War of the Vikings due in early 2014

By Brenna Hillier, Tuesday, 6 August 2013 13:59 GMT

Paradox Interactive and Fatshark have announced War of the Vikings, a new multiplayer close quarters combat game in the spirit of War of the Roses.

A standalone entry in the new War series, War of the Vikings is built on a refined version of the engine that powers War of the Roses.

Players choose between Saxon and Viking factions, customise their warrior and weapons, and battle it out on 9th and 10th Century English soil in up to 64-player battles.

“We’ve been inspired many times over by the possibilities of the close-combat genre. It’s clear to us that that there are many more experiences we can share with our players, and War of the Vikings is our next step in establishing Paradox and Fatshark as leaders in the art of online war,” War franchise executive producer Gordon Van Dyke said in a statement.

Speaking to VG247 at a closed doors event in Sydney today, Van Dyke confirmed that female warriors will be available in both factions; after consulting with an archaeological expert in viking warfare, Fatshark was delighted to learn that women fighters are historically justifiable.

The producer stressed that War of the Vikings will continue the franchise’s traditions of emphasising skill over unlocks, but there will be plenty for veterans to collect, including more elaborate beard and hair styles and symbols of wealth. Although some interpretative allowances have been made, Van Dyke said he’s aiming for historical accuracy and a realistic portrayal of the viking profession, which has had some pretty poor PR for the last millennium.

We’ll have a full report from out chat with Van Dyke in the coming weeks.

War of the Vikings is coming exclusively to PC in the first quarter of 2014. It will be on show at gamescom, PAX Prime and the Tokyo Game Show, and if you’re keen, you can sign up for the beta now.

Here’s the features list from the announcement press release:

  • History Comes to Life (and then you kill it) – Historically inspired content from the Viking Age, including levels and environments, weapons, helmets, shields, and heraldry
  • Close Combat and Ranged Ravaging – Skill-driven fighting blends swinging, blocking, and dodging with intense ranged combat, including arrows, spears, and throwing axes
  • Mod Your Squad – Enhanced squad features allow players to define a role for their warriors in battle using custom squad perks to buff your hirdmen
  • A Viking to Your Liking – Design your own Viking or Saxon warrior, choosing everything from weapons and armor to battle perks, customized taunts to unhinge your foes, and a variety of beard options
  • Pick Your Battles – Game modes include up to 64-player epic battles, new hardcore “Pitched Arena” mode with 32 players and no respawns, and a Training Ground to test out new character builds

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