I have recently noticed that the themes of Vikings have been more of a thing in the media for the past six or so years. If you really think about it, it is slowly becoming the new craze like with vampires and zombies. I am being serious here, let us list the ways that Vikings have been a popular thing among the entertainment industry. You have The Creative Assembly’s Viking: Battle for Asgard, Dreamwork’s “How to Train your Dragon,” Pixar’s “Brave,” the PlayStation downloadable game, When Vikings Attack!, History Channel’s “Vikings,” and this year’s indie hit, The Banner Saga. Vikings are slowly becoming a thing and I am fine with that. There is so much lore and stories that revolve around Vikings that I am surprised that we haven’t gotten more games based around the violent warriors of olden days. Well, if you think we don’t have enough stuff about Vikings, you should check out this Kickstarter game called Jotun. Let us dive into this world of giants, and Vikings with battle axes to see why this game is getting my Kickstarter Shout-out!
Jotun is about a Viking warrior named Thora who died in battle. Thora is stuck in Viking purgatory and must please the gods so she can get into Valhalla! However, there is a catch. She needs to explore the land and fight off giant beings known as Jotun. I am curious to know how complex and deep this story will be. Wonder if the overall experience will have a Shadow of the Colossus kind of twist near the end of the story or something. I could think of a lot of ways this story can go and I hope the overall story will have a satisfying beginning and end. I also love that the Viking is female and isn’t some skimpy outfit wearing female warrior. She is muscular and not afraid to get dirty and bloody while in a fight. Well, that is what I get from her character.
Jotun is a top down action adventure game where you will travel across randomly generated areas, solving environmental puzzles, finding runes, and, of course, summoning the Jotun, huge Norse elementals that tower over you. Thora’s main and so far, only known weapon is her giant two handed axe. You can do simple strikes and the Kickstarter says that you will even have a more powerful charge attack. The combat has been described as a mix of the original Legend of Zelda and Dark Souls and will be fast paced. You will need to have fast reflexes to take down these elemental giants. Each Juton will have unique attacks that you will need to observe and study so you don’t get creamed. The Kickstarter page is also talking about potential perks that Thora can get depending on what God she fights for. If you are curious about some of the game’s stretch goals, they have a “new game +” mode and having the game available on linux systems. It’s not much, but they are probably going to add more stretch goals in the next week or so.
One of my favorite things about this game is the hand-drawn 2D animation. It looks like something the great Genndy Tartakovsky would have designed for a Disney film. Heck, this is what Pixar’s “Brave” should have been. I especially love the design of some of the Jotun concept art like the one that has the trees on the back or the one that looks like it has the elemental powers of lightning. You can see the concept art in the trailer. I also enjoy that the female main character isn’t sexualized. She isn’t some skimpy outfit wearing vixen that you would see in Dead or Alive, she actually looks like a Viking warrior who could smash you into the ground. The music sounds perfect. It is done by a guy called Max LL. The Kicstarter has the music that plays during the pitch video and I highly recommend listening to it. It has this feeling of a battle on a grand scale, going against impossible odds, and well, fighting something gigantic in size. If you love the soundtracks to games like Shadow of the Colossus, then I think you would like this game’s soundtrack.
Normally, I would have this section of the article to talk about my concerns and comments about the game, but I am going to skip ahead to the conclusion since I will have an interview set up with the team behind Jotun. In the end, I have a lot of faith in this game. It has a lot of ideas that I like from the Norse mythology direction to the look of the main female character. The Kickstarter funding is going swell so far for the game. it is at over $34k of its $50K funding goal. If you love games that have you battle giant creatures like Dragon’s Dogma and Shadow of the Colossus, I think you should definitely check out Jotun.