It’s not often that we're graced by a compelling ARPG and let’s face it, another Diablo is out of the question for now? Even the likes of Bombshell became a major disappointment and it’s about time we deserve a violent, action packed and highly creative RPG like the good old days. Victor Vran came out on Steam a couple of years ago to much critical acclaim and now his transition onto consoles is finally upon us. Does Victor Vran live up to his reputation or should this hunter call it a day?
The style of Victor Vran will be familiar to those who’ve played the Diablo series or Baulder’s Gate on the PC or Xbox and PS2. Taking the form of an isometric RPG that focuses on character progression with an immense amount of fast paced action. Players will take on the role of renowned hunter and this year's sexiest voice winner (voiced by the legendary Doug Cockle) Victor Vran, who’s looking for a close friend in the sleepy provenience of Zagroravia. He soon discovers that all hell has broken loose as legions of demons are running amuck, with very little being done by the local towns people or guard. This could be because most of the inhabitants have met a grisly end and the town’s guards are as useful as a paper bag in a thunder storm.
It’s up to Victor Vran to deal with the situation and put a stop to this upraising of evil. Victor will use an immense array of weaponry from swords, hammers and lightening guns along with an arrangement of demon powers. Victor Vran's journey will be one of penitence as using certain powers or item will be affected by cool down timers and depending on an overkill meter. This builds up through either killing a number of different enemies or wearing certain armour which allows the meter to recharge over time. This adds a great addition of tension as using demon powers or even potions to reclaim your health can be a vital to winning or loosing a fight.
There is a great variation of enemies including giant spiders, zombies, vampires and everything you can pull from a D&D manual. While the abundance of classes is great, there's little original designs or concepts that truly separate the rosta of Victor Vran from something like Diablo. But the immense selection of gear, weapons and powers adds a sense of depth to progression that's meaningful and rewarding. Not to mention the different styles of behavior from each class of enemy will keep players on their toes as most enemies react differently to attacks, powers and weapons used by Victor.
Confident RPG players will feel right at home with the altering stats and the immersive complexity to creating your own class of warrior. While those who are new to the ARPG scene will find it easy to understand the structure and various RPG elements. Victor Vran excels at pacing the difficulty and gameplay dynamics to ensure new and old players never feel out of their element. There are plenty of features and modifiers to increase the difficulty and allowing up to four friends to play together can help aid those who aren’t up to a certain challenge. But the rewards are immense and playing the game for its various side challenges will help players gain beneficial rewards and new equipment to improve their chances.
While the game worlds are impressive in detail and flow, meaning that the action is paced elegantly with enough to do in each stage at any given moment. There’s a lack of dynamic features or mechanics that break this away from games like Diablo. What we are given is a confident game that strives for great action, strong RPG elements and a progression system that has substance and impact on your journey.
I wouldn’t say Victor Vran does anything new for the genre. For those who’ve played Diablo 3 will feel right at home here but also gather a sense of familiarity as it’s ground that’s been treaded many times before. Not to say that Victor Vran isn’t creative or lacks enjoyment as the game is highly entertaining. My concern is that this scenario has been seen so many times over. While other games can formulate a new style, tone and generally another method of executing mechanics, Victor Vran just runs on Diablo’s structure without adding anything different. The original campaign is engrossing enough to keep you invested for around 14 hours and with a few friends the experience can be immensely exciting. There are plenty of modifiers to change the pacing/difficulty and tons of content to sink your teeth into. It’s insane the amount of secrets, side quests and various locations you can visit that aren’t strongly connected to the main story.
What elevates Victor Vran above a respectable score are the additional worlds featuring new campaigns centred on exploring a fractured universe and a story inspired by Motorhead! I freaking love Motorhead and even if you don’t it’s just insanely awesome. This is where the developers shine their skills to develop immersive world design and structure more creative objectives and gameplay features. The world centred within the Motorhead theme is truly alive, pulsing with energy and enthralling set pieces that keep you engaged throughout. Again, the pacing is excellent and the world design is improved to create something far more immersive this time round.
While the other additional campaign of the fracture worlds does not bring any new mechanics or themes, it at least develops a variation of fantasy styles. There’s plenty more content within these additional campaigns, with the Motorhead inspired world being a standout for Victor Vran.
Victor Vran is something familiar, safe and without upsetting the balance. Yet it’s highly compelling nature to new and hard-core players will ensure everyone finds something they like. With its immersive sense of progression, vast amount of content and allowing four friends to play together are major strengths for this title. Victor Vran may not do anything new but it’s compelling and confident enough to keep you invested for the long haul.
++ Immersive progression system
+ Tons of content and replay-ability
+ Motorhead campaign
- Offers nothing new to the genre
A PS4 copy of Victor Vran: Overkill Edition was provided by the publisher for the purpose of this review