The Incredible Adventures of Van Helsing

Usually when people hear the words Van Helsing in relation to anything movie or video game related they run. Horrid cliches, terrible storylines, and half hearted efforts mar what could be an interesting subject, but somehow, The Incredible Adventures of Van Helsing shines through all of that. The game is very Diablo like in feel. Even though it pulls from a tarnished ip, a surprising amount of intrigue, witty sense of humor, and personality make this action RPG worth checking out.

The Incredible Adventures of Van Helsing is an action role-playing video game developed by the Hungarian independent development studio NeocoreGames and is based off the Bram Stoker story Count Dracula. You play as the son of Abraham van Helsing, a cynical, gruff guy in an awesome hat who’s been running around a twisted 19th century Europe to make himself a legend that will rival his dad’s. Quickly you find yourself in the town of Borgovia, embroiled in a conflict between magic and science.

The first thing I instantly noticed about the game was the witty banter between Van Helsing and Katarina, his ghostly companion. The conversations and banter feel real and not something that was haphazardly thrown together. Even the town folk and quest NPCs bring something to the actual story which is a breath of fresh air to the action rpg genre.

Scenery is something that was also done exceptionally well and it works to create a mood and atmosphere that fits with the gothic period. The top down Diablo-esque view is something that takes a bit to get used to if you aren’t already familiar with it. The fixed camera at times makes seeing a corner of the map a bit complicated but otherwise I had no real issues with it.

The combat system is engaging and there isn’t really time to allow your attention to wander since you need to make every attack count. In Van Helsing you only get 2 attack skills that are tied to your left and right mouse buttons. There is no hot bar, however you do have modifiers that will help boost your attacks: 1 for an explosive modifier, 2 for a stun, 3 for double damage. You can also flip back and forth to your secondary weapon, most likely a rifle or set of pistols, or whenever you want. That said, combat does suffer from a horrible tab target like system that ends up being rather hard to control. As you progress with quests and killing various mobs you gain xp and levels that allow you to advance a pretty deep skill tree for both Van Helsing and Katarina.

Fighting mobs is a genuine loot-a-palooza. Everything drops loot. Mobs, chickens, 2 headed cows. Players will quickly find that if they want to maximize their loot gathering they will have to excel at bag management. The inventory system is based off of a grid so as you move through the game and gather loot, weapons, and armor, players will notice each item takes up a certain amount of the grid. So sharpen up those tetris skills if you want to maximize your profits. Luckily your ghostly companion Katarina, has her own inventory that you can transfer items too.

The Incredible Adventures of Van Helsing is no Diablo but it does bring a fresh and much needed revitalization to an IP that has all the potential in the world to be something great. The game is fun, funny, and shows glimmers of pure genius. Overall it’s a really solid game that most will enjoy and one that you can pick up off Steam for a great price.

Published: January 13th, 2016   |  1,867 Reads

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