Victor Vran is brought to us by Haemimont Games, and with legendary titles such as the Tropico series under their belts, then my expectations were extremely high for Victor. I do have to manage my expectations here and defend Victor a bit, a lot of people are comparing this game to triple A titles and that’s not fair, because triple A is something that Mr Vran is not. With developer behemoths such as Blizzard behind Diablo then titles like this from smaller developers already have a hard time getting noticed. It’s time to be open minded and give the small guys a go.
Victor Vran is our protagonist and he is a Demon Hunter by trade. Victor travels to Zagoravia, a dark dank city where all manners of undead foe spawn from the ground and evil wizards emerge to cast all hell onto you. The main thing that puts Victor out in front is there are no classes to speak of, it’s you, Victor, and endless enemies to battle through. You can, however, obtain outfits and these offer various perks and aesthetics but they’re definitively not classes.
You have four types of weapons to choose from: swords, guns, hammers, rapiers. These drop from enemies and can be found in loot chests scattered around the world. Like any game of this type, loot is important, and as usual the rarer the better. Each weapon has three abilities, I can’t really tell you what they are as I didn’t really take much notice but each one has its own devastating attack weather that be targeted or a simple AOE effect. Along with your weapons, you have Overdrive, as you attack this builds up its own power bar and when it’s full you can unleash your Demon Attack skill causing carnage in your wake. Demon abilities drop like weapons and also the rarer the better. Demon skills aren’t always offensive though as some give you protective and healing auras making life a little easier.
You can equip two types of weapon at any one time and eventually unlock the ability to equip two types of demon skills. Switching between one weapon type and another is simple, at the touch of the RB button you switch, meaning that you can use your harder attacks in quick succession. The controls over all are really good and simple to get to grips with. Victor Vran offers something a little different in terms of viewpoint though, whilst most crawlers give you a fixed view, Victor Vran allows you to rotate the screen meaning you can get into every nook and cranny of each area.
Combat is often fast and exciting, with mobs spawning around all the time and quite often in packs. This gives for a satisfying feeling when you drop a devastating melee attack and obliterate everyone on the screen. With multiplayer also being an option this adds for some exhilarating gameplay as you all bring your own unique flair to the game. Difficulty naturally increases but it’s worth trudging through with your team on the hunt for better loot. That being said, sometimes you can get lost in the carnage and things get quite confusing but that’s a small price to pay.
Victor Vran also gives players a jump ability, something that is missing from most crawlers, this allows you to jump over walls and seek out hidden treasures behind walls and fences. If you jump into a wall you get a double jump chance meaning that you’re not limited to a certain path and this allows for some exploration of areas. Typically areas are big enough to allow a fair amount of venturing off the beaten path, all in the hope of finding a find a rare spawn that will drop some phat loot.
Speaking of which Victor Vran is packed with the stuff, there is loot everywhere, some not so good but you don’t have to venture far into the game before you start picking up some decent items. Some people may be put off by that but it does come in handy early on, trust me. When you reach the ripe old level of 16 you get access to the transmutation machine, this allows you to sacrifice the trash loot and improves what you have. When it comes to loot, it’s yours and yours alone, there is no trading with other players and no swapping that legendary hammer with your friend for a quick boost.
With all the elements that most RPG/dungeon crawlers have, Victor Vran doesn’t disappoint. Sometimes it can get a bit tedious especially when it comes to the voice acting, which by the way stars Doug Cockle of Witcher fame. There is a character called the “The Voice” who randomly speaks to you and sometimes offers hints, the voice cracks the same jokes all the time, frankly it gets a bit boring. These shortfalls should in no way deter you from giving Victor Vran a go, because it’s a part of what is a fantastic dungeon crawler.
Victor Vran is not without its issues but on the whole I really enjoyed playing it and I will definitely be returning to Zagoravia for more. Graphically it’s adequate and the sounds fit perfectly, Victor Vran is a treat for dungeon crawler fans and perfect for those who want something a little different. No crawler would be complete without chickens making and appearance…yep that’s right you get a gun that shoots out chickens…what more could you want. Why not click on the video below for some gameplay and a video review of the game.
Thanks to Haemimont Games and Xbox for supporting TiX