Games

Victor Vran: Overkill Edition Review

Console players rejoice!  After 2 years on PC, Victor Vran is finally making his way to PS4 & Xbox One starting tomorrow.  The Overkill Edition will be available for PC players as well, and includes the base game with two expansion packs; Fractured Worlds and Motörhead: Through The Ages.  The transition to consoles is smooth.  The action RPG gameplay is fast and satisfying.  Throw in some pvp, online and couch co-op, and you’ve got a game that’s going to provide you with hours of monster slaying fun.

The game begins with Victor (voiced by Doug “Geralt” Cocker) travelling to the doomed city of Zagoravia, to try and save its inhabitants from a demon invasion.  There’s an interesting twist at the end, but it’s a pretty basic, by the numbers plot, with beautiful hand drawn cut-scenes throughout.  The scene stealer throughout this journey is ‘The Voice’ that’s inside your head.  It comments on literally everything you do.  Pass by a chest without opening it and it’ll ask why you didn’t.  Go back for that same chest and it’ll comment on how greedy you actually are.  There was a fork in the road, and it told me I had chosen the wrong way.  After arriving at my destination, ‘The Voice’ quipped that we could have made it there quicker had I chose the other route.  There’s a ton of jokes throughout, you even fight against a creature named Elsa in a frozen cavern.  It really doesn’t take itself too seriously.  The expansion Fractured Worlds, has you going through various tiers of levels, kind of like Rifts from Diablo 3……and that’s it.  It’s fun, but gets out shined by the other two.  The standout among the entire collection is the Motörhead expansion.  From the moment it starts, Motörhead music is blaring, you’re on a quest to revive Snaggletooth for Lemmy & the band, slaying guitar playing skeletons with a guitar (yes you get a guitar as a weapon, and it’s awesome).  It’s just the right level of insanity, and Victor fits perfectly into the world that Haemimont Games has created.  You can tell they were passionate about the band, and really put their heart into this one.  These expansions don’t take long to beat, but there’s reason to play them over and over trying out the different Elite Challenges that unlock after you complete the main story for each.

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Gameplay is your typical action RPG fare, with a twist.  You’re not confined to character classes.  You can equip two weapons at a time and switch between them whenever you like.  There’s swords, rapiers, scythes, hammers, guitars, revolvers, electric guns, mortar launchers, you name it.  You can select from a variety of different demon powers like a beam of light that shoots from your hand, a meteor rain to cast down on your enemies, or a healing aura to shield you.  These use up your Overdrive meter (basically MP) and can be replenished fairly quickly.  Destiny Cards, which you can have up to six, give you certain traits, like increased health, critical hit, armor etc.   Mixing and matching is half the fun.  At first, I couldn’t find a build that suited me.  I was all over the map, switching weapons every 5 minutes.  After 5 hours (yeah I’m picky), I finally found the one.  My Victor is a scythe wielding, mortar launching, beam of light shooting badass.  With lots of different combinations, no two Victors will be the same.  There are Hex’s that can be activated whenever you like, that add more difficulty, like faster/stronger enemies.  The trade off for the difficulty spike is better xp and gold gains.  If these Hex’s are activated and used correctly in certain areas, you could power level Victor pretty fast.

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Other games in the genre could learn a thing or two from Victor.  You have WAY too much space for all the weapons you find, which is fantastic.  This keeps inventory management to a minimum so you can hack, slash & loot with zero downtime trying to figure out what you need or don’t need.  This doesn’t even include the storage you can place your things in for later use.  I could play for hours and never run out of room.  The only time I would sell stuff is when I was logging off for the night.  The developers wanted you spending less time slogging through items and more time killing shit.  We thank you Haemimont.  Your outfit, which you pick from the start, takes up one slot and effects how your overdrive works.  Some even increase armor and health.  Don’t worry, as you level, you can unlock more outfits to mess around with.  You’re not tied to the one you pick at the start.  This type of no fuss gameplay design keeps things fast paced.  It’s a welcome addition that I hope more developers use in the future.

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Victor Vran: Overkill Edition is a blast to play, with loads of quality content to get through.  While you’re waiting for Blizzard to release the Necromancer class in the year 2035 to get some fun out of Diablo 3 again, why not give Victor Vran a go?  For $40, it’s a steal of a deal. – NVJ

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