Victor Vran Review – Monster Hunting Like a Pro
- Developer/Publisher: Haemimont Games/EuroVideo Medien
- Platforms: PC.
- Review copy provided by publisher.
Isometric ARPG’s are certainly an ever popular genre, never really dying out but instead being the genre of choice that even provides the basis for a lot of other great games. MOBA’s take a few key components and mix those up in ways that are innovative and pleasing.
Don't forget to bring your 'A' game, you'll need it.
Victor Vran also is an evolution of the isometric ARPG in ways that both surprising, and very refreshing. It’s not typical in any way, even though it might at first look like it. If you take the time to learn the intricacies of the controls, then it becomes a far more interactive experience than you might expect. It's more than meets the eye, and it can certainly be absolutely marvelous.
Who is Victor Vran? He is a hunter, but not just any sort of hunter, a hunter of monsters during a time when mythical creatures seem to be overrunning certain areas of the world. Victor is the best at what he does, a veritable champion of trapping those most legendary of beasts.
In Victor Vran, the game, he sets out on a journey to find his lost friend, Adrian, who was contracted to rid a city of monsters. He wasn’t the only one contacted to fight the evil horde overrunning the town, either, and now that all the mighty heroes have failed, it’s up to Victor Vran to save the day.
The atmosphere is dark, murky and full of mystery. The music is very much atmospheric and sets the stage beautifully. The graphics themselves lend to that overall feel with surprisingly detailed violence and an overall melancholy feel. The city is in ruins, completely overpowered by folkloric creatures, and the overall feel is decidedly there.
At first it does play like any isometric ARPG. You point and click where you want your hero to go, you click on the enemies to attack them and of course you can use abilities and magic to help clear the way even faster. But the similarities with Diablo, Torchlight, Balder’s Gate and the like end there. The action and combat is most assuredly hack and slash in nature, but it takes it to a new level for this genre. You might look at it and see a simplistic fighting mechanism, but you’d be terribly wrong making that assumption without taking the chance to enjoy it yourself. It’s addictive.
Rolling and moving about quickly, jumping over enemies and just trying your damndest to avoid the treacherous and rapid attacks is exhilarating, to say the least. The near hundreds of enemies that can appear on screen all want to kill you, but if you play your cards right and coordinate your movements correctly, you can avoid nearly all damage with some brilliant acrobatics. Despite my own trouble getting used to the controls, Victor Vran is easy to control to do some amazing things while destroying hundreds of enemies nearly simultaneously.
Jumping is actually a pretty big part of the game. You can set yourself up to jump off of walls to get to higher ground, for treasure or just to avoid getting killed. Jumping works well here, and even in combat it has a purpose, this can lead to many different XP increasing combos.
Weapons are gorgeously rendered, and while you don’t have ammo per-se, for the projectile weapons, they do have a cooldown to simulate reloading. And if it’s a one-handed weapon, you can have two equipped that you can switch on the fly. There are a variety of weapons here you can use, though not so many, unfortunately, that they are truly differentiated. Swords, scythes, rapiers, shotguns, hammers, all of those can provide different ways to dispatch enemies, but the there are really only so many different models to be shown. The weapons are limited. Weapons can also be upgraded when you level up.
You don't really follow the typical class archetypes of other RPG's. Instead it's all about the things you equip that give you different abilities and ways to kill those hordes. The great thing about that is that you can switch between how you play which gives it a remarkably dynamic feeling to it. The options you have are never set in stone.
So then, this isn't just the typical ARPG affair, but instead a great evolution that focuses on the action portion while still maintaining enough of an illusion to RPG elements to let it keep the title. The controls can be a bit clunky at first, with a surprising learning curve, though once a rhythm is found, it can be quite smooth. It's a fun game, regardless of the rehashed and very well used story-line. The story itself is there, but it's not the focus by any means. This game is fun for the ground-breaking and involving action. It's very addictive.
Victor Vran can be had on Steam for $19.99.