Hack and slash and dodge and jump and shoot.
It’s a dark and stormy night, creatures of the undead are everywhere around, and what’s a person to do? While this might sound like the intro for another horror game, fear not! What we have here is a dark, colorful, and engaging hack and slash action RPG game called Victor Vran. Fans of co-op and dungeon crawlers will surely want to sink their fangs into this one.
Victor Vran is on a mission of importance to him, yet he also finds himself getting involved with the issues plaguing the city of Zagoravia, as a demon infestation and undead enemies are filling up the streets. Victor agrees to help and along the way discovers a bit more about what is occurring around the city and his own personal story to tell. The story is engaging enough, and is told via dialog and animation panel cut scenes that will players wanting to see the story through to the end. That said the gameplay is what will truly keep folks coming back for more.
Price I’d Pay: $19.99
How long to beat: 10+ hours
For players familiar with the genre, there are quite a few similarities and some differences that make Victor Vran stand out. While it’s an isometric action RPG game like Diablo 3, there is plenty of different twists to the formula. Camera control is one aspect; where most titles of this nature have preset camera angles, Victor lets players fully rotate it. Combat is fast and fluid, with hot keys for various attacks when played on a controller, and ease of switching weapons at the push of a button. Victor can also dodge, jump, and jump attack, giving more mobility to the gameplay then most. While they might not be the biggest changes, it gives the title a unique feel in the genre and one that makes players feel more agile and less constricted. Players can use a mouse or joystick, but the joystick feels so well integrated, I’d be surprised if this wasn’t the recommended way to play.
As players progress in the story, they can see how much ground they have covered via the map system, which shows the sprawling city. Each location also has various challenges that offer rewards, so even if players have finished the story aspects in that area, there is more content to offer. Victor will find swords, guns, rapiers, and hammers as he defeats enemies, and once unlocked via level progression, he can equip two weapons at once.
Going from shooting and then pushing a button to switch to swords has a great feeling and ease of transition. While leveling up does occur, the traditional status points and armor isn’t a factor. Victor likes to unlock new abilities outside of a few preset classes, unlock more equipable slots, and earn new ability cards. It might sound disappointing to some, but it ultimately makes up for how well it keeps players in the action. So now when playing with other friends instead of being stuck waiting for them to build their ultimate character, players are able to get in and out of the menu with ease and continue the action.
Victor Vran has a few minor issues, but otherwise it’s a solid and fun package. The music is suiting and the main character is voiced well, but there are some other characters players meet along the way and later in the games hub that are questionable. The idea behind the levels and monster design seem a bit typical, but look well otherwise. It would have been more interesting to see different or more custom builds for characters that other players created other than the ones given, but the builds they do have offer some interesting aspects, if only minor.
If you’re a fan of isometric RPGs and action, I think the choice is pretty clear, we have a winner. Victor Vran might be a title that gets judged before people really get their hands on it. I’ll admit, I had no idea what the game was like and by just looking at it, seemed typical. Yet the amount of fun the game offers, providing players with more agility and faster action, really gives a sense of control some isometric games don’t deliver. I was thoroughly impressed with Victor Vran, and I think most others will be too.
Review copy of game provided by publisher.