Victor Vran PC Review
Publisher: EuroVideo Medien
Developer: Haemimont Games
Release date: 24/07/2015
Oh the shame of mispronouncing daftly named games. I lived in Bolton once. For those not familiar with Bolton, they speak a language that is seems very loosely related to English and the women of Bolton are completely undecipherable. So imagine my horror of walking into GAME Bolton branch and asking for Shenmue and pronouncing it Shenmoo! I was laughed out of store, chased down the street by these Northern folk as they shouted the correct pronunciation and called me names.
15 years later and that wound heals.. Then along Comes Victor Vran. ‘Let’s go play Victor Vran” (I pronounced it like Van) I squeaked to Ian! “It’s V-Ram” he replied. It’s a new scar, a new wound, perhaps another 15 years of shame.
Victor Vran plays well. It’s an action RPG in the vein of Diablo, but it has enough metal of it’s own in its arsenal to make it stand apart from the many other Diablo clones that are on the market. For myself, I found it more engaging than the Torchlight games that would be the closest comparison.
Victor Vran is completely controller enabled and is the first game of this ilk that I’ve played with a controller. Confession time, Diablo games method of ‘click-click-click mouse’ mechanics bore me if I’m honest, this is the first time I’ve really enjoyed myself completely. Myself and Ian (the reviewer of this piece I should hasten to add) played a co-op session and Twitch streamed, I kept on saying that the game felt nothing like a Diablo clone to me and I could hear the questioning surprise in his answers of ‘really?’
Playing on my own? Not so much fun if I’m honest. Victor Vran was still enjoyable, but it felt a bit dry solo. That could well be more of a me thing, some games feel completely right in a social setting and VV hit that spot for me. In saying that, the narrator does a good job of keeping you engaged and in company. There’s nothing wrong with VV, it does a good job at being what it is and has just enough personality of it’s own to make it seem different from it’s peers.
At first glance Victor Vran appears to be just like any other isometric, hack’n’slash adventure, the same predictable enemies, the same familiar surroundings. It’s only when you scratch under the surface a little that underneath you’ll find something a little different. It’s a game that doesn’t take itself too seriously and with enough additions to the gameplay to help elevate it from the crowd.
Playing as the demon hunter himself, players take control of Victor, his quest is to slay anything which crosses his path. With his broad brimmed hat and gruff voice, you’ll be forgiven if you confuse him with fellow hunter, Van Helsing. Thankfully, the game quickly avoids any further comparison to the aforementioned titles with a less than subtle dose of humour and diverse gameplay.
Accompanying Victor throughout his travels is the narrator. A well-spoken gent who delights in taunting and ridiculing you and your adversaries. Whilst the humour doesn’t always hit the mark, it is refreshing and it goes a long way to lift the game from the grim depths that so many seem to relish in.
Adding further to the diversity is the lack of a traditional class structure. Instead the game employs a system called density cards. These can either be collected via drops or bought from vendors. Each will buff a certain characteristic allowing you to develop Victor to fit your desired playstyle. These can be easily swapped at any point allowing for much diversity through a single playthrough.
Adding to this is the weapon system. At first, it is rather basic, each weapon has a default attack supplemented with two extra abilities, but once you gain a few levels you’re granted the use of a second weapon. A simple button press is all that is needed to switch from one to the other and the choice is yours how and when you use them. With a little practise it’s easily possible to combine the abilities of both weapons, for example, use the shotgun’s facility to stun at range and swap to the scythe, rush in and decimate a large group. It is incredibly flexible and allows for much experimentation.
Being a hunter, Victor is a rather nimble chap and unusually for this style of game he can actually jump, not just a little hurdle, positioned correctly and he can wall jump quite high and gain access hidden areas. It also makes traversal through the various regions much less arduous and he is able to withstand quite a fall so there is no need for senseless backtracking.
Veterans to these types of games might find the game fairly easy in the early stages, but once the hexes become available the challenge and difficulty can be increased quite dramatically. There are five hexes in total, each one modifying the game. Whether you have less health, face stronger enemies or quicker foes, each one can be activated at will or turned off if things are getting too difficult. For each active hex you will earn more gold and enemies drop better weapons, if you are up to the challenge you can turn them all on at once further increasing the gold you earn and the quality of the weapons.
So, would I recommend Victor Vram? The short answer is yes. Ascetically the game brings nothing new and the humour is a little hit and miss. Longevity may also be an issue for some. But I enjoyed its light-hearted nature, the flexible combat system is incredibly satisfying and adjustable difficulty kept me on my toes. Combine these with the smooth 4 player co-op and the promise of free DLC and there is certainly enough on offer here to appeal to fans of the action RPG genre.
Score – 8/10
- Excellent Combat
- Wonderful Presentation
- Superb Voice Acting
- Not quite as good as some of its competitors
Humour will not be to everyone’s taste