Play as a Female Warrior in War of the Vikings

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Play as a Female Warrior in War of the Vikings

War of the Vikings

Gordon Van Dyke from Paradox wants to make sure fighting women are well represented in his real-time combat game.

We hear it all the time. Women aren't represented enough in games, especially competitive online ones. There have been some strides this year, the addition of a female model in Call of Duty: Ghosts online play comes to mind, but we still have a long way to go. Gordon Van Dyke is an Executive Producer at Paradox Interactive in charge of the so-called "War" line of games - War of the Roses and the Steam Early Access game War of the Vikings - and he's throwing his gauntlet into the ring of gender representation. Starting with the latest build of War of the Vikings, you'll be able to play as either a female or male warrior along with a slew of other customization options the team is adding.

War of the Vikings is a multiplayer only game which pits warriors against each in medieval combat. You wield axes, swords and bows in real-time action, pitting the Saxon faction against the invading Norse of the time period around 900 A.D. In game terms, there's no difference between the two factions other than cosmetic, and that's what Paradox and developer FatShark are betting on monetizing.

You'll be able to craft the look of your preferred warrior in War of the Vikings based on how much you play. You'll earn currencies for time played, rather than based on skill or wins. That way, everyone stays on the same level playing field, while you'll know characters that look specifically badass likely have invested a lot of energy into the game.

As for the female character models, I was excited to see that their armor didn't have nipples. "We want her to be dressed for battle," Van Dyke said, "Not for Comic Con."

Van Dyke even described how much forethought went into the design of the different female models for each faction, basing the look on historical notions. Vikings traditionally made no distinction between men and women warriors, training whoever had an aptitude for warfare no matter their gender. Therefore, the armor and ornamentation on the female Vikings is very utilitarian. On the other hand, the Saxons were not so lenient about having their women fight among men, so any female warriors were likely rich daughters indulged by their noble fathers. "We based the look of the Saxon females on characters like Arya from Game of Thrones," Van Dyke said.

Another cosmetic addition that enhances the feel of War of the Vikings is in the sound design. In the matches, characters will yell out positional information automatically in a feature called "Battle Chatter", which I found especially helpful in the matches I played. Someone screaming "Archer!" when they get damaged by arrow fire is actually really immersive and fun. Also, I appreciated that when playing the Saxons, Viking characters will yell out battle cries in their native language, rather than English. Van Dyke noted that the Viking characters in the game will not sound like they're from Scotland. A first for the genre, he noted.

War of the Vikings is shaping up to be a delightful diversion for those interested in fast-paced medieval combat. I personally didn't always enjoy the quick deaths I received in the two hours or so I got to play with the different game modes, but there's something really visceral and exciting about dancing around your opponent wielding a huge battleaxe as you try to dance in and deliver a killing thrust with your sword.

War of the Vikings is in the last stages of development, but you can check it out in Early Access on Steam now. It will get its full release on the PC in "early March", according to Van Dyke.

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A game about vikings that lets me play an actual shieldmaiden?! Did the world go under while I wasn't looking?

Yeah alright this is really cool and everything but holy shit
image
Look at that guy! He did a flying kick upwards. You don't do that shit. He's gonna snap his nuts open or something!

But uuh... yeah. The news article. This is good, more women and better representations of them, always nice.

Awesome looking game.
But 'creaming Archer!'?

*snigger*

image

If it happened then why not really.

It does seem like the obvious thing to do.

hazabaza1:
more women and better representations of them, always nice.

All my - 'and?'.
And? So what? Am I supposed to feel what? This is irrelevant. If the game went for historical accuracy - awesome, if not but is still fun (and maybe arkady) also great.
Either way articles like these ARE the cause of your 'sexism/rasism/classism/nationalism'. Just accept the world for what it is - shit.
No difference between us all - we are the all singing, all dancing crap of the world, part of the same composte heap.

Edit: TLDR:

Dark Knifer:
If it happened then why not really.

It does seem like the obvious thing to do.

Halyah:
A game about vikings that lets me play an actual shieldmaiden?! Did the world go under while I wasn't looking?

I have no idea why everyone making such a big deal out of this, but Fatshark made it possible to play as a woman in War of the Roses, even though (realistically) she uses the same meshes as the men. So yeah, it's not really anything new at all for this company.

Although it makes me wonder what kind of ugly faces are available this time around...

"basing the look on historical notions. Vikings traditionally made no distinction between men and women warriors, training whoever had an aptitude for warfare no matter their gender."

