There’s lots of dangerous things in life that everyone fears. Bears, for instance. Fire’s another one. We’re all afraid of cows as well, of course. As a monster, though, my greatest fear is monster hunters. That’s why I played Victor Vran while cowering behind a pillow, just in case something scary happened. Let me assure you: Victor Vran is a terrifying game…well, unless you aren’t a monster, in which case it’s just a pretty great action-RPG.
Victor Vran is a fairly standard click-happy ARPG along the same lines of Diablo. The big novelty here is a leaning toward the “action” part of the ARPG formula. For instance, there are a jump button and wall-jumping, allowing for a unique twist on movement in this sort of game. Don’t get me wrong – this doesn’t shake up the routine significantly enough to make it feel like a whole new genre, but it’s still a nice addition. There’s a plot or something, but I assure you that it will largely come down to the wholesale slaughter of monsters.
Victor, naturally, deals with monsters using diplomacy and skilled rhetoric. By that I mean he stabs, shoots and incinerates them with a variety of weapons and magic. Unlike your usual ARPG, the weapons in Victor Vran each have their own playstyle that makes them differ from one another. For instance, the sword is focused on landing precise strikes at the right moment to make the most of automatic critical hits, while the shotgun encourages firing to a rhythm to deal as much damage as possible. You can equip two weapons at a time, each with their own special mechanics and skills, and you can thus adjust your gear to match your playstyle.
No monster hunter would be complete without some magical backup, of course, so you can also obtain various magic spells by defeating boss monsters. These range from fireballs to shields, allowing another degree of customization. Like a Final Fantasy-styled Blue Mage, you’ll typically earn whatever your foe was using against you, meaning it’s worth your while to seek out and defeat more powerful foes. Magic is fueled using the Overdrive gauge, which can be fueled in several ways determined by the costume you choose at the start of the game. In any case, the fact that you always play as Victor might be a little disappointing, but it’s not like the game completely lacks customization.
Victor Vran looks and sounds great as well as having some of the most responsive controls I’ve seen in this style of game. There’s also a multiplayer option which works well enough; the copious multiplayer glitches in the very similar Incredible Adventures of Van Helsing series have always been a thorn in my side, so it’s nice to see that they’re not present here.
All in all, Victor Vran is a great choice if you’re hankering for some classic action-RPG slasher with the odd twist here and there. Blasting away at groups of baddies with the old shotgun is one of the more enjoyable experiences I’ve had in an ARPG. Check it out if you enjoy fun, monster-slaying, and you’re not a monster. Trust me on that last one.