Victor Vran: Overkill Edition – review

  • Format: Xbox One (version reviewed), PC, PS4
  • Unleashed: 6th June (PC, PS4), Out Now (Xbox One)
  • Publisher: EuroVideo Medien (PC), Haemimont Games (console digital), Wired Productions (console physical)
  • Developer: Haemimont Games
  • Players: 1-4
  • Site: https://www.victorvran.com/
  • Game code provided by PR

Victor Vran Overkill Edition (or Victor Vran and all the DLCs, as it is otherwise known) is brilliant; or at least, it is for the time that you spend enjoying it. It suffers all the usual pitfalls of the Action RPG genre – well the isometric ones anyway – and it even manages to cut a great deal of the chaff out of it too. While the Motörhead DLC (yes this is a thing) is good but oddly weird, the Fractured Worlds DLC gives a boost to the “endgame content” that’ll sate even the most hardcore of ARPG fans.

Zagoravia, a City that’s been ruined by the forces of evil, is Geralt’s Victor’s next stop on finding his friend and fellow demon hunter, the fantastically named Adrian. Adrian and many other demon hunters have come here and all gone missing, so it’s up to muggins to sort out what’s what and save the day.

That’s the premise of the main game. The Fractured Worlds DLC has some slight spoilers for the main game as its premise, but the Motörhead DLC is, erm… interesting? Motörhead legend Lemmy Kilmister has requested help to save a set of worlds from the forces of evil, who are using the power of Snaggletooth to their own ends. Enter Victor Vran, who once again has to save the day, this time fighting the forces of “The Führer” and his alt right hand “The Preacher”, and the “Queen of the Damned”.

Early on in the game you’ll probably enjoy the way combat is handled. Moving away from the long list of skills that each class can have in other ARPGs, Mr Vran has only three skills for any particular weapon, all of which have a certain synergy making each weapon more interesting and giving it its own role. So the shotgun’s second ability resets on any kill you make for example, which allows you to line up what is essentially a headshot over and over again on the weaker enemies. The lightning gun has a ball of lightning you can move about by zapping enemies to attract it to them.

All of these skills having synergy is great, it makes combat feel tactical without being overwhelming as some ARPGs are. You can have two weapons equipped at any point in time, so switching things up on the fly isn’t a big deal either. It even allows you to change any and all equipment by pausing too; so you’re never against the odds if you chose two ineffective weapons for certain enemies.

There are also other layers to pile on top of this, like the split-second timing of attacks which rewards you for “keeping a beat” by timing attacks when they just come off cooldown. Then there’s the way different conditions affect weapon attacks to deal tons of damage. It’s all very good for the first few hours… then it becomes a lot like all the other ARPGs. Hard is defined by you taking more damage but enemies being stuffed to the rafters with extra health that you’ll have to slowly chip away at – even some of the lesser enemies.

The genre is ever so stale in that way, as it is across RPGs as a whole in that regard. But, some people do enjoy it and we have to admit that even though it’s repetitive it is oddly moreish. Some of that is due to wanting to see that XP bar fill all the way up, or maybe just to hear the “whooshing” sound effect you get from perfectly timing shotgun blast after shotgun blast. It may be a little grindy, but it’s still a bunch of fun.

While you’re smashing your way through hordes of skellingtons, swarms of spiders, and other undead and demonic creatures depending on which world you’re playing in, there are other things to take into account other than just smashing enemies. Each level has its own set of secrets and challenges. Secrets are – unsurprisingly – chests that are usually hidden somewhere on the map and often need you to find a hidden path or room somewhere. These are great for people like us who want a reason to explore a level that equates to more than “something needs smashing over here”. While there aren’t any puzzles, these are nice little treats for a bit of exploration.

Challenges are the real deal though. They start off lulling you into a false sense of security, since they are fairly easy. “HA! Your challenges are weak and we are strong!” we said, as we crushed each task set before us. So the game threw us a few more asking us to use modifiers that increase the health or armour etc of enemies. “Hmm, that’s a little more like it!” we scoffed, seeking something a little harder. So the game chucks bosses and modifiers our way and “This is a bit tougher than we expe…” is all we manage before we lie slain on the floor. They are fairly tough, but doable. The Elite challenges you can unlock later though? You need a stronger stomach than us to go for them.

The main game has a good length to it and the Motörhead DLC is fairly long but feels a little like experiencing a gas leak, in that Lemmy and a Führer are two things that we weren’t expecting from any game, especially when the Fuhrer starts to taunt Victor – it’s just so surreal. It’s good though, and the Revolvers and Guitar weapons that it adds are also pretty good additions to your arsenal. The Fractured Worlds DLC is where all the hardcore players will find their time being sunk. The randomly generated daily dungeons offer quite a challenge, and will offer a lot to delve into for those that really dig the game. As a package it’s a very good deal.

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Written by Sean P

I enjoy playing games and I enjoy writing things, so I decided to combine the two. I do bits here and there and have a twitter that mainly just announces things I've done as my life revolves around very little that is truly interesting.

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