This is what game journalists actually believe.

Reality check:

http://www.bbc.co.uk/history/ancient/vikings/women_01.shtml

http://www.hurstwic.org/history/articles/society/text/women.htm

.... and it only took only five posts for some guy to claim that the possibility to play as your own gender is irrelevant, and I'm sure it won't be long before the next guy to complain that it is not historically accurate and therefore supposedly bad even though the game most certainly is not 100% historically accurate in many other ways as well.

Zombine3D:

And? So what? Am I supposed to feel what? This is irrelevant. If the game went for historical accuracy - awesome, if not but is still fun (and maybe arkady) also great.
Either way articles like these ARE the cause of your 'sexism/rasism/classism/nationalism'. Just accept the world for what it is - shit.
No difference between us all - we are the all singing, all dancing crap of the world, part of the same composte heap.

Shit man, be careful with how edgy you are, you're going to cut someone on that.

But seriously if you think this article is bad that's fine but you don't need to go on a big old rant about how much the world and everyone in it sucks and you definitely don't need to quote me when you do it, I've seen enough people have rants about this sort of stuff.

Female warriors where a thing in viking society.

Female warriors appear in a game about vikings.

All is right with the world.

Meh, geee we have female models in our game...

When did that actually becomea selling point... no seriously Unreal 1 had female models in it and more that any player could mod in.. Heck Duke3d Had them...

Are games really that easy to impress these days. I mean even the games that didn't come with a female model usually had one spring up with in a month tops on the community forums. Honestly have gamer standards fallen so low that it's become *that* easy to appeal to?

I mean come on. I'd have been more impressed if they actually had the balls to include differing play mechanics but this is nothing worth even a news article.

BigTuk:
Meh, geee we have female models in our game...

When did that actually becomea selling point... no seriously Unreal 1 had female models in it and more that any player could mod in.. Heck Duke3d Had them...

Are games really that easy to impress these days. I mean even the games that didn't come with a female model usually had one spring up with in a month tops on the community forums. Honestly have gamer standards fallen so low that it's become *that* easy to appeal to?

I mean come on. I'd have been more impressed if they actually had the balls to include differing play mechanics but this is nothing worth even a news article.

Unreal Tournament also had about a hundred or so more maps than your average modern shooter without the need to buy any map packs. Standards have slipped indeed.

But women are a hot topic right now, and women that aren't wearing bikini-armor are actually a pretty rare commodity as well.

CloudAtlas:
.... and it only took only five posts for some guy to claim that the possibility to play as your own gender is irrelevant, and I'm sure it won't be long before the next guy to complain that it is not historically accurate and therefore supposedly bad even though the game most certainly is not 100% historically accurate in many other ways as well.

What, not 100% (0%) accurate? Didn't you see how they're "basing the look on historical notions. Vikings traditionally made no distinction between men and women warriors, training whoever had an aptitude for warfare no matter their gender."

There were no "female Vikings". And no, the valkyries were not real. They were what Sarkeesian-type feminists today call a 'fighting fucktoy' fantasy.

In the sagas the women sometimes take active roles in wars by being witches (casting curses and stuff). Whenever the good guys capture one, they do Very Bad Things to them (no easy deaths). Probably most famous: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Skuld_(princess)

In general (link depository and summaries): http://thevikingworld.pbworks.com/w/page/3931551/Real%20Women%20of%20the%20Viking%20Age

ShirowShirow:

BigTuk:
Meh, geee we have female models in our game...

When did that actually becomea selling point... no seriously Unreal 1 had female models in it and more that any player could mod in.. Heck Duke3d Had them...

Are games really that easy to impress these days. I mean even the games that didn't come with a female model usually had one spring up with in a month tops on the community forums. Honestly have gamer standards fallen so low that it's become *that* easy to appeal to?

I mean come on. I'd have been more impressed if they actually had the balls to include differing play mechanics but this is nothing worth even a news article.

Unreal Tournament also had about a hundred or so more maps than your average modern shooter without the need to buy any map packs. Standards have slipped indeed.

But women are a hot topic right now, and women that aren't wearing bikini-armor are actually a pretty rare commodity as well.

Which is exactly what I'm saying, developers have gotten lazy and we're rewarding their laziness. I'm sorry but I really think this is a non news article. That's like a dev expecting us to be wowed that their game uses more than 256 colours. I've also never had a problem with bikini armour on women, it goes well with the battle loincloths worn by men in some games.

