try to recover Odin’s eye. There are plenty of weapons and cool abilities to unlock and the four characters each have their own individual signature moves and style. That’s not all; it is absolutely packed full of witty dialogue and references, with tumblr, instagram, The Twilight Saga and classic horror movies all getting a nod early on.

In addition to the single player mode and the standard co-op, the game offers a versus mode and side quests too. Versus mode gives you the chance to challenge your fellow co-op players to a fight. This is a nice touch as it makes a change from the main story and there is so much fun to be had beating up a friend. As for the side quests, well, most are simple affairs that usually involve helping a character retrieve a missing item. These side quests give Zoink Games opportunity to cram in yet more witty dialogue like the Blind Witch’s missing cat quest where the witch talks about it being the only cat in the area and that the internet won’t be invented for a thousand years. If you choose to embark on a side quest you will be rewarded handsomely upon completion.

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Do Zombie Vikings die?

When playing in Co-op, if your energy depletes your head pops off and you’ll need another player to retrieve it so you can be revived. Sadly this isn’t an option in single player, meaning it’s back to the last checkpoint for you. I would have liked it if Zombie Vikings gave you the chance to switch characters during play in single player, like you can in Trine, but unfortunately it doesn’t. This is a co-op game after all, so I can forgive this little gripe.

I did find that hit detection wasn’t accurate in the Maggot Prince fight. It’s the first boss you encounter. You quickly find out that even if he isn’t facing you when attacking the game still registers a hit and you lose energy. Thankfully I didn’t encounter this issue again and at the time of writing these was a patch on its way that will hopefully fix the problem.

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Zoink Games have given Zombie Vikings the same look and feel as Stick It To The Man and why not! If I’d come up with a winning formula I’d run with it. Hell you will even get to play as Ray with the upcoming Raybjörn DLC character. While it will feel familiar if you know Zoink’s previous game it plays differently and never comes across like you are playing an exact carbon copy.

The controls are what you’d expect from a side scrolling beat-em up. You move with the left stick, block and dash with the shoulder buttons and have a button for jump, throw, attack and the signature move. Both the signature move and attack can be charged by holding the buttons down. Also, everyone needs to pause the game and listen to the Pause Song.

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For the trophy hunters it is good to see that Zombie Vikings has a Platinum trophy. The list contains a few trophies that can only be obtained with 4 players so they will take some organising to achieve. Other than that the list seems pretty straight forward.

Conclusion

If you enjoy beat ‘em ups, witty dialogue, great voice acting, fantastic characters and a bonkers storyline you will love Zombie Vikings. A lot of work has been put into this game and it even has a pause menu song, and how many games can we say that about? Don’t think about it, just buy it and enjoy some co-op button-bashing fun with friends.

NelMaNo Rating – 8/10

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NelMaNo is a family man and a long time gamer. He’s a typical Yorkshire man who won’t judge a game until he has given it a fair crack of the whip(pet). Follow him on twitter @NelMaNo