What can’t be ignored is Vikings’ depth of combat. Using a standard one-handed sword I quickly learned that spamming an attack just won’t do. Over the course of a 20-minute stage, it leveled up from simple slashing to more complex skills like a projectile shot, an area-of-effect stun, and devastating dash attack. It was all quite necessary given the many hostile creatures ruling over the icy tundra; be it ravenous wolves, pesky bats, demon warriors, and mammoth ice giants. I found myself constantly keeping an eye on each power’s cooldown and the layout of enemies on screen, prioritizing stronger attacks for tougher opponents. It all lead to a showdown with the icy ruler of this dominion who rained down torrents of ice and summoned wolves as I unloaded attacks on its throne and eventually felled the giant beast (I assure you it happened just after we finished recording the 19-minute hands-on gameplay shown above). Those adversaries weren’t the only hardships my shieldmaiden faced, as the world’s plummeting temperatures require constantly finding firepits to prevent death by exposure. On one hand, it was kind of annoying having to worry about depleting health outside of combat, but it kept me proactive in battle as I had to think quickly about how to dispose of a group of enemies and find respite.