Here's the thing. I like Vikings. And two Viking-esque events reached me this week, inspiring a third.
First, archaeologists studying the remains of Viking fighters who invaded England back in the 800s, found that half the warriors were women. If you weren't already impressed by these wonderful, savage bastards, you ought to be now. It's not like equal opportunities have been the norm in military careers down the ages. Everyone fought.
Second, The History Channel is showing extended trailers of its outstanding drama series Vikings, which features the best and coolest cast of fighting characters (including women warriors) pretty much ever and is the best non-20th Century historical drama on TV. New (spoilery) details about the third season, and some new characters, due to air next year, have emerged.
It's sorta based on real history and proves that the Vikings were the greatest.
Third, I'm asking the world of video games, right now, for a bad-ass role-playing game based on Vikings, preferably featuring the likes of Ragnar Lothbrok, Lagertha, Floki and Athelstan. This is something the world of entertainment requires.
Those four characters are already pretty much RPG archetypes. I'm thinking something along the lines of The Witcher, with a bit of Assassin's Creed, thrown in.
Obviously, you get to play as a man or a woman (like, why wouldn't you play as Lagertha?) and there's no mystic rubbish about Gods or whatever. Just frightening iron weapons and plump monasteries waiting to be plundered.
Now, there have been video games about Vikings before. Viking: Battle for Asgard was a pretty standard hack-and slash affair of the last decade, focusing on Norse mythology. Rune also got tangled up with Odin and all that crowd. Your Viking is pretty much guaranteed to turn up in any historical strategy epics.
The Lost Vikings on SNES was a very decent cartoony platformer, but hardly historical fiction. Then there's How to Train Your Dragon, which features Vikings but, really, isn't for us serious connoisseurs of all things Norse. Most recently we had The Banner Saga, a delightful Viking-themed turn based strategy game.
The closest thing we have is Paradox's War of the Vikings, which you can buy on Steam. It's a third-person multiplayer combat simulation which gives us a sense of the loveliness of the weapons. armor and clothing of the era, without drawing too much of a narrative around the basic mechanic. Unfortunately, the game did not review particularly well.
So, this is my plea to the game industry, especially all you talented folk in Scandinavia (and surrounding, defeated nations) descended from those wild men and women. Please make an action adventure / RPG and base it on the TV show Vikings and make it as historically accurate as you are able. Thank-you.
Then, at last, we will feast and take to our longboats, welcoming death in the cold spray of the ocean and in the blood of our slain enemies. And all that.