Hypothetical battles have been an online history discussion board staple for years, manifesting into comics and TV shows where armies that never met in real life duke it out in theory to see who would come out on top. Ubisoft’s upcoming melee action game ‘For Honor’ lives in that hypothetical space, so if you can let go of your intense thirst for all things Viking to be historically accurate, you might just it.
Ubisoft released a new gameplay trailer for the Viking story campaign of the game this past week at E3, so naturally we were curious. The trailer posited the battle of Vikings vs. Samurai (and in other campaigns vs. knights, presumably from Middle Age Britain) as seemingly historically accurate, which had me questioning my historical knowledge. But I shouldn’t have – Vikings didn’t make it to Japan and being a knight in England (as in a landed warrior) wasn’t really a thing until a few hundred years after the Vikings stopped raiding. (Correct me in the comments if you know something I don’t.)
But even soldiers belonging to these three “great warrior legacies” would have never actually fought, it doesn’t mean it wouldn’t be fun to imagine it. Isn’t that what games are for?
Who Would Win, Vikings or Samurai?
In the Viking campaign mission Ubisoft released last week, the Vikings are taking a little break from fighting the game’s antagonistic warlord to plunder Japan. Naturally, the plunder is behind a gate that hasn’t been opened for a century, and “all you have to do is get through them.”
In the game, you can select different classes within each army during their respective story modes. The fighting looks exciting, and the cinematics appear to blend well with the graphics and style of gameplay. They seem to have captured a sense of broad scale while still keeping focus on your melee hero. In Ubisoft’s words, “The combat is designed to deliver the feeling of real dueling without sacrificing accessibility and simplicity.” The fighting visuals were created using motion captures of real martial artists and stuntmen.
So far the only Viking hero class they’ve released is the raider, who fights “with heavy two-handed Dane axes” and are always “found at the forefront of the Viking horde.” It looks like they also have horned helms, but that’s not the only fiction here so we’ll let it go.
So, the most important question remains – who would win in a hypothetical fight between a Viking, a knight, and a Samurai? Ubisoft seems to think you’ll part with a bit of your hoard to find out in February of 2017.