The Incredible Adventures Of Van Helsing
Graphics - 6
Gameplay - 5
Value - 5
Story - 5
Sound - 6.5
While it had potential, the game failed to live up to its legendary namesake. Try at your own risk
Developed and published by NeocoreGames, The Incredible Adventures of Van Helsing follows the son of the famous vampire hunter one might recognize from Dracula. He is joined by a sharp tongued ghost by the name of Lady Katarina with whom he travels to the region of Borgovia in hopes of saving the area from the terrors which haunts the place.
Although Van Helsing is famous for hunting vampires, this game will instead have you helping out resident vampire Vlados while have you facing werewolves, monsters, steam punk robots, a bevy of mythological abominations and mad scientists.
The gameplay is reminiscent of Diablo and Torchlight where players spend the bulk of their time clicking away at the screen. Players can only have 2 skills available at any point in time while having the option to change them mid combat. While the idea of having only 2 skills might turn away players, it actually works for Van Helsing.
Every skill you learn will have 3 modifiers which players can use to alter the effects of their skills. These modifiers consume Rage when utilized which is obtained when killing enemies and they can give specific attributes such as a slowing effect, a flat damage increase or even changing your basic gun shot into an explosive round.
However, unlike Diablo or Torchlight, The Incredible Adventures of Van Helsing pigeon holes the player into using specific skills because of the sheer amount of monsters the game throws at you. Every encounter you face comprises of large amount of monsters which makes it near impossible to use any other skill beside area effect ones. Because of this, every encounter is similar with you never really having to change up your skill set and the game therefore becomes boring very quickly.
The Incredible Adventures of Van Helsing does not give the player classes to choose from. Instead, all characters start out the same but the player is given the choice to freely develop their characters in any way they want to. There is even a separate Reputation system built in where players can choose various Perks to improve their characters. The AI-controlled Lady Katarina also has her own unique set of skills with which to aid Van Helsing in combat. While that is a lot of information to take in at first, but with every level you gain, there is a noticeable improvement in your character which makes game progression really fun.
That being said, Van Helsing is not a “grindy” game. In fact, it is impossible to grind in this game because once you clear an area of monsters; they will never respawn even if you reload the game. Ever.
Therefore, NeocoreGames made levelling every easy in The Incredible Adventures of Van Helsing, to the point where players will find themselves at max level before the game is over. It also helps that the game has a ton of side quests for players to occupy themselves with to earn extra rewards on the side.
While levelling up is a joy to be had, the same can’t be said for the items which you earn in game. There isn’t a whole lot of item variety, which means that everyone will eventually have characters which look and play alike. On top of that, as the game drudges on, upgrades are few and far between which makes it even more depressing to play.
The Incredible Adventures of Van Helsing has a simple story where you have Van Helsing arriving in Borgovia to help the troubled citizens. While there is a central story to the game, you will be hard pressed to relate to it or to feel any sense of attachment to the world which the developers have tried to create, mostly because the story just isn’t very good at all.
Like the story, the places where Van Helsing ventures to are boring. The initial combination of villages, swamps and caves were great. And after a few hours, you even make your way to a steam punk city. This change of environment is wonderful as it keeps the game refreshing. However, after the shift, the places which you explore never vary anymore and you will have to contend with the same factory or secret laboratory over and over again. While the places you visit are well designed and large, the last few hours of the game can feel like it is really dragging on because essentially, you are revisiting the same old places because of a poorly written story.
The Incredible Adventures of Van Helsing has potential. It had an original setting, rich background lore and a unique skill system. But instead of further developing on the story and mechanics, it forces you to sit through a dull story with boring loot and repetitive gameplay which resulted in a far from incredible adventure of a game.
A copy of this game was provided for review purposes.