I was really interested in Fimbul when I first saw details about the game. Screenshots made it look like an interesting, Nordic inspired, action-packed experience. Now that I’ve gotten the chance to play it, I can honestly say that that’s not what this game is.

White Winter

Fimbul is a 3D Action Adventure game developed by Z-Axis, and published by Wild River Games. You play as Kveldulver, a danish warrior who is killed in cold blood by his brother. Kveldulver is brought back to life to finish his quest to obtain an artifact that could save the land of Midgard.

The story is one of the more entertaining parts of Fimbul. It’s told in a comic book novel sort of way. It’s somewhat interesting, and gives some reason for your journey. Comparing it to other game’s story, it’s pretty mediocre, but so are most of the game’s other elements.

Cold Combat

Fimbul plays a bit like a hack and slash. You have a light attack for combos, and a heavy attack for breaking enemie’s defense. You can also defend yourself be it with your weapon, or your shield, if you have one. Enemies will drop weapons too, and you’re able to pick them up and use them.

You also have a combo gauge at the top of your screen, that fills up when you successfully land attacks. The more successful attacks, the more you fill it up. Once your meter is filled, you can use your special skills. These range from calling down a big banner to heal you, or a straight up execution. If you get hit, you’ll lose points in your combo gauge. You’ll always have to be careful to use your skills, before you’re about to get swarmed by angry warriors.

Most of your fighting will take place against generic warriors. Occasionally, you will have the chance to fight a “boss” or somewhat stronger unit. The variety in battles leaves a lot to be desired. There are battles against trolls, but even those start to feel pretty boring. Their attacks are pretty easy to dodge, and then all you do is wail on them. In a game that’s based around its combat, I wish the battles would have felt less tedious.

Overall, the combat is mediocre at best. It’s redundant, and doesn’t require much thought, besides mashing a few buttons. It also feels as though there’s a constant input lag when doing attacks, and trying to chain them together. Nothing really flows very well together. There’s some satisfaction (maybe the first few times) but after that, it’s replaced with monotony.

It’s important to note that Fimbul does have a stealth section at the beginning of the game. It doesn’t last long, and really doesn’t add anything to the game. Maybe if they started injecting these throughout the game, they could have added some variety. However, because they opted to start with one, it really did nothing for the experience as a whole.

Nordic World

Fimbul’s presentation is what originally had me interested in the game. I liked the comic book style that it was going for, but after witnessing it, I’m less excited about it.

The art style does look unique, but it fails on execution. Environments are all very similar, and don’t do well to make themselves look unique. There are objects in the environment, but they don’t add much for character.

Although the art design is cool, it looks really blurry. The enemie’s features lack character, are barely visible, and only really get any visible differences during the comicbook style cutscenes. And even these cutscenes are pretty mediocre looking comic strips.

The soundtrack for Fimbul is just alright. It fit decently with the game, and I had no problems with it.

I wanted so much more out of Fimbul’s presentation, but I was left severely disappointed. While the comic book art style will resonate with some, the way it’s presented is severely underwhelming.

Messy Technical Storm

Really, if Fimbul managed to work perfectly on the Switch, this would be a pretty average game. However, it’s plethora of technical faults make Fimbul even more dissaponting than it already was.There are a ton of problems with Fimbul, from the frame rate, down to the game’s camera angles.

Fimbul has significant frame rate issues on the Switch, whether you’re in handheld or docked mode. Not enough to be game breaking, but very frustrating, because it happens a lot during big fights. Lots of enemies on the screen makes for a cipplingly slow fight.

The game’s camera is just not good, because it doesn’t always move with you. You can go really far, and barely be able to see your character, before the camera moves it’s angle to accommodate you. It makes everything hard to see, and makes it hard to maneuver around the environment

Fimbul is really a technical mess on the Switch, and it only further adds to its mediocrity.

Conclusion

At the end of my playthrough of Fimbul, I’m really just left with disappointment. There were so many ideas that could have became something great, if they were just fleshed out more.

Everything in Fimbul is just mediocre, and when you add on the countless technical issues, it’s hard to recommend it to anyone. The price tag on Fimbul is way too high, and I could possibly(?) recommend it on a 75% or higher discount.

Your mileage with the story may vary, and if you can get through its technical shortcomings, there might be some fun to be had. Unfortunately for me, Fimbul will go down as one of the most disappointing games of 2019. Fimbul is available for $29.99 on the NA eShop.

4/10 Bad 3D Action Adventure

An Interesting Idea Ruined By Technical Issues & Sloppy Combat

Pros

  • Story May Interest Some
  • Combat Provides A Bit of Enjoyment At First

Cons

  • Constant Frame Rate Issues
  • Graphics Are Blurry
  • Combat Is Sloppy
  • Not Much Enemy Diversification
  • Stealth Segment Is Poorly Done
  • World Lacks Character
  • Becomes Repetitive Very Fast
  • Too Short On Content To Warrant The Price tag

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