War of the Vikings announced, Fatshark's Norse follow-up to War of the Roses

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Paradox have announced War of the Vikings, an angrier, beardier standalone spin-off to Fatshark's War of the Roses . Vikings will also be a multiplayer battler, and will cast players as warring Norse and Saxon fighters. Set in the 9th and 10th Century, you'll fight to conquer or defend England through a variety of game modes, many of which will likely involve chopping up an unkempt man through the face and limbs.

Fatshark promise that weapons and environments will be historically accurate. Good thing, too. There's nothing worse than splitting an enemy's head with an anachronistic axe. As well as the main 64-player battles, the game will feature a "Pitched Arena" mode, with 32 fighters and no respawning, and training ground to let players test out the new builds. Players will also be able to customise the role within a squad, using custom perks. And, most importantly, "a variety of beard options" have been confirmed.

Alpha sign-ups are being taken through the War of the Vikings website . If you invite your own mini-horde of five friends, you'll be guaranteed access come the beginning of the trials.

War of the Vikings is due out early next year. As yet, Brian Blessed has not been confirmed .

Here are some screenshots:

Phil Savage

Phil has been writing for PC Gamer for nearly a decade, starting out as a freelance writer covering everything from free games to MMOs. He eventually joined full-time as a news writer, before moving to the magazine to review immersive sims, RPGs and Hitman games. Now he leads PC Gamer's UK team, but still sometimes finds the time to write about his ongoing obsessions with Destiny 2, GTA Online and Apex Legends. When he's not levelling up battle passes, he's checking out the latest tactics game or dipping back into Guild Wars 2. He's largely responsible for the whole Tub Geralt thing, but still isn't sorry.