BigTuk:

ShirowShirow:

BigTuk:
Meh, geee we have female models in our game...

When did that actually becomea selling point... no seriously Unreal 1 had female models in it and more that any player could mod in.. Heck Duke3d Had them...

Are games really that easy to impress these days. I mean even the games that didn't come with a female model usually had one spring up with in a month tops on the community forums. Honestly have gamer standards fallen so low that it's become *that* easy to appeal to?

I mean come on. I'd have been more impressed if they actually had the balls to include differing play mechanics but this is nothing worth even a news article.

Unreal Tournament also had about a hundred or so more maps than your average modern shooter without the need to buy any map packs. Standards have slipped indeed.

But women are a hot topic right now, and women that aren't wearing bikini-armor are actually a pretty rare commodity as well.

Which is exactly what I'm saying, developers have gotten lazy and we're rewarding their laziness. I'm sorry but I really think this is a non news article. That's like a dev expecting us to be wowed that their game uses more than 256 colours. I've also never had a problem with bikini armour on women, it goes well with the battle loincloths worn by men in some games.

Pretty much. I'm not taking away from what the dev's doing, because less bikini armour is probably a good thing (I don't intrinsically object to it, but I'd rather it was the exception to the rule in stylised games mirrored by a similar male design than the rule itself), but I think more generally, putting women in games needs, as much as possible, to be the rule, rather than the norm. And a way to achieve that is making putting women into your game seem like something normal and natural and unworthy of comment, while highlighting which games don't make any effort.

Blunderboy:
Awesome looking game.
But 'creaming Archer!'?

*snigger*

Wow, that was quite typo ... Fixed.

Greg

Why can a developer not ANNOUNCE that women playable characters are going to be in their game without people clawing at each other over it?

Because of sexism.

Although really I assume that question was rhetorical.

Don't see how this really matters at all. It isn't historically accurate, but I doubt a good majority of the game is.

Either way it won't injure the game at all. Won't change my plan to buy it.

"Vikings traditionally made no distinction between men and women warriors, training whoever had an aptitude for warfare no matter their gender."

Really? Is there a source for this, because I don't think that's actually true at all. Vikings are generally thought to have had very separate roles for men and women. As far as I'm aware, female Viking warriors only really appear in folklore and legends.

Don't get me wrong here, I have nothing against a game throwing historical accuracy out the window in the name of diversity or whatever else, but you don't get to have your cake and eat it too. Blatantly throwing misinformation out there to trick people into thinking a game is historical is a kind of shitty thing to do in my opinion. (Assuming it is misinformation of course, I'm fully prepared to take that back if it turns out to be true, but I don't think it is)

Lunncal:
"Vikings traditionally made no distinction between men and women warriors, training whoever had an aptitude for warfare no matter their gender."

Really? Is there a source for this, because I don't think that's actually true at all. Vikings are generally thought to have had very separate roles for men and women. As far as I'm aware, female Viking warriors only really appear in folklore and legends.

Don't get me wrong here, I have nothing against a game throwing historical accuracy out the window in the name of diversity or whatever else, but you don't get to have your cake and eat it too. Blatantly throwing misinformation out there to trick people into thinking a game is historical is a kind of shitty thing to do in my opinion. (Assuming it is misinformation of course, I'm fully prepared to take that back if it turns out to be true, but I don't think it is)

It is. There's about as much as truth in it as in the Russian modern legend of "White Tights" and "female snipers" in general (Russians brutally raped and murdered many Chechen women for being "female snipers" that didn't exist, things like http://pipss.revues.org/3840 or http://articles.latimes.com/2000/sep/17/news/mn-22524 etc, "We just tore her apart with two armored personnel carriers, having tied her ankles with steel cables. There was a lot of blood, but the boys needed it." - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MWq-j36X9K4 if you want a helpful video game based visualisation of how "the boys" like to roll there).

Shieldmaidens? SHIELDMAIDENS?!

"multiplayer only"

aw... Oh well, twas too good to be true.

CAPTCHA: is it hot?
Why yes captcha, yes they are. Women dressed is real armor and wielding weapons. *drools*

Sonichu:

Lunncal:
"Vikings traditionally made no distinction between men and women warriors, training whoever had an aptitude for warfare no matter their gender."

Really? Is there a source for this, because I don't think that's actually true at all. Vikings are generally thought to have had very separate roles for men and women. As far as I'm aware, female Viking warriors only really appear in folklore and legends.

