Zombie Vikings PS4 PlayStation 4 First Impressions

Arriving digitally next week is hack-'n'-slash adventure Zombie Vikings – unsurprisingly a game about undead vikings slicing their way through numerous enemies in a side-scrolling quest. We were lucky enough to play a short preview build prior to release to see how this comical adventure is shaping up.

Well, things are certainly looking promising for this tongue-in-cheek adventure. Only a handful of levels are available in the preview but they do a terrific job of introducing the mechanics and cast as well as hinting at the story for this peculiar setup. Up to four players can take on the role of the zombified vikings, each with their own personality and combat style, then together you slice, dice, smash, and otherwise maim enemies while moving from left to right, in a combat-heavy adventure reminiscent of the original Golden Axe titles.

Of course, where Zombie Vikings stands out is with its comedic style. Each character sports a unique personality and sprite design, complemented by their own combat style and special move. Meanwhile, enemies are also comical and unique, from the fully voiced boss encounters with their own narrative and woes to share to the aesthetically amusing underlings you mow down during your jaunt.

A 2D cardboard cut-out aesthetic makes up the visual assets, resulting in unique background, enemy, and character design, along with animations that are both strikingly detailed and yet wonderfully simple. It's a neat look that aids the humorous nature of the release, and makes for a refreshing visual component.

Briefly jumping back to gameplay, coins are earned by slaying foes and smashing barrels, so too are brains, which appropriately restore your health. The coins can be spent in an in-game store to equip new weapons and runes which grant fresh abilities, such as increased health or the ability to double jump. However, we didn't perceive much of a difference in damage output with the weapons that we tried, and generally found enemies frustratingly resilient. This may hint at a balancing problem for solo players compared to cooperative parties, but we'll have to experiment further with the full release in order to find out if that's the case.

Zombie Vikings has a terrific styling and a comedic identity that's charming and easy to appreciate. Meanwhile, combat is simple and intuitive, but possibly suffers from balancing issues. Nevertheless, we look forward to exploring more of this cardboard cut-out world filled with the undead next month.

Will you be downloading the blood and thunder of Zombie Vikings to your PS4? Shuffle and shout in the comments section below.