Review of Source mod – Pirates, Vikings and Knights II
I love mustard, onions and the occasional avocado. Today I tried to mix these three ingredients, but to my dismay, the result was devastating. Not only did it taste like a piece of cardboard; it emitted a smell even worse than a toilet during an Iron Maiden-concert.
I did learn something, however. Just because three things are built out of pure win, combining them doesn’t always lead to a good result. With that in mind I was rather skeptical about Pirates, Vikings & Knights II. The game is a Source-mod and tries to infuse three different – and in their own way, totally rad – cultures while at the same time keeping an identity of its own.
Three factions, seven classes
PVKII has a fairly simple premise: you pick one class and start beating up the opponent. There are seven classes at your disposal divided between three factions – Pirates, Vikings and Knights. With blatantly different set-ups, no class even resembles the other. For instance the archer wields a bow, while the captain uses both parrots and shotguns.
Dodge, block and strike
In turn, this results in an action-fest where no session is a mere repetition of previous battles. Throw in an entertaining fighting system and you have one of the better mods out there. The combat itself is based around the normal FPS-view, but a few extra elements have been added.
Both blocking and attacks are based on directions, meaning that if you go to the left and press attack, you do a left-swing. If the opponent counters this with a left-side block, the damage is reduced to almost nothing.
To shake things up even more, every class has their own special abilities. For every successful hit you make, a bar charges up. When the bar has reached its maximum limit you’re left with the choice of activating the ability – and possibly killing every damn thing in a close proximity. The pirate, for instance, gets the ability to lunge forward dealing massive damage to anyone in its way. Some abilities are less direct, but they all have one thing in common: You never want to see an opponent activate them.
Different game modes
PVKII comes in many different flavors, with maps taking place on both islands and deserts. There are a number of game modes available, though both Holy Grail and Booty shine the brightest. In booty, six chests are placed somewhere on the map. A goose chase then takes place, where every team tries to snag chests – or booties – and bring them back to their headquarters.
Whenever a chest is placed in the headquarters, a timer starts ticking. Every team has their own timer and the more chests in control, the faster it ticks. In the end, one team will eventually win by reaching 0.
Holy Grail has a similar concept, but instead of chests each team needs to find a holy grail. The map only has one grail, so the factions are competing over the same item. If you’re more of a conservative player, there are modes for you too – classics such as death match and King of the Hill is a given thing in PVKII.
One of the best Source-mods
In the end, PVKII is one of the most thought-out Source-mods available. It has been developed over the course of four years and as a result, its both polished and utterly beautiful. The graphic utilizes everything that the Source-engine has to offer and new classes are constantly added.
And you know what the best part is? PVKII is completely free. The only thing you need is a Source-game, but I assume that most people own either L4D, TF2, CSS or HL2 these days.