Pirates, Vikings and Knights II Review
Pirates, Vikings and Knights II is an undiscovered multiplayer-only masterpiece, where three teams are battling each other to achieve victory in an first-person melee combat universe filled with madness. This free Source Engine mod is available for download on Steam and will definitely suck you in and with the included steam achievements, this will certainly devourer much of your time and entertain you like nothing free stuff have ever entertained you before.
Pirates, Vikings and Knights lets you choose between three teams, as you might have guessed, these teams are Pirates, Vikings and Knights. They each contain unique classes with their own set of weapons, abilities, strength and weaknesses. For instance, the Knights have a Heavy Knight with a giant two-handed sword, supported with a smaller one-handed sword and a shield. The Heavy Knight is very resilient and strong, but also very slow. The Pirates’ Skirmisher has a small cutlass, a pistol and a powder keg, that can be ignited and then blows up after a while. The Skirmisher is very weak, but incredibly fast at the same time. These different properties of every team makes the combat much more interesting, as you constantly have to change tactics, depending on what you are playing and the enemies you are facing.
So, how is the combat? Luckily, it’s the best first-person melee combat I’ve ever experienced in a game yet. The melee system is basically built around directions. If you are moving forward while hitting the attack button, you start charging up a forward chop, if you are moving to the left while hitting the attack button, you’ll start charging up a swing. The attack direction you choose will influence the outcome of your attack, a chop will deal more damage, but is slower and harder to hit with than a sideway swing. The more you charge up an attack, the more damage it will deal as well. The game also feature special attacks, you fill up you special meter by doing damage to enemies. Every class have a different special attack, for instance, the Viking's Huscarl uses his shield and start charging with great speed, knocking back and dealing huge damage to everyone he hit.
You can also parry by hitting the parry/block button, parrying is also determined by the direction you are moving. If you choose the right direction for your parry and time it right, you’ll get a Perfect Parry, which gives you the opportunity to launch a Counter Attack that deals massive damage. There is an option that will enable a feature which chooses the parry direction for you automatically, based upon what attack-direction the nearest enemy is using, this makes the parry system much more useful and also less complicated for newer players.
Pirates, Vikings and Knights’ maps are built up around game modes. The two most distinctive is Booty and Holy Grail. In Booty, a team has to collect as many chests as possible by stealing them from the enemy, there is six chests in every map. You will have to hold these chests until your counter reaches zero ticks to win. What makes this game mode different from other similar game modes is that there are three teams, meaning that you’ll have twice the amount of enemies. This is resulting in the ‘tug of war’ is much more visible, in one moment you have all six chest, the next you have zero chests. In maps with the game mode Holy Grail, a grail appears at a predetermined place in the beginning of the map. The first team to grab the grail is now in control of it until he is slain, the person who killed the grail-carrier is now holding the grail himself. When a person is in control of the grail, he and his nearby team-members will gain a buff that decreases their counter with one tick for every kill they make. The buff also regenerates their health slowly.
Another great feature in Pirates, Vikings and Knights, is its humor. It is rare that the voice commands get mentioned in reviews, but since they’re such an important factor in making Pirates, Vikings and Knights what it is, it’ll get a mention. The voice commands in Pirates, Vikings and Knights aren’t used to give instructions or make a strategy like “follow me”, “take the left flank” or something like that, in here they are used to make the game feel, this might sound weird, dumb. However, it is totally positive and awesome! There is nothing more hilarious than seeing three bare-shirted, wolf-howling Vikings charging towards you while screaming “You are no man!” or “ Valhalla!”
It is a very beautiful game with lots of strong colors, the characters are well detailed and everything from the animations to the character designs has a funny vibe to it. The maps are very different as well. My personal favorite is the booty map Island, the Knights start inside a castle with all the chests, they have gates and walls, which gives them a far superior base. There is both a road and an underground tunnel leading to the Vikings, whose base is located in a small town, and the pirates, whose base is located at a beach-like area. Other worthy is an ancient arctic fortress, a desert ruin, a temple and a medieval castle.
Pirates, Vikings and Knights is still in beta and therefore don’t have all the promised classes in-game yet. The small team that is working on the game is releasing patches every now and then, eventually adding new classes to some of the teams for the players to have fun with.
Pirates, Vikings and Knights is a game that will entertain you like nothing else, even by flying around in free view in spectator mode while give you a laugh or two, that’s how fun this game is. The combat has the tightest combat I’ve ever experienced and it’s extremely rewarding. Dude, the game is free. I would gladly pay full price for it – that speaks for its quality! Help this free masterpiece gain popularity by downloading it on steam, you won’t regret it.