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Thursday, June 6, 2013

The Incredible Adventures of Van Helsing PC Review - 9/10

Ooh, seems as though I've stumbled into some luck with my gaming recently. I do so love to give games a 9 or higher.
Story behind why I bought this game? I guess I liked Torchlight but I had a few gripes with the games. Nevertheless, I do like Torchlight 1 and 2. I just always felt it was a bit too cartoony, ya know? Not bad just sometimes I want to see the dungeon crawling, loot grab 'em genre a bit more dark. And what's more darker than Van Helsing?

The Good:
The graphics aren't too bad. Though that's probably to do with it automatically adjusting it's settings to best suit my performance. Nothing to hate, it does it's job. Why did I put it in good? Well too often people say the best graphics win out... which is to say no one says that but it seems developers usually do. Performance plays out. Simple as that.
The game runs fairly smoothly. Nothing to hate again. Even when the screen is crowded with enemies, my performance barely falters.
There's a variety of enemy types which is nice. Taken from classic horror stories like werewolves or something of imagination like robotic automatons. Yes, seriously. Aside from skill leveling up and collecting loot, the main focus of a dungeon crawler save the dungeons is the enemies within. Speaking of skills...
This game has perhaps one of the more unique and refreshing skill systems I've seen. You have pretty much three skills. One for melee, one for ranged and one for these things called auras. Melee is pretty straight forward as is ranged. However, once you buy a skill, you can then level it up as you please, as well as add special things to it like my lighting strike skill can have a few more enemies stunned, go through more enemies etc. Certain extra passives to skills can only be bought if the skill is of high enough level, the highest of which I've seen is 10. This adds a nice point to it, as I may like a skill so much and even at higher levels, it still is worth using as well as unique should I choose it to be. Auras are split up into two different sections (the second of which I can't remember...). Auras function mostly as passives as well as extra skills not tied to the normal melee/ranged skill trees. Passives are used as they are name like passives. The other side is alternate spells that you can use like heal or shield. Instead of upgrading these via a tree, you can buy them from an alchemist vendor and they require no leveling up to have them already used (like I buy it, and it already has a single point to it). This is really nice considering once at higher levels, skill points usually become more scarce. So in the mean time, I can level up these little things helping me along the way.
There's an interaction with a ghost companion that follows you around that I find nice. In Torchlight, it's pretty much a lonely, dialogue-less place. Your pet won't speak to you and the most you'll hear is "Your pet has departed" and "Your pet is back from town". Katerina (probably butchered the spelling) is a ghost which the previous Helsing, this one's father, rescued and is now indebted to the family. Through the game, they have little spats with each other, Kat being head strong and cocky while Helsing is a professionalist tried and true. If Helsing was our only speaker, it'd get boring real fast, but how they play off of each other is nice. Speaking of which, your companion also has her own abilities. She levels up like you and can be given the gear you don't need for herself, as well as an extra storage compartment. She has three 'stances' we'll say. She can attack with melee, ranged or just be incorporeal and grant you a resistance buff.

The Bad:
I personally don't find it bad, but most people do: the scenery. If you know anything about Van Helsing it's that he is a monster hunter. And second to that is monsters live in dreary places absent of color. While this does go with the theme of the character, most people hate the dreary settings and the lack of color, but personally I like how they kept it drab.
At times, the screen swarms with enemies. And at times, this is a drag. Mostly because I can't really see what I need to hit, be it the small fries or the big champions which do things like sap my mana. Most times I just found myself swinging aimlessly.

The Meh:
The camera angle is too far back for my taste. It's not bad but personally I'd like to see the gear and how it looks on my character. Again, just a small gripe I have.
Fifteen bucks? Eh... I guess so. The game does cost fifteen bucks which is a step up from the ten that Torchlight costs. I guess it's worth it but you'll have to be the judge of that yourselves.
Hm... almost 9 gigs of space to download this thing. While not being the largest space taken up (20 gigs for Dragon Age) it still is a large amount of space. This cuts away from bad from the feeling I get thinking this game must have a lot of content.


In to the dungeon crawling, loot snatch 'em genre? I personally don't think you can go wrong with this then.

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