Die With Glory tells a few tall tales of a Viking who just never got his chance to ascend to the prestigious halls of Valhalla – and stay there. Your job is to help him, and that means you need to get him killed again and again and again.
After playing Assassin’s Creed Valhalla off-and-on since its release back in November 2020, I’ve been keeping an eye out for anything and everything Viking, especially in games. Sadly, there aren’t all that many Viking-themed video games around, at least on consoles. There is the excellent Norsemen on Netflix, though, and I wholly recommend it. Just, erm, not for younger viewers. It’s a bit rude.
Die With Glory is a Viking-themed game, but you won’t be hacking and slashing at anybody’s limbs. You won’t be hacking and slashing at all, actually, because Die With Glory is a point-and-click adventure following the epic tales of Sigurd the Viking, a liar of massive proportions. He’s a fibber for sure, and that’s where the game’s non-linear storytelling comes from.
Die With Glory doesn’t tell a cohesive story, at least not in a traditional sense. Sigurd is not a very reliable narrator and this is shown during the level selections in the Hack and Slash tavern where our mighty fibber tells his tall tales.
Each level begins with Sigurd at the bar and you’re given a few choices to make that influence the way that particular level will play out. So, if you say that somebody dies during that level, you need to make sure that they do kick the bucket. Likewise, if they don’t die, you need to ensure their survival. And, if Sigurd says he did something, it’s your job to guide him to that action, for better or for worse.
This opens the levels up to repeated playthroughs because depending on what choices you make, the levels will play out differently. The gameplay doesn’t change drastically, mind you, but the story does. I liked this and I liked the story as a whole – it’s funny, well written, and genuinely charming. Sigurd’s best mate is a floating dead skull and he’s always got a biting quip for any situation, but he also serves as a hint-giver should you become stuck. And stuck you will become, because this is a point-and-click puzzle game with a few platforming moments, though they’re nothing to write home about. Or write here about, I should say.
Your task within each level is to complete three objectives and they’re usually in the order of finding a weapon to fight with, finding an opponent who will do battle with you, and then dying at their hands, sending Sigurd up to drink, eat, and be Viking with his mates at Odin’s table. But, obviously, he never makes it there on a permanent basis, but he’s not letting that stop him from trying. Expect to die lots of in Die With Glory, sometimes in a humorous fashion, other times by way of the game’s occasionally frustrating controls.
Moving Sigurd around is quite simple. You can either use the left stick and walk him through the gorgeous cartoon worlds, or you can use the on-screen prompts – a carryover from the game’s mobile origins. Yeah, it’s a port of a mobile game, but don’t let that become a mental barrier because it’s really well done for what it is, and it’s fairly cheap. So cheap, in fact, I played halfway through on the Switch code our channel received, and then put down the £5 for the PS4 version. I don’t feel hard done by – I’m getting the best of both worlds. But… perhaps my impulse buy was a little too optimistic.
Die With Glory isn’t a very long game and I was done within just three-and-a-half-hours. But, for a fiver, you can’t really complain. But the game ends with the suggestion that Sigurd’s story continues and now I’m left with the conundrum of whether I should buy the eventual sequel – assuming there is one – on PS4 or Switch? If it’s priced right, I’ll probably get both, because I loved taking Sigurd through the motions and getting him killed over and over again.
What I didn’t like were the platforming sections. The controls work fine, mostly, but when it comes to platforming, it’s a pain in the arse. Using the on-screen prompts to move Sigurd from platform to platform annoyed me massively, and I may have let out a few choice swears after falling into the water for the tenth bloody time.
But everything else? Damn good, and I’m man enough to see past the obvious flaws that are inherited from the game’s mobile origins. It’s a short but sweet adventure and it calls back to the days of Monkey Island. So if you’re old enough to know what Monkey Island is, you’ll probably get a few kicks out of this one.
Die With Glory PS5, PS4 Review
Overall - Fantastic - 8/10
Die With Glory is witting, charming, and gorgeous to look at – it’s also good fun to play, too. The only real letdown is the controls which can be a bit of a headache. Mostly, though, this is a fun point-and-click adventure that’s over just a little too soon. Apparently, Sigurd’s story continues, but when?
- Brilliant cartoon graphics
- Sharp writing with lots of witty, dark humour
- The branching stories work well
- Controls can be hit-and-miss, especially when it comes to some of the platforming
- I wouldn’t have minded a bit more time, but that’s me being greedy
Review Disclaimer: This review was carried out using a code provided by the publisher. For more information, please read our Review Policy.
Primary version tested: PS4. Reviewed using: PS5, PS4.