TOP 7 Current & Future Games for Fans of Norse Mythology (2022)
If you pay attention to video games at all, you might have noticed that there has been an explosion of games that are either based on or take place in Norse mythology. Many would credit this to the runaway success of Sony’s Santa Monica Studios reimagined God of War from 2018, but gamers of culture (like myself) would point out that Platinum Game’s Bayonetta 2 from 2014 used many themes of Norse mythology throughout its story. Regardless of which game is responsible for this Viking boom, it seems to be here to stay, and you can see a few of these Norse-inspired games with this list of Top 7 Current and Future Games for Fans of Norse Mythology.
The Banner Saga
Our first game is a beautiful tactical role-playing game that features an art style inspired by the classic Disney animation Sleeping Beauty. The Banner Saga, which was released originally in 2014, takes place in a world that is inspired by Norse mythology and follows a caravan of people as they move from place to place and avoid the human-hating Dredge. This epic story has branching paths based on decisions that the player makes. Its sequel, The Banner Saga 2, is also an excellent Norse-themed experience and was released in 2016. These two games are available on just about everything from home consoles to iOS and Android.
Thunder Lotus Games’ Jotun from 2015 is a Norse action-adventure game that features an isometric camera and fantastic art design and animation. The story of Jotun comes to life thanks to hand-drawn art and gripping gameplay, in which your Viking warrior must explore the different realms of Jotun, where deceased Vikings go to prove their worth to the gods and gain passage to Valhalla. The game focuses on this exploration and puzzle-solving, only featuring light combat with few enemies outside of boss battles. Jotun is available everywhere, including Google Stadia.
Assassin’s Creed: Valhalla
This twelfth entry in the lauded Assassin’s Creed franchise has a decidedly Norse backdrop. In Assassin’s Creed: Valhalla, you play as a Viking that is part of a community trying to survive in the British Isles. As with all Assassin’s Creed games, it is an action role-playing affair that features violent combat, impressive mobility and traversal options, and stealth gameplay that was once the crux of the franchise as a whole (not so much anymore). This latest assassin adventure was released in 2020 and was the biggest Assassin’s Creed launch in franchise history. It is available on Xbox One, Series X/S, PlayStation 4 and 5, Google Stadia, and PC.
This survival crafting sandbox game took the internet by storm when it launched into early access in early 2021. Valheim by Iron Gate Studios takes place in a Viking purgatory where warriors go to prove to their gods that they are worthy enough to be accepted into Valhalla. To do that, you will have to start from nothing and craft tools, build shelters, and fight all manner of mythological creatures. While the game makes the most of its low-fi aesthetic, its true pull is in its incredibly compelling gameplay loop that was crafted by a team of just 5 people. Valheim is currently available in early access on PC, and it has no target date for its full release.
Song of Iron
Next, we have Resting Relic’s Viking tale, Song of Iron. This game is a 2.5D action-adventure game that features impressive graphics, intense combat, and a heart-wrenching story that takes place wordlessly in a Norse-themed world. Engage in intense combat with brittle weapons, weak shields, and limited crossbow bolts against various enemies that range in size from a regular human to a vicious dragon. This Viking adventure is available on PC as of August 31st, 2020, with it having been released on Xbox Series X/S earlier on December 7th, 2020.
Senua’s Saga: Hellblade 2
Another Norse mythology-themed game on the horizon is Senua’s Saga: Hellblade 2. This game is the sequel to Ninja Theory’s Hellblade: Senua’s Sacrifice and is expected to pick up its sorrowful story where the previous game left off. While Hellblade 2 was one of the first games announced for Microsoft’s new Xbox hardware, it hasn’t yet been released and doesn’t currently have a release date, though many speculate it could be in 2022. I think the sooner this game is in Xbox gamer’s hands, the better because the photorealism that was shown in its latest trailer is a testament to both what the Unreal Engine 5 can produce and also what the Xbox Series X can handle.
God of War: Ragnarok
Finally, the sequel to the game that (allegedly) began this whole Norse mythology craze is coming to us soon courtesy of Sony’s Santa Monica Studio. God of War: Ragnarok will follow Kratos and a grown-up Atreus where they left off in the last game; at the end of Fimbulwinter, and staring down the barrel of the end of the world, Ragnarok. As they try to stop Ragnarok from happening, they will discover a new cast of mythological characters, including Thor, who is expected to be the main villain of the game. God of War: Ragnarok is projected to be released in 2022 for PlayStation 4 and 5.