Six months after his previous adventure, Van Helsing is back again to rescue Borgova from the clutches of evil with NeocoreGames’ The Incredible Adventures of Van Helsing II…
The Incredible Adventures of Van Helsing II is your typical dungeon crawler affair. When starting out, you have the option to choose from one of three typical character archetypes. The default is the classic Monster Hunter, arming himself with blades, firearms, and the ability to wield occult powers. The second on offer is your typical mage-like character, the Thaumaturge, who wields powerful offensive spells, and can use the power of manipulation to his advantage. Thirdly is the Arcane Mechanic, who uses a mix of his Hybrid Occult Substance Expulsion Cannon, and a variety of gadgets to do his bidding. All three are accompanied by the ever faithful Lady Katarina, who acts as your ethereal companion, and can hold her own in a fight.
Using a variety of attacking styles, long ranged weapons such as pistols or rifles, close quarter attacks using swords, and a wealth of magical abilities, it’s up to you to fight back the various creatures inhabiting each area. As you make your way through the story, and level up both your character and Lady Katarina, you unlock various offensive and defensive spells which help you on your journey. These can range from simple fire attacks, or a rather handy healing spell which allows anyone in the radius of the effect to be healed. Any of the basic spells you unlock can be upgraded to make them stronger and more fearsome against the hoards of the Ink. There is also a whole host of various items to pick up, from hats, belts, weapons, and more, all of which offer buff and debuffs, as well as helping you become even more powerful.
Van Helsing II offers a variety of different game modes, which unfortunately most require a rather high minimum level to access. Along with the standard campaign mode, there are two other singleplayer options to choose from, and a third coming later this year. Scenario has you play through a randomly generated mini-campaign, which takes place on a separate map from the main story, with special modifiers to make it more interesting. Neverending Story is a more challenging version of the main campaign, with stronger creatures to fight, and it’s up to you so see just how far you can go. Finally, Ink Hunt, which launches in August 2016, will feature four unique maps, and a brand new story, for you to tackle what lurks within the mysterious Ink Gates. Each of these modes require you to be at least level 57 or 60, and to have completed the main campaign for you to tackle.
Multiplayer wise, the offerings aren’t as rich, but still offer something for most players. For those looking for a fun co-op adventure with up to four friends, you can certainly do that, or if you want to take on the other Van Helsings of the world, then there is Battle Royale. Battle Royale is a free-for-all deathmatch style PvP mode, where points are key to winning. The strongest players in the game becomes the target, making them more of a target, and a wealth of points on offer for the plucky individual who can take them down. Once again, there is a minimum level requirement of 57 to enter Battle Royale. For Van Helsing II multiplayer options, that’s pretty much it. A local co-op mode would have been a nice addition, but at least there is a co-op option available.
Visually The Incredible Adventures of Van Helsing II are fairly standard for a dungeon crawler type game. The art style is attractive, is rich in colour and character, and never feels overly cluttered or overwhelming. Even when you are surrounded by a horde of enemies, it’s easy to pick out your character, and work out where you need to go. Ability cooldowns and options are easily located on the screen, and makes it very easy to quickly check what is available to you.
Overall, The Incredible Adventures of Van Helsing II feels very much like a beginners guide to Diablo. It has an sizable amount of content to play through, along with some excellent single and multiplayer options. It’s rather generic, and doesn’t offer anything new to the table, which is a shame but not unexpected. Van Helsing II is a rich hack and slash, dungeon crawling, experience, which is worth trying out for new and seasoned gamers alike.
The Incredible Adventures of Van Helsing II is now available now for £13.99 from the Xbox store.