Victor Vran is an action role-playing game developed by Haemimont Games and originally published on Steam back in 2015. The game has been beautifully upgraded and will be released on PS4 and Xbox One on June 6th in the form of Victor Vran: Overkill Edition which will include the base game and expansions – Motörhead Through the Ages and Fractured Worlds.
You play as Victor Vran – who shares the same voice actor as Geralt of Rivia, Doug Cockle – who has been hired to hunt the demons who plague Zagoravia. Your journey is narrated mostly by, “Voice” who seems to both help and hinder you on your adventure.
The narrative is displayed in traditional rpg fashion. There’s a mix of comic style cutscenes, character silhouettes with voice overs and early on you’ll meet the voice, a character which you’ll either be charmed with or despise.
Victor Vran offers a large variety of dungeons to clear, challenges to beat, loot to collect and offers a whole lot of replayability.
You are rewarded for experimenting with different weapons types, there is no having to level up different skill trees to be able to perform optimally here and it’s a wonderful break from the tradition of picking a class and grinding it up to the point where it becomes useful. You get your choice of Swords, Shotguns, Lightning Guns, Fencing Weapons, Hand Mortars, Hammers and Scythes. God I love Scythes.
Each weapon type comes with it’s own pros and cons which is why you’re able to equip two different weapons at a time and switch between them when needed. During my playthrough I was mostly using a shotgun and Scythe, only switching out to give myself some variety.
During my multiplayer playthrough, as soon as Luke and I found the Lightning Guns we began to scream, “Don’t cross the streams!”
Each map you visit has it’s own set of challenges for you to complete. There are around five challenges which can range from “Kill X Amount of enemies without being hit” or “Find Six Secrets”. While for the most part, these challenges are completed for bragging right but you are rewarded for your efforts. Upon completion a flag falls from the sky and grants loot, experience or gold.
Leveling up grants your more health, a choice of random rewards or you can pick a loot chest will also grant you a random piece of equipment.
While the game doesn’t feature an in depth talent tree or progression path, it does have Destiny Cards. These are essentially perks which you can equip to provide passive abilities such as increase ranged damage, increased health, or percentage chance to deal critical damage. While on the surface the game feels a little simple, this is where you can get that added depth.
My Opinion / Final Thoughts
The game has an amazingly simplistic combat system, bringing together different combinations of weapons allows you to prepare for your onslaught. Normally within Role Playing Games, I tend to stay away from changing my loadout too much I don’t want to have to learn abilities for each weapon type. This isn’t the case with Victor Vran.
The ability to switch between any weapon composition worked perfectly when playing the game online. Luke and I played through a few hours of the campaign, while I was running around with a rifle and a scythe, he was running around with a rifle and a hammer. I was able to take out large waves of smaller enemies while slowly chipping away at tougher enemies while he was able to just jump in and smash things up.
As this is an RPG, one of the major key players in any game of the genre is inventory management and this was something that the game sorely lacked and for the first few hours of the game; this was one of the toughest challenges of the game, getting used to using the directional pad to select objects in our inventory, using the analogue stick we were able to manually organise our arsenal. While this might sound like nitpicking and with retraining the way you think it should work, it might even come across as intuitive.
I believe that I am a bit of an odd bunny when it comes to isometric action rpgs. The game feels at home on the console and I couldn’t imagine playing this game on PC where it originated from. I have had similar feelings with Diablo 3 and believe that the console port is the best iteration of the series to date.
If you’re anything like me and have been looking forward to something that is a throwback to classic RPGs, collecting hordes of loot and looking for something that is becoming increasingly rare which is couch co-op. Then you’re going to enjoy your time with Victor Vran. You won’t find anything here that redefines the genre and in a lot of ways, I really dig that.