Preview: Vikings of Thule Looks Like it Could be a Great Facebook RPG

vikingsNot too long ago, Everquest lead designer Ryan Barker said it would require the social integration of something like Facebook into an MMO to uproot the current top dog, World of Warcraft. Shortly after, social developer Gogogic released a preview of its first major title: A Facebook MMOG called Vikings of Thule that’s one of the best Facebook RPG’s we’ve seen.

In the past, Gogogic has been responsible for simple, yet highly polished, Flash based Facebook games such as Stack’em Sheep, The Attack on Glowbuleville, and Who’s Your Friend. Unfortunately, due the relatively short and often repetitive nature of these titles, the company never really found itself reaching the upper echelons of the Facebook gaming charts. However, Vikings of Thule could be a game capable of changing that.

vikingsmapOn first impression, it looks to be a significantly more advanced rendition of Mafia Wars style RPGs. The overall objective of the game is to become one of 39 “authorities” that rule the land. In order to do this you seem to travel about earning the respect of your followers (like a “mob” of sorts) and garner strength through items, land, and – of course – battle.

The game includes strategic elements of group management as you convert followers into peasants, huskarls, jarls, and beserkers. What these do specifically, we do not know, but we can tell you that the beserkers along with your horde of mythological Iceland creatures (i.e. wights) are used in a very interesting, tactical, battle system.

vikingsbattleBattling looks a lot like a card-based dueling system as you chose where to move on a virtual battlefield grid and attack using a selection of abilities that can only strike in specific directions. Just as chess pieces may only attack certain ways, these card abilities seem to work in the same fashion.

As always with Gogogic games, the presentation is high quality, as over 50 of these moves and abilities are animated and not just text based. As a matter of fact, the game looks quite nice for a Facebook title and it is likely to be improved before its final release. Furthermore, the eye candy presented by the games company is further embellished with the boasts of highly customizable avatars that currently have over 100 different weapons, armors, and clothing to choose from. In fact, Gogogic has just recently launched a public test for its avatar customization that allows users to make a male Viking using a handful of items in a paper-doll type style.

Vikings of Thule is definitely a title to keep an eye on, and is likely to be quite a fun game once it is released. Though it is not probable to be the future Facebook MMO that Barker predicts, it is a step in the right direction. Currently the the company is setting up for open beta testing and will be looking for people to give the title a spin and share their opinions, so keep an eye out (likely, September). Vikings of Thule is slated to be released sometime this fall.