Victor Vran is a great game, it's the follow up to the Incredible Adventures of Van Hellsing that I always wanted, an Action RPG with tons of contents, reasons to explore the arsenal at your disposal, challenges, crafting, loot and a weird almost moba-like core mechanic. I completed the game in about 18 hours, but that's mainly because I messed around all the challenges and secrets to find before finally going to that last boss, I had a really good time with it.

The game controls a bit weird, like Devilian you move with keys and attack/aim with the mouse. This took a bit to get used to, but I finally mastered it without any problems. This game does what few ARPG do and allow you to jump, I've found it not very useful for general combat and traversal, but you need it for a few jumping segments here and there. I've gotta say that the wall jumping was also not very useful for the game in general, but a few secret areas are only accessible by getting vertical, so it has at least a bit of purpose. Each weapon type has two specific moves - that's why it feels a bit like a MOBA, you have a limited moveset per 'character' - and wildly varying mechanics. Some weapons get faster as you keep the button down, others have rocket jumps, some add lifedrain to your attacks, others collect souls if you hit with split timing. This is enhanced with destiny cards, and it's a fun mechanic.

The gear system in this game is pretty good, you have two weapons equipped at the same time, up to two demon powers and two consumable items. In lieu of a full set of armor choices, you have one outfit that determines a few things, mainly your armor and the way you gain 'overdrive' which allows you to unleash your demon powers. In lieu of passive skills, you have destiny cards that you can equip, provided you have enough card slots and destiny points, these give flat stat boosts, on-hit abilities, or they can give completely unique powers to certain weapon types. They're fun to mess around and they're used in crafting - themselves being upgradable that way. I had a few problems when trying to mix three cards of the same type and rank and the game just flatly said that this wasn't a valid recipe. Was there a logic behind that? It wasn't clear.

The world map is filled with areas you can explore and they all have five challenges and a few secrets, both specific to each map. Challenges range from simple things like killing a special boss to more complex endeavors like 'overkilling' five enemies with three Hexes enabled. Hexes are things you can toggle to make the game more difficult but rewarding - I wish there had been more than five to find and that leveling them up would do something meaningful. Secrets are chests hidden on the map, you get a little glow on your HUD when you're near one, but on the larger maps, they can be a bit frustrating to get. In general, I loved the challenges, they required you to redo the maps a few times, sometimes because you needed to use a specific weapon, or do conflicting tasks, or because it's possible to fail them. I had three problems with them - and the way maps worked - however.

First of all, sometimes challenges take a bit long to accomplish, especially if you don't have much time to play, and they reset when you quit, so you might have progress going nowhere. Second, the voice dialogue plays over and over, it can get annoying after the fifth time listening to the same joke. Third, the game lets you go to a bunch of levels as you unlock them, but then the story tells you to go from A to B to C even if you have unlocked C already. It's a bit dumb to visit A and then B just to update the quest log. But even then, these are minor inconveniences, you don't need to complete all challenges and the quest order thing is only a few seconds wasted. The enemy variety is pretty good as well, with champions wielding various buffs and special powers that you can gain for yourself as demon powers. I'm not a big fan of reviving skeletons, and they're an omnipresent type of enemy, but if you overkill them, they stay down, so that's fine.

I really enjoyed Victor Vran! The humor is spot on most of the time, there is a ton of stuff to do, things to craft and upgrade, it's really possible to tailor your character to your tastes, but then you can play around with all the other stuff during challenges. I wholeheartedly recommend it if you like action RPGS and want to try something a bit different, I wasn't disappointed! 

AuthorJérémie Tessier
Categories5/5, Action RPG