My The Incredible Adventures of Van Helsing review (eesh, that’s a mouthful) is focused on an action RPG game that has been enjoyed by PC gamers since 2013. It’s even gone on to get 2 sequels on the PC. But Neocore Games have decided that it’s about time that console gamers had a share of the fun too, and released the first game in the series on both Xbox One and PS4.
In this review I will share with you my thoughts on the game, what worked and what didn’t, and there are a number of ups and downs here. Is this game worthy of legend, or should it sink back into storybooks? Let’s have a look.
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Look and Feel – Top Down, Visuals Up
The game utilizes the top down Diablo-esque style of gameplay with a classic isometric view. Although it means you can’t see the scenery and have a good look around before deciding which way you want to adventure off to as in other action RPGs. For what Van Helsing is trying to do with the experience, it works perfectly.
Pairing this with the washed out colours of the gritty environments creates a satisfying combination to play with. The game runs quite smoothly on a PS4, apart from a slight stutter sometimes when exploring the maps.
The HUD sits nicely around the edges and doesn’t take up too much space, though the text could be a little bigger. Even on my 55″ TV it seemed really small and I sometimes had trouble reading it.
Generally though, is spite of its age it looks more than decent on a console.
Story and Gameplay – Hunter/Looter
You play the game as the son of the great monster hunter, Abraham Van Helsing, who is trying to follow in his father’s footsteps to also become a great monster hunter and maybe even to surpass his father.
You receive a letter from the land of Borgovia addressed to your father. But since he doesn’t take cases anymore, you decide to set off on adventure instead. It’s soon revealed that the peace between monsters and humans is threatened and you get to stop the threat. Joining you on your travels is Lady Katarina, a smart-mouthed ghost who is bound to the Van Helsing family for eternity.
As you start, you can choose one of 3 classes: Arcane Mechanic, who uses steampunk-like guns. Thaumaturge, who wields magic and spells, and a Hunter who is the ‘default’ looking class, who wields guns and swords.
You can choose whatever name you want, I went for the default name which also happened to be Abraham, and as for the class, I chose Hunter. The voice acting is average. Not the best, but certainly not bad. Van Helsing, as you’d expect, has a low brooding voice (almost like Batman), and Katarina has a smooth Borgovan (basically Russian) accent, which can sound over the top at times, but that just adds to her snarky character.
Loot like Diablo
Heavily inspired by the Diablo series, the game is a loot fest, which means you’ll be spending a lot of time picking up and equipping better gear and weapons that you find. Luckily Lady Katarina can hold some of your hard earned loot for you, essentially giving you that little extra inventory space.
The menus are one of the downsides of this game, however. There are quite a few pages for you to assign skill points, that also have subpages here. All of which have really deep skill trees and perks that also have sub-perks for you to assign points to. This is for both you and your companion and it can seem a bit overwhelming at times.
This game really is built for RPG gamers who want to get deep into character customisation.
As is the case with every RPG, side quests are also present, from which you can gain more loot and EXP, because what you have is never good enough and you just need more loot. One complaint I have about the quests in this game however, is that you can’t seem to select an active quest. They all seem to be ‘active’ by default and if you wanted to focus on one particular side quest, you’d have to guess on the map which marker it is.
Combat in this game is OK. The ability to automatically lock onto an enemy and attack just by facing them is great, but you have to be completely facing them or you’ll be shooting at nothing. You also can’t move while you’re attacking, so if you’re being swarmed you’ll have to stop and run a bit, and then stop to attack and try again.
Attacking can get a bit boring though, as you just hold down your attack button and watch the screen and wait and until they’re all dead before moving on and doing it all again.
The Incredible Adventures of Van Helsing is an enjoyable game that you can get hours out of, just from exploring and looting. There are some downsides and things that could be improved, but it is a solid, enjoyable game.
There is plenty of land to explore, plenty of side quests to complete, and lots of loot which, let’s be real here, is the main attraction, because loot is addictive and you need to be better!
If you’re into games like Diablo and Sacred, then I recommend this game as it’s sure to scratch that itch (and you gotta get that loot). Check out my scores below and don’t forget to drop me a comment below if you are playing Van Helsing too.
About This The Incredible Adventures of Van Helsing Review
Game Reviewed: The Incredible Adventures of Van Helsing, Digital Edition Provided by Publisher
Review Format: PS4
PEGI Rating: 16