Jotun is a hand-drawn action exploration game set in Norse mythological purgatory. In Jotun you play Thora, a Viking warrior who died an inglorious death and must prove herself to the Gods to enter Valhalla.
The world of Jotun is as vast as the eyes can see, with each level laid out with personality and life bursting at the seams. Your mission is to enter the void and impress the Gods. Along the way, you will encounter creatures that are larger than life and want to smack you around.
You play as the fallen Viking warrior Thora as she recalls her past life and the mythology surrounding her culture. Your weapons are a double-headed ax and powers granted to you from the gods ready for the trials ahead. The combat is at times slow but other times it’s deadly; it’s a great mixture of fast and slow when taking on the Jotun or just avoiding the massive creatures while exploring the different levels. Thora’s movement is precise when on solid ground. She may be slow but powerful when swinging her ax.
When facing a Jotun for the first time (and trust me when I say this you’re going to be facing a Jotun more than once), it’s your job to figure out the attack pattern and try your best to avoid them. Strike when the moment is right. Even with that knowledge you will get your ass handed to you multiple times. There is no hand holding. Very little is explained as far as your move sets or how to navigate the environment. There is a map you can reference for your location on a level but there is no indication of where you are located unless you find a rune or a tree that extends your life. All that aside the game isn’t hard to pick up and once you figure out how to move, fight and navigate the rest is just up to your skills.
Now I’m a gamer that usually turns off in-game music because I don’t find the music enjoyable and repetitive. But the soundtrack adds an extra layer of life and atmosphere. The music is a definite highlight when it comes to boss fights and even just running around looking for hidden passages to find treasure. The best part is the good folks at Thunder Lotus has provided the soundtrack at a promotional rate on Stream which ends October 6th.
This hand-drawn game is a feast for the eyes, from the vast lands down to the resting animation of Thora. There is just a sense of story and culture in every line, rock, tree and monster. With the massive scale of your foes it gives you a feeling of “Oh shit how am I supposed to fight that?” or at some points the camera will pull back show you other levels and you are like “Whoaaaaaaaa! I wanna go there” and you do. Exploration is a joy and never gets boring along with environmental effects that can either kill you or aid in your quest. From poisonous swamps to dodging lighting the look of this game never fails to disappoint.
I’m in love with Jotun and that’s saying a lot. It’s steeped in Norse mythology which I don’t know much about but I feel like I’ve learned a lot after playing this game. I’ve logged over 10 hours just making sure I didn’t miss a thing and even then I feel like there is more to discover. Jotun is one game this year that will be on my top 10 list.
Jotun is now available on Steam so get your copy and impress the gods.