With so many RPG adventures out there, it’s hard to imagine something coming along that’s completely unique in every way, but just because it may be a challenge to make something unique, it doesn’t mean you can’t make something rather spectacular with your efforts. It seems the team behind Victor Vran: Overkill Edition thought the same thing, as whilst it may show many similarities to the king of RPG – the revered Diablo series – it’s also an incredibly enjoyable game to play in its own right.
For those yet to hear of Victor Vran, he first arrived back in 2015 on the PC, and after visits to both Xbox One and PS4 now arrives on Nintendo Switch, with all the Overkill goodness included – aka complete with DLC. The game is played from a top down perspective much like many other titles within the genre, whilst hack and slash combat, dungeon-crawling, and looting make up the majority of the addictive gameplay.
The lone hero of the adventure, Victor himself is a pretty badass individual, he’s a demon hunter who wields demon powers, and whilst he’s the only playable character you’ll have access to, he’s one you can tailor to your preferred playstyle based on the armour and weapons you decide to run with. With loot drops proving frequent during combat, and a wide selection of melee and ranged weapons, there are plenty of unique ways to play once you get going.
With this being the Overkill Edition, you’ll find both the Fractured Worlds and Motorhead: Through the Ages expansions have been included. What this means for those who’ve yet to experience Victor Vran in any way is that this version comes packed with between five to ten hours of extra content on top of the base game itself – which is a ten-hour experience on its own. But what is it you’ll be doing for all of that time? Well, hunting demons of course.
Throughout the game, your goal is to aid the helpless inhabitants of the fantasy city of Zagoravia by fighting off the demon infestation that is currently destroying the land. You’re not the first Demon Hunter to step foot into the ongoing mess though, but with the others yet to return and Victor’s friend Adrian now in need of help along with the many hunters lost in battle, it’s time to step out into a world possessed by freely roaming demons and put a stop to the terror once and for all.
The majority of this is done by fighting off the countless enemies trying to string you up throughout the isolated dungeons you’ll come across and making it to the end of each one of them certainly makes for a challenging experience. To stand the best chance of progression though you’ll need to utilise the three different attacking options provided with each weapon; one standard attack and two specials that have a cooldown system you’ll need to be aware of. Another way of ensuring progress is to get used to the demonic powers at your disposal, at least once you’ve earnt enough Overdrive from killing enemies. These powers are a game changer and can quickly turn a battle you are losing into one that you fly through with ease, with multiple powers ensuring that for a limited time you’re a god-like demon.
Whilst enemies are important, they aren’t the only thing to be aware of as you master each dungeon and as with near every RPG dungeon crawler on the market, there are plenty of challenges to be mastered, chests to be found and secrets to be uncovered along the way.
Another way of bettering your chances of survival in what is ultimately a rather challenging adventure is by levelling up your character. Doing this will give you a slightly easier run-in when it comes to being swamped by the many demons of the world, and that is thanks to the increased health given by levelling up and being able to wield a second weapon. One of the best features however has to be the option to mutate weapons together, combining them to make something even more powerful. This is an interesting way of keeping weapons feeling fresh too, especially when there’s no guarantee on what weapons you’ll get on your travels.
Of course, by this point you can probably tell that Zagoravia is hardly a place of safety, but you don’t have to spend all of your time out there on your tod – should you have someone willing to join in then local and online are both options. Local play is a great way to liven up the adventure but it does come with a rather exploration limiting locked camera angle that looks to have been implemented to keep players together. However should you venture online then you can join a room for up to four players which allows for natural play and is easily the best way to change things up, allowing the freedom of exploration you get with solo play. Disappointingly it’s not perfect though and anyone hoping for a balanced online experience are unlikely to find it. The reason for this is down to enemies being tied to character level and should you find yourself in a lobby with players of varying levels – which is highly likely with any online title – you’ll soon find overpowered enemies destroying you at every turn.
Away from the demon-slaying and questing, players can always kick back and relax within Castle Zagore. This safe haven allows for restocking on vital potions, storing valuable items and of course spending all that looted gold on a selection of exciting new weapons from which you’ll be off slaughtering the masses in no time.
One final thing that can be used to tailor gameplay are the Destiny Cards and Hexes. Destiny Cards are equip-able cards that change up the battle by installing varying passive abilities on the player whilst Hexes are there to offer more of a challenge; those who enjoy a daunting challenge will no doubt find them incredibly enjoyable.
As I said before, Victor Vran does strike an uncanny resemblance to the Diablo games and whilst Diablo 3 may have recently been announced for the Nintendo Switch, there’s no doubt that Victor Vran Overkill Edition is a game that deserves to be up there in the same bracket. The visuals aren’t the greatest we’ve seen, the local co-op camera doesn’t allow for the most engaging experience and playing with anyone of higher level can result in getting annihilated, but if you’re after a classic RPG experience to sort you out, then Victor Vran is without a doubt a great choice. It excels in single-player, it has bucket loads of loot, it has unforgiving gameplay and it has hours and hours of content.
This is one Nintendo Switch title you really shouldn’t be ignoring.
Massive thanks to: Wired Productions
Release date: August 2018
Formats: Nintendo Switch (Review)