Don't get me wrong here, I have nothing against a game throwing historical accuracy out the window in the name of diversity or whatever else, but you don't get to have your cake and eat it too. Blatantly throwing misinformation out there to trick people into thinking a game is historical is a kind of shitty thing to do in my opinion. (Assuming it is misinformation of course, I'm fully prepared to take that back if it turns out to be true, but I don't think it is)

It isn't. There's about as much as truth in it as in the Russian modern legend of... "female snipers" in general

Uh... What.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Snipers_of_the_Soviet_Union

Female Russian snipers were a "legend"? News to military historians!

Sonichu:

It isn't. There's about as much as truth in it as in the Russian modern legend of "White Tights" and "female snipers" in general (Russians brutally raped and murdered many Chechen women for being "female snipers" that didn't exist, things like http://pipss.revues.org/3840 or http://articles.latimes.com/2000/sep/17/news/mn-22524 etc, "We just tore her apart with two armored personnel carriers, having tied her ankles with steel cables. There was a lot of blood, but the boys needed it." - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MWq-j36X9K4 if you want a helpful video game based visualisation of how "the boys" like to roll there).

So what does the war in Chechnya have to do with this?

And are you sure the "legend" of female snipers isn't based on WWII, where the Soviet Union DID enlist females in the army as sharpshooters? (Plenty of pictures on the internet to prove it, I might add)

Well, this makes me about 1000 times more interested in the game. Treating them the same as the men is undoubtedly an exaggeration but there is historical evidence (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shieldmaiden#cite_note-Harrison-2) of Viking women involved in battles. Good to see this.

Ariseishirou:

Sonichu:

Lunncal:
"Vikings traditionally made no distinction between men and women warriors, training whoever had an aptitude for warfare no matter their gender."

Really? Is there a source for this, because I don't think that's actually true at all. Vikings are generally thought to have had very separate roles for men and women. As far as I'm aware, female Viking warriors only really appear in folklore and legends.

Don't get me wrong here, I have nothing against a game throwing historical accuracy out the window in the name of diversity or whatever else, but you don't get to have your cake and eat it too. Blatantly throwing misinformation out there to trick people into thinking a game is historical is a kind of shitty thing to do in my opinion. (Assuming it is misinformation of course, I'm fully prepared to take that back if it turns out to be true, but I don't think it is)

It isn't. There's about as much as truth in it as in the Russian modern legend of... "female snipers" in general

Uh... What.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Snipers_of_the_Soviet_Union

Female Russian snipers were a "legend"? News to military historians!

Largely a Soviet propaganda myth (althrough the Soviets admittedly had several thousand women in various combat roles, by far the most of all WWII participants, and also hundreds of thousands as drivers, nurses, cooks, concentration camp guards and so on), and by "White Tights" I meant the "White Tights", not anything WWII (and by "Russian" I meant "Russian"). http://militaryhistorynow.com/2013/09/04/meet-the-white-tights-the-mythical-spandex-bombshells-of-the-chechen-war/

Basically they believed they were being hunted by Sniper Wolfs, and this contributed to their rape, torture, and brutal executions of many civilian "suspects" and actual female rebels, who were usually just cooks and/or nurses. And sometimes footsoldiers but on every photo and every film I've seen female fighters they had just assault rifles (unscoped), like that: http://militaryhistorynow.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/09/cover-1.jpg

Sonichu:

Ariseishirou:

Sonichu:

It isn't. There's about as much as truth in it as in the Russian modern legend of... "female snipers" in general

Uh... What.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Snipers_of_the_Soviet_Union

Female Russian snipers were a "legend"? News to military historians!

Largely a Soviet propaganda myth

No, no they weren't. http://www.snipercentral.com/snipers.htm

Lunncal:
althrough the Soviets admittedly had several thousand women in various combat roles

But you know that.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Night_Witches
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Soviet_women_in_World_War_II

Ariseishirou:

Sonichu:

Ariseishirou:

Uh... What.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Snipers_of_the_Soviet_Union

Female Russian snipers were a "legend"? News to military historians!

Largely a Soviet propaganda myth

No, no they weren't. http://www.snipercentral.com/snipers.htm

Lunncal:
althrough the Soviets admittedly had several thousand women in various combat roles

But you know that.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Night_Witches
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Soviet_women_in_World_War_II

Believe me or not, I know a thing or two about military history of WWII, and Soviet propaganda.

