Developed by Haemimont Games
Published by EuroVideo Medien
*Please Note: This review is of the PlayStation 4 Version*
Victor Vran follows the titular protagonist who is a demon hunter from an ancient order of hunters who goes in search of his best friend and fellow compatriot; Adrian. His quest brings him to the town of Zagoravia that has been cursed and plagued by nightmarish creatures that are running rampant throughout the town killing the innocent civilians. While reluctant at first to help when the queen of Zagoravia requests his assistance; Victor finds out just how much evil has been set loose on the town and ultimately offers his services to wipe out the monsters that lurk in Zagoravia’s streets and find out why the town has been made a trap for hunters like himself to perish.
While I will cut myself off there as far as the story is concerned since I don’t want to spoil anything. I can say that Victor Vran has a slow start to it’s story however the more you play of the game; the more you get drawn into the story and the more it gets you gripped.
In terms of gameplay; Victor Vran is a solid Hack & Slash Action RPG much similar to that of games like Diablo III however the game does have some differences that are both good and bad. Much like Diablo; the basic gameplay for Victor Vran is that you set out into a map and just kill everything that comes into sight while also fetching yourself some sweet loot. Like most RPG’s as you fight through the armies of enemies; Victor will ultimately level up which not only makes him more powerful and give him access to more equipment and weapons however you also get a choice of goodies whenever you level up. These goodies include weapons, armor, powers/fortune cards & chests (which are a random chance of getting any of the previously mentioned items). The game is very simplistic in terms of it’s combat and movement gameplay with most of the controls being very similar to Diablo whether it’s just walking through the world or dodging enemy attacks with a roll however this game adds something missing from Diablo III in the form of a jump button which I found so convenient since it helped to get around much easier and to find more secrets scattered through the land. In terms of the combat; You can equip 2 weapons at a time along with 2 demon powers and 2 items. Your basic items consist of things such as potions (Health, Power, etc…) or grenades and can be accessed by using the directional face buttons of the controller while you can switch between your weapons by pressing the R1 button with each weapon having 3 different attacks which can be activated using the other face buttons of the controller (Square, Triangle & Circle).
There are many fantastic weapons available at the players disposal allowing you to choose the right tools for your experience as a hunter with different styles of weapons. The first style I want to talk about is of course melee weapons which come in the forms of Swords, Hammers, Rapiers and Scythes to name just a few. Each of these weapons have unique attacks that are exclusive to each weapon such as the Scythe for example which has a basic attack that does good damage, a stun attack which has a wide hit radius that comes in useful during times of being surrounded and to finish it off an area of effect spin attack which lasts for a good enough length of time to do some serious damage. The next style of weapon is the guns which come in different shapes and forms such as the Shotguns, Electric Guns and Mortars for a few examples. Personally in my honest opinion, I’m not the biggest fan of the guns in this game since it’s almost like they don’t do any damage however they can be useful in tight situations due to the range of the attacks with the only real good gun being the mortar due to the damage it can cause when used right. The final style of weapon I want to talk about is Magic which is one of the best options available in the game which definitely varies in terms of power and different styles of attack which can make it a wildcard at times however if you have a good magic attack; you can take on nearly any enemy with ease.
The final thing I’d like to talk about in terms of the combat is the demonic powers and abilities which is probably the best possible attacks in the game and really come in useful against bosses aswell as armies of enemies (More than 15 enemies at once). These are special attacks such as summoning a solar beam or multiple meteors upon your enemies which do crippling damage that wipes the floor with anything stupid enough to stand in your path. These attacks unlike your weapons’ different attacks can only be charged by killing enemies and filling the overkill meter which I love since it gives you reason to fight and prevents the game from becoming too easy. Another thing I really loved about this game is that each section of the games world has specific challenges to that section which gives the game a bit more difficulty and more of a reason to beat learning curves and get better at the different ways of playing the game. My biggest problem with the game however is that for the good majority of the game; it seems almost like there is no real variety when it comes to actual enemies with most of the enemies in the game either being Spiders, Zombies, Wraiths or Skeletons with a few Vampires thrown in for good measure. It’s by far nothing when compared to the wide varieties of enemies on offer in games like Diablo III.
All in all, For the most part in the gameplay section; Victor Vran is a fantastic game with the only real problem being variety in enemies.
So to kick off talking about the sound; I would first like to say that when the music is playing it’s a fantastic score from George Strezov that really sets the gothic undertone that the game is trying to make and it shows really well as you walk through the murky forests and blood splattered streets of Zagoravia however there is points when I was playing when after it seemed the music played to the end; the entire game went silent apart from the sound effects until I’d enter another area. This is disappointing as once the music is gone, it takes away a little bit of the atmosphere in the game. The sound effects are done really well in this game with every weapon and power sounding genuine such as the Scythe slashes, Shotgun Blasts, Electrical Bolts and even the meteors crashing down into the map. The sounds used for the creatures are great aswell with the scuttling of the Spiders running towards you aswell as the screeching wraiths which can unnerve you if you aren’t expecting it.
The voice acting is questionable in my honest opinion since the only real voice acting that stands out in the game is Victor who is voiced superbly by Doug Cockle (Geralt in The Witcher series) aswell as that of The Voice who is voiced by Andrew Wincott. There is other voice acting which in all fairness is rather forgettable due to the fantastic performances by Cockle & Wincott. All in all, the music and sound effects are great while the voice acting is rather mediocre apart from 2 performances.
Victor Vran uses a top down view much like Diablo III and when you consider that both games share similar settings and styles of gameplay; it really is fitting the camera style they chose since it allows you to see more of the map at once and to get a more detailed view of the settings. The creature design in this game is actually incredible and while under the gameplay I classed the lack of distinct enemy types a problem; the different designs on the creatures is amazing with each Spider or Wraith looking different and having different abilities. I also liked how the different outfits had unique designs that alternated between a modern looking hunter, victorian era and even a look similar to Hugh Jackman’s portrayal of Van Helsing. I will also give the game credit in the fact that throughout my entire playthrough; there was no frame rate issues or lag in the slightest.
After playing Victor Vran, I am highly impressed by everything the game has to offer from it’s Diablo style gameplay to the musical score. The story while slow at the start does get gripping the more you play and the visuals and enemy design is appealing to the eye however the game does come with it’s fair share of problems with the lack of interesting characters aside from Victor & The Voice and lack of enemies. There is plenty of replay value with the game having trophies, challenges and the included DLC which features the fantastic Motorhead add-on. All in all, I definitely feel that Victor Vran is definitely worth a purchase since it is a complete bundle full of content and hours of gameplay.
Final Verdict – 8/10
- Gripping Story
- Good Leveling Up System
- Simplistic Combat and Maneuverability
- Each Map has Challenges
- Buildable Overkill Meter
- Amazing Gothic Soundtrack
- Victor Vran & The Voice are acted superb
- Visual style is fitting
- Weapons, Creatures and Outfits look differently
- No Frame Rate Issues or Lag
- Plenty of Replay Value
- Lack of Enemy Variation
- Story is a bit slow at start
- Every other character apart from the 2 in the good section were forgettable
Victor Vran is available now for PS4, Xbox One, PC, OS X & Linux. Thanks go out to Haemimont Games & Premier Comms for supplying the game and assets used in this review. Be sure to let me know what you thought of the review in the comments section below and be sure to stay tuned to UGNN for all your gaming news and reviews and remember to follow us on Facebook, Twitter and YouTube.
Review by Matthew McNamee