Putting the “action” back in “action RPG”.
I played Victor Vran on PC a few years ago, but never really got deep into it for some unknown reason. Now playing the Overkill Edition on XB1, I think to myself why didn’t I play more of this two years ago? It has its own feel and take on the action RPG made famous by games like Diablo and Torchlight, and makes it more of an action game over an RPG, and you know what? It works.
Victor Vran is a monster hunter who travels to Zagoravia in search of a fellow hunter. When he arrives, the entire kingdom is overrun by monsters and demons, and Victor is the only hunter strong enough to try to wipe them all out. It’s actually kind of fitting because the legendary monster hunter is voiced by another legendary monster hunter, Doug Cockle, who voices Geralt in The Witcher series.
MSRP: $19.99 (base game) ($11.99 DLCs) ($39.99 bundle)
Price I’d pay: $39.99 for the bundle
Platforms: XB1, PC, PS4
The thing that sets Victor Vran apart from many other dungeon crawlers in the genre is the lack of skill points and classes. All that matters is what weapons are equipped and other special abilities. It simplifies things while still making the customization vast. Victor doesn’t equip armor for his head, chest, arms, or legs. Instead, at certain instances, players can choose an outfit for him that may change the way he plays, but never in a dramatic sense. Weapons are the major factor here and there’s a ton of them.
Swords, hammers, shotguns, pistols, and many other weapons can be equipped to strengthen Victor. After leveling up a bit, Victor can equip two weapons at a time and switch between the two at will. The interesting thing about weapons is that they all play the same. All shotguns use the same three abilities, all swords have the same attacks, etc. What sets everything up are the modifiers for weapons depending on the rarity. It adds some strategy to the gameplay; since each ability of a weapon does something different players can’t just button mash, they need to play a bit more strategically. For instance, the hammer has a standard attack, and charged heavy hit, and an AOE slam. The AOE slam will grant Victor life steal with each hit for a few seconds. The charged heavy hit will grant him attack speed. So comboing what is normally a slow attacking weapon will turn it into a healing fast heavy damage dealer if played correctly.
On top of the weapons there are demon powers that can be equipped and used when Victor’s overdrive gauge is full. These can be devastating attacks that can clear a screen of enemies, protect and heal Victor and his allies, and many other special boosts. Along with that, Victor can equip special cards that can alter his stats and have some very interesting things occur once special requirements have been met. Equipping cards requires a point system that will grow larger with level ups, allowing the player to equip more cards, and stronger ones as well. All this combined really make Victor Vran just as complex as the other stat tracking RPGs.
The levels are interesting as well. Each begins with challenges that can be met, offering up special rewards like new weapons, more XP, and tons of gold. These can range from killing a certain number of enemies in a designated amount of time, killing a number of champion enemies, or even killing a number of enemies without getting hit. They can range from easy to near impossible, but each one offers up some pretty great rewards.
This is all in the base game, which can easily last players 30 hours, but the Overkill Edition comes with both DLCs, Motorhead: Through the Ages and Fractured Worlds. Motorhead has Victor taking on hoards of demons based on the band Motorhead. Literally, Lemmy is there as well as the entire story being narrated by director Lloyd Kaufman. It adds guitars and revolves to the weapon list and even some new outfits for Victor. Fractured Worlds is a random generated set of dungeons that change every day. It also has an endless dungeon that can be played to get just the right equipment to maximize damage output. Think of this DLC as the adventure mode for Diablo III.
If there were some issues to mention, it would have to be the clunky inventory system. It’s difficult to navigate and I could have really used a “sort all” button. Instead, I’m moving things from two pages over just so I can have it on my first page. The other thing, since this is a more action style game, it can get repetitive after a while. Even if I’m finding new swords and shotguns, they all still play the same with the exact same abilities. It is both a blessing and a curse.
Each DLC is $11.99 while the base game is $19.99. Of course, getting the $39.99 Overkill Edition will give you the base game and both DLCs. They’re both worth it, so that would be the best bet for people wanting to get the most out of Victor Vran. As far as the game goes, it is just as competent as the heavy hitters in the dungeon crawling genre. The online works well, and with four player co-op, it can be a blast to play with friends. I highly suggest Victor Vran to any action RPG fan.
Review copy of game provided by publisher.