But congratulations on misdirecting from the Russian modern legend of "White Tights" and "female snipers" in general through selective misquoting.

Sonichu:

Ariseishirou:

Sonichu:

Largely a Soviet propaganda myth

No, no they weren't. http://www.snipercentral.com/snipers.htm

Lunncal:
althrough the Soviets admittedly had several thousand women in various combat roles

But you know that.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Night_Witches
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Soviet_women_in_World_War_II

Believe me or not, I know a thing or two about military history of WWII, and Soviet propaganda.

Sure, random stranger on the internet, you probably know more than military historians on this subject.

Alright, so they're adding this because of historical accuracy? Not because they can get a massive PR boost from lazy games journalists who want to jump on the next "Look, Equality!" Karma train and don't bother to ask questions?

That'd be good if Vikings treated women as equals, but they didn't. In Viking society a woman's place was at home keeping the fires lit, the farm active, and the children alive. The closest women ever got to Viking battle was as they were raped and killed. Which would certainly make for an interesting MP experience, but I can't imagine that being the intended gameplay.
I should point out that there are a few sketchy reports of female Vikings taking up arms to defend their homes after other defences had fallen, but they are never recorded as being on front lines.

And the Saxons? They went out of their way to order their society so that men did all the heavy lifting jobs like Ox herding/construction/war while women did the other things like midwife/entertainers(singing, acting, barmaid)/Baker. So why would they let women onto the field of battle when they didn't let women carry heavy stuff?
Again, it's noted that some Saxon women were buried with weapons, but the meaning of that ritual is still unknown. As the type of weapon you wielded was matched by your class it could be totally unrelated to actual war fighting.

"We based the look of the Saxon females on characters like Arya from Game of Thrones," Van Dyke said.

Huh, I think that pretty much proves this move is as historically accurate as Blackadder.

Seriously, this is the kind of shit that needs to end. It's fine that they want to put female fighters in the game, but if they were really trying to make it historically accurate said fighters should attempt to save themselves only after all other defences are gone... And should end the match being sold into slavery, raped to death, or burned alive.To do anything else will lead to people believing this shit and general knowledge will stray further from the truth. (Or they could admit this is all just fantasy in the name of 'equality' and save the time.)

Well they were only really involved when all other options went our the window, so they would be in the same war gear and you wouldn't know the difference.
Bottom line it doesn't matter either way, apart from appeasing political rights groups and getting into news articles for free publicity.

Now if they could just include some the choice of race and perhaps sexual orientation...

SimpleThunda':

Sonichu:

It isn't. There's about as much as truth in it as in the Russian modern legend of "White Tights" and "female snipers" in general (Russians brutally raped and murdered many Chechen women for being "female snipers" that didn't exist, things like http://pipss.revues.org/3840 or http://articles.latimes.com/2000/sep/17/news/mn-22524 etc, "We just tore her apart with two armored personnel carriers, having tied her ankles with steel cables. There was a lot of blood, but the boys needed it." - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MWq-j36X9K4 if you want a helpful video game based visualisation of how "the boys" like to roll there).

So what does the war in Chechnya have to do with this?

And are you sure the "legend" of female snipers isn't based on WWII, where the Soviet Union DID enlist females in the army as sharpshooters? (Plenty of pictures on the internet to prove it, I might add)

Being another myth, one actually believed by Russians (with some really horrific consequences for real women).

The Soviets had hundreds of thousands (over 2 million in all, afair) of female soldiers and security troops, but almost all were in non-combat roles. The few Soviet female combatants were celebrated in propaganda (including sending some on a tour to the West), but the surviving ones became de-facto pariahs of Soviet society and often were most often unable to marry unless they hid their wartime past, and that was due to actual misogyny (a widespread fear of them and a belief they're no longer even women, as this was so abnormal), especially since there were so many more young women than young men after the war (because millions more men died, precisely). No happy end in this story. Oh, and you can guess what happened to a female sniper if captured by the enemy, and why. (By now it should be an easy guess.)

Anyway, a more modern example of "progressive" leftist propaganda regarding the subject matter, being confronted with reality: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PLxniHLkMM0

Sonichu:
And no, the valkyries were not real.

So who brought the vikings that died in battle to Valhalla?

From the article: "As for the female character models, I was excited to see that their armor didn't have nipples."
If there's one thing Batman&Robin thought us it's that men can have nipples on their armor as well.

On-topic: Sure why not use female models as well. I agree with BigTuk and think it's kind of sad that this is not a standard.

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