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понеделник, 10 август 2015 г.

Victor Vran - the darker cousin of Torchlight




I love RPGs and when I don't get enough action out of them I gladly switch to their cousins the ARPGs. Games like Path of Exile or Torchlight II for example. And although those have a great amount of content when something fresh pops up I'm immediately interested. New game from a favorite genre is like a new book from a loved author to me. This is exactly the case with Victor Vran from the creators of Tropico Haemimont. The game came out on 24th of July 2015 and in it you take the role of the monster hunter Victor Vran.




  The story of Victor



You're the monster hunter Victor Vran who while following the tracks of his friend has reached the city of Zagoravia last beacon among a sea of monsters and horrors. There you meet the queen of Zagoravia which somehow still holds the palace. After revealing few secrets about the hellish place you have found you decide to offer your help to the queen in cleansing the evil. 



Why slaying monsters with Victor?



At first glance the game will definitely look to you like standard hack n sla...I mean ARPG, but Victor Vran offers few mechanics that sets him apart from the others. The first thing that you will probably notice is that you can jump and it actually has purpose. First you can jump over low walls or escape from enemies when surrounded by just jumping over them or by stomping and pushing them back. And while those are useful the cool thing about jumping is that you can wall jump which will often help you reach areas and find secrets. The problem with jumping is the the fact that the game is 2.5D and often will hide walls making it possible for you see what is happening and by doing this will hinder your ability to estimate is it possible to use your cool jump. Ok I might be little too excited about this but in how many ARPGs you can jump whеnever you want? HA! Exactly!




You will also be able to dodge enemy attacks instead of relying on passive evasion stats. Those two features make the game feels a lot more action packed and keeps you caught into it.

What really puts Victor Vran aside from other games in the genre are two key features - there are no classes and there are no skill trees in the game. No stats to level up either. No,no, listen its not dumb at all. Victor Vran is a game that advertise itself as one with ton of items to collect and its true there are a lot of weapons and each of them have its own specific three skills. You will be able to equip two weapons without matter two or one handed and switch between them. The weapons include quick ones like the sword, rapier and the shockgun or slower and more AoE oriented ones like the mortar, scythe and the hammer. Other than the weapons you will be able to equip two demon skills and three destiny cards which give a bit more depth to character building. In this aspect the game is really simplified, but that is easily explainable if you look it from other side. You're Victor Vran the monster hunter who trough the years have learned to use all these weapons which give him immense flexibility while out there. If not else you will not have to worry about builds and what to use and learn. When you dislike something you just change the weapons and the skills. Of course when so much depends on the items you will be able to upgrade them and you will find them in different rarities and with additional passive bonuses.




The two other things that I mentioned are the demon skills and fate cards. The first ones are the closest thing to magic in the world of Vran. For them you need overdrive which is generated when you deal damage and when such is dealt to you. Or bu other means provided by you from Cards and outfits. These skills are independent from the equipped weapons. The cards will give you passive bonuses like life, critical chance, damage, life steal and so on. You will be able to also craft them and will be limited to equipping no more than three of them.

Other than that the game has all specifics of ARPG like hordes of enemies, dungeons to crawl into, hidden treasures and nasty nasty bosses. The world of Vran is not interconnected instead you can teleport from the Castle(your hub area) to any found dungeon. In the dungeons you will have optional objectives which will give you experience, items and gold. Also from certain level on Hexes will appear. Hexes can be activated while you are into a dungeon and they will make it harder for you while also giving better rewards.




Victor, the Voice and other famous hunters...


Victor Vran while looking not really shiny and up to date, it definitely looks spectacular. Enemies will fly around, explode, stuff will get broken AoEs will burn the ground around you and so on. Enemies may get a bit repetitive, I mean there are a lot of spiders and skeletons and not much else in the beginning. Here is the place to mention that in skills and animations the game somehow reminded me of Torchlight II. Especially the skill that have chance to trigger and the fact that massive weapons hit more than one enemy with normal attacks. Its almost like Victor is a distant, darker cousin to Runic's masterpiece.
Regarding the sound of the game there are two things that will catch your attention immediately - Victor is voiced by the same man who has voiced Geralt of Rivia. Two monster hunters voiced by the same man felt kinda strange to me, somehow out of place. Victor is doing the same that Geralt does, but in totally different context.
The second thing is the voice that Victor hears in his head. The Voice will not help you at all. He will only give you snarky remarks and laugh at you. For example in the garden of the Castle there is a labyrinth and he taunts you to enter it, but when you start jumping over the wall he blames in cheating. Other example for his mockery is when he will keep saying that you're going in the wrong direction. The Voice is something that will usually break you out from the monotony that slaying horde after horde of monsters can be. He is the thin string of humor which is always welcome.


Conclusion


Victor Vran is 2.5D ARPG in which you take on the role of the monster hunter Victor Vran who is looking for his friend which leads him to the monster infested town of Zagoravia. Before you say "Oh, another ARPG..." let me tell you what makes Viki different from other games in this genre.

The first thing is that there are no classes in this game and the skills you are using are dependent on your equipped weapons, each weapons providing three unique skills. Also you will have at your disposal two demon abilities which are magic-like spells. In addition to that you will also have Destiny cards that will provide you with passive bonuses. 
Now those specifics of the game while being its strength are also its weakness, because with game structured this way there is not much replayability to the title. Surely you can try beat it with different weapons and skills but its not even close to playing different classes. 




I personally enjoyed it and if you're looking for not so heavy ARPG experience, something lighter and at the same time different than the classics in the genre I recommend to you Victor Vran, its good.



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