As a long time (as in grizzled ancient) fan of ARPG’s, I always hope to find that perfect blend of loot grind, progression and character development all wrapped up in slick combat and a unique setting. It’s a rare find but, much like that time when the final piece of a legendary gear set drops, when it happens it feels so good. And to carry that metaphor much further than one really should, just when I had lost hope that such a legendary find would ever drop, in walked ‘Victor Vran: Overkill Edition’. Full of all the right stuff, ‘Victor Vran’ offers a fresh take on the genre and at the same time spices things up with it’s own take on tried and tested systems. So grab your coffee and kick back as we take a look at Haemimont Games take on the ARPG. This is our review of ‘Victor Vran: Overkill Edition’.
In search of a fellow monster hunter and friend, you take on the role of Victor Vran, a seasoned and capable hunter who works tirelessly purge the world of evil all while trying to hide his own dark past. Entering the city of Zagoravia, you soon realize that it is a city under siege by the forces of darkness. Armed with your trusty sword and shotgun you wade into the sea of monsters in search of answers, your friend and sweet, sweet loot.
When starting into the ‘Victor Vran’ on the PS4 one of the first things to take note of is story delivery. One of my biggest gripes with ARPG’s is when story slows me down. I love ARPG’s because they’re fast, fluid and I don’t have to wait around. Traditionally story has been handled with endless streams of text and as much as I appreciate the lore, the setting and the world that the developer has created for me to enjoy I don’t want to be slowed down while learning about it.
Thankfully ‘Victor Vran’ side steps this frustration by delivering story while the action is taking place. Gone are the walls of text that usually greet the wandering adventurer and instead you will be greeted with some excellent voice over work. Even when there is text presented it is voiced over which helps to keep those with a delicate attention span (I’m specifically referring to myself) focused on what is happening in the world. This may seem like a small thing but with this genre it’s important.
Speaking of refreshing elements in gameplay, the PS4 port of this PC title plays wonderfully smooth. The game has no problem handling a controller setup, something that was mastered on the PC during the original release, and as a result ‘Victor Vran’ is easy to pick up and start playing. Visually the game holds its own with some great visuals and animations. Spell effects and abilities all look great on screen and I didn’t notice any frame rate drops during times of heavy combat when a lot happening on the screen.
The settings and maps are diverse but make sense in context of the story and setting. Overall the game looks and feels at home on the console. Throw in 2 play couch co-op or 4 player online co-op and you and your buddies could be in for hours of monster hunting, loot grinding fun. The one small gripe I have with the multiplayer is that there is no way to play a mix of couch/online co op together. I haven’t actually tested this out myself but have heard from multiple people that such is the case and if it’s true feels like a bit of a missed opportunity. It’s a small thing but none the less it would have been nice to see in the game.
As an ARPG, ‘Victor Vran’ hits all the right notes. The developers have done an excellent job of adding many layers of character development and progression without overwhelming the player at any point. In fact, I was pleasantly surprised at how welcoming the game is to new players while presenting and ARPG that works for hardcore min/max’ers. This can be a hard line to walk but I am glad to say that Haemimont Games has found a good balance.
As a player you will be introduced to everything from a vast array of weapons to choose from, secondary items such as potions and bombs to demon powers and destiny cards with each element adding another layer of character development. Even your outfit, chosen at the beginning of the game after a quick intro sequence, impacts how your character plays. All of these elements which can be upgraded and swapped out at any point work together to create a well rounded ARPG experience.
Finally the game offers some solid replayability in the form of map challenges. Although this isn’t for everyone the completionist will spend hours running back through areas to find every last secret and complete all of the map challenges. Coupled with this is some balanced difficulty; offering great challenge without becoming frustrating to play through. With the additional option of creating hardcore characters (think ‘one life only’) ‘Victor Vran’ really has a lot to offer a wide range of players.
If you’re a console player and just getting into ARPG’s, ‘Victor Vran’ is an excellent place to start. As a veteran player of the genre I would recommend this game to anyone who loves ARPG’s. With a great balance of character development, smooth combat, nice story delivery and sweet loot, ‘Victor Vran: Overkill Edition’ is an excellent ARPG title worth having in your games library.