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Valhall, the viking battle royale, shows off its magic hammer

I'm sure the vikings lived rich, full lives, but in Valhall they're once again engaging in the pastime we're most interested in: beating the crap out of people. It's a first and third-person battle royale between 50 angry vikings, each of them hoping to snatch the sword of Odin and stop the apocalypse. No, they can't just work together. That would be ridiculous. 

The latest glimpse of gameplay gives us a look at Mjolnir, Thor's fancy flying hammer, which you'll be able to fight over in the Wield Mjolnir game mode. It looks like the thunder god has lost his hammer, so he's tasked players with returning it, which of course means they'll need to murder each other first. 

If you get your hands on the hammer, you'll need to fight off all the other players, who will have to rely on good old fashioned punches and kicks to take you out, while you get to fling Mjolnir around and take out your viking pals before they reach you.

Valhall is coming to Steam Early Access, but ahead of that developer Blackrose Arts has been hosting some closed tests, most recently of the Wield Mjolnir mode. The game's in alpha at the moment, but when it hits beta, backers will be able to check out the battle royale and siege modes, too, after which it will be available on Steam. 

The developer emphasises that it's not just a battle royale, though a large-scale brawl between vikings alone still sounds pretty appealing. Vikings will duke it out on the eternal battlefield, which is split into four parts, each of them a different world with its own season and weather. In the middle of the map is a big arena, presumably where the last battle will take place, once the rest of the world has crumbled away. 

It sounds a bit familiar, then, but I've got a giant soft spot for melee brawls, and it looks like Blackrose Arts is giving a lot of attention to its skill-based combat system. You can get a better idea of system from the siege trailer from April, below, which also breaks down how combat works. 

There's no Early Access release date yet, but it's apparently coming soon.

Fraser is the sole inhabitant of PC Gamer's mythical Scottish office, conveniently located in his flat. He spends most of his time wrangling the news, but sometimes he sneaks off to write lots of words about strategy games.