If you like to consume everything related to Vikings or Norse mythology as I do, then put your horns of mead down and pick up your axes. Play as an old berserk, Kveldulver, in the dreary Norse lands of Midgard and Jötunheim as you battle trolls, Jotuns and Vikings in your quest to try and save Midgard during the event that proceeds Ragnarök, the Fimbulwinter. Fimbul is an action-adventure game with a comic book art style that can be played on PC, PS4, Xbox One and Nintendo Switch.
The story is told through comic book panels that fits perfectly with the world created in Fimbul. It never leaves you outside of gameplay too long creating a good balance between fleshing out the character of Kveldulver and fighting with your sword and shield. Not to mention you can also pick up axes, spears and helmets to use to help in battle. The dark narrative is the game’s strongest aspect sending you on a journey that feels natural and appealing to Norse mythology and Vikings fan. The story is woven with traits of revenge, honor and courage, giving you flashbacks of Kveldulver as a child revealing a better direction of why you are on this journey. From beginning to end, the pacing of the story makes you want to continue to play through the three acts of the story. There is a slight RPG element with Fimbul, allowing you to change the course of the story by prompting options for you to choose after a boss fight. This provides playability granting you the ability to go back to certain parts of the game on the “Life String” to change your decision that you made to show a different result.
The combat was fun, simplistic and challenging at times. You are provided with the core mechanics of block, roll, light attack and heavy attack. As the story progresses, your character gains more special attacks from health regeneration to impactful moves to help when fighting more than one enemy at a time. There is a good amount of boss battles from beginning to end with lengthy fights to wet your appetite. Each boss fight is similar with the same tried and true formula, but still provides a difficult obstacle and to be honest, it is always fun bringing down an enemy ten times your size!
During the short campaign of Fimbul, approximately four hours, I wish I could have experienced more with Kveldulver. However, the technical issues became a nuisance throughout the game hindering the experience. For most of the game that I played on my Nintendo Switch, I wasn’t bothered by the brief loading scenes that would pop up occasionally when traversing the world. It is when I got to the final boss scene when I became irritated after the game crashed on me halfway through the fight causing me to start the battle over. The technical side of Fimbul was the game’s downfall with hindering graphics, slow frame rate and delayed fighting sequences.
Setting all of that aside, I still enjoyed my time with Fimbul and appreciated what they were trying to achieve. It was hard for me to put the game down as I was anticipating what the story was going to reveal to me next. Fimbul captured the harsh Norse lands with brutal Vikings and depicted the essence of Norse mythology very well. With some more polish and perhaps longer gameplay with added features, this game has the potential to be something even more.