For an action-based role-playing game to really grab your attention it needs to offer three enticing hooks; slick combat, deep character building and of course, a shed load of loot. Victor Vran not only sinks all of these hooks into you but does a great job of baiting them up with its own unique take on age old RPG mechanics.
The isometric action game has you playing as Victor Vran, a demon hunter who is searching for a lost friend. Your quest takes you to the infested town of Zagoravia, a town that isn’t that far from hell itself. It’s in Zagoravia where the story of the main game unfolds, and although the story isn’t the most originally or gripping, it goes a good job of creating a vessel to take you through the detailed and contrasting environments of the hell-ridden town.
Victor Vran isn’t an open world game, instead, the areas of the map are split up into mini open-mapped levels, some the size of a small dungeon, and others huge vast plains. Each section of the map offers players 5 different challenges, challenges such as kill a certain enemy with a specific weapon or find all the chest hidden in that area. Completing these challenges will reward you with gold, XP and of course loot. When you finish the campaign you’ll unlock the elite challenges, these are a lot tougher than their counterparts but offer much more lucrative rewards.
As with most ARPG’s of Victor Vran’s build, loot is the cornerstone of success, sure gold and XP are important, but what we really want is a shiny legendary weapon to present its self after overcoming an enemy at the tenth time of trying. The loot in Victor Vran is no doubt one of the games strongest attributes, which is mostly due to the fact that all abilities and buffs are tied to your equipment, not the character.
Firstly there’s your weapon or your weapons I should say as you’ve able to switch between two weapons on the fly. The weapons on offer here are pretty standard, from sickles to swords and hammers to spell-wielding books, but although the weapons are pretty generic they all offer a different combat dynamic. For example, having a hammer and sickle equipped proved to be a great combo, I could use the smash attack from the hammer to stun enemies and deal large amounts of damage, then swiftly switch to the sickle for an agile spinning attack on the stunned foes. This is just one example how switching between weapons bring a play style that suits you.
As you progress beyond the level 30 mark, it’s not just the attack your weapons offer that differentiates them from one another, but also a perk that is tied to them. Much like the destiny cards the game features, these perks are passive – meaning just having that item equipped activates it. The destiny card also brings a new depth to the role-playing aspect of Victory Vran. Leveling up will grant you extra destiny points, which can be used to equipped more powerful cards. The cards on offer are extremely different from one another and really allow you to build the character you want, whether that’s a paladin, a tank or a ranged hunter, the choice really is yours.
The depth of this character building isn’t just to adjust how you play, but also to help you adapt depending on what hordes of evil lay in front of you. Victor Vran features just about every servant of hell you’d expect, oh, and did I forget to mention there’s a crap load of spiders. Just like the weapons you possess the different enemies bring a variety in combat dynamics, some weird slow but hard hitting hammers, other just blow up in your face for the fun of it. For the most part, the combat is fast, frantic and fluid, on the very odd occasion I experience some drops in frame rate, however this has only happened twice throughout my current 30 hours of play.
There’s no denying that Victor Vran is a very good game, something that makes it even better is the sheer amount of content the Overkill Edition comes packed with. On top of the base Victor Vran game you’ll also get the Fractured World DLC and the Motorhead: Through the Ages content, the latter is arguably the stand out of the show.
Fracture Worlds continues the story of the base game, a quick word of warning, this content is seriously tough and best seen as endgame content. The Motorhead: Through the Ages, the world is a completely stand alone story inspired by the legendary metal band. The story is based around you restoring power to Snaggletooth, Motorheads iconic mascot. The content is fully licensed, so not only will you slay your way through metal-inspired world wielding a power chord shooting guitar, you’ll do it listening to a hair-raising Motorhead soundtrack – which feels awesome.
Most of my time with Victor Vran has been as a solo player, and not once have I felt the game too challenging. Throughout my current 30 hour game I have played around 2 hours in local co-op, which is seriously fun. As you’d expect the game throws even more enemies at you in multiplayer, which in turn means more loot. As you progress you do unlock a PvP mode, however with our review based on a pre-release version we are yet to experience this.
Victor Vran: Overkill Edition will turn you into a loot hungry, demon slaying hunter, and you’ll feel better for it. Although the story isn’t anything to write home about; the slick combat, depth of character building and sheer breadth of content will keep pulling you back in for more long after you’ve slain every demon out there.