If you look at Jotun, it feels like the bleakness of man that can also be found in games such as Shadow of the Colossus but with a Nordic fashion. Then, sprinkle in a difficulty that can be seen akin to games such as Dark Souls, and you will be immersed in a game with a malevolent sense of challenge. But it’s not over; now, think about those aforementioned games then mix ins a hand-drawn style similar to that of Dragon’s Lair, then you get Jotun.
Jotun is Fun, Cartoony, and Difficult
For many, Jotun is the perfect storybook. It is a game that seems to be ripped from a Viking child’s imagination as they are being told about the wars between warriors and their Nordic gods. The videogame presents a wild and vibrant story, similar to the ones that you were being told when you were a kid. But this is no fairy tale, as the game presents a story filled with fire and verve, even when its story feels stark and lonely.
In the Jotun game, it tells the story of Thora (and that’s not the female version of the Norse god of Thunder). She is a Viking shield maiden who falls from her boat during a voyage and then drowns. In this game, you start off by dying. Now, if you know your Norse mythology, then you’ll know that passage to Valhalla will only be granted for those who have died majestically in battle. In Thora’s case, she did not.
However, the gods offered her the chance in earning her way to get into the golden halls by finding and killing the Jotun, which are the titans in Norse mythology. While playing through the game, the gods will assist you in granting your character several power ups as you are able to find shrines to pay your respects. If you don’t, well, you do have your trusty axe (which won’t do you much).
Each new piece found in the game’s story has the ability of doing well, even on its own. The story is found to be riddled with neglect, sibling jealousy, and even tragedy.
Gameplay is 16-bit levels of simple, and that is a compliment. Simple to pick-up-and-play, but presents a good range of difficulty to keep you on your toes at all times. All of these elements come together in a cartoon-like appearance, which is pleasing to the eyes despite the tragic storyline.
Overall, Jotun is beautiful and does live up to a gamer’s needs of looking for a challenge. There are fantastic boss battles and most of them do require you to do more than just hack-and-slash.