Sep 24, 2017 Last Updated 10:18 PM, Sep 22, 2017

Victor Vran: Overkill Edition Review

Published in Action
Read 1262 times
Rate this item
(0 votes)

The best possible evolution down from Diablo's gameplay

Two years ago, Victor Vran brought us the most action-packed, gothic-noir fun we've had since The Incredible Adventures of Van Helsing. Now Victor's got a guitar and a cross-dimensional golden compass, conveniently bundled together with the base game in Victor Vran: Overkill Edition. Victor Vran: Motörhead Through the Ages and Victor Vran: Fractured Worlds are your guitar and compass, respectively, if you're already a proud owner and looking to upgrade.

Haemimont Games — maker of Omerta: City of Gangsters, Tropico, and yes, Victor Vran — is an indie studio with the avowed mission to thrill, engage and provoke gamers worldwide” [1]. They've been around since 1997, and today they're Bulgaria's biggest indie developer.They've teamed up with the raw, no-remorse, yes-that-Motörhead band Motörhead [2] to show us what would happen if a guy even cooler than Van Helsing starred in Brütal Legend and kicked ass across multiple universes via the best possible evolution downstream from Diablo's gameplay.

Your keyboard and mouse serve you well in Victor Vran, although the title's intuitive and tactile style begs you to hook up your controller. Fully rebindable settings for either control scheme ensure your quality of life. You need that comfort and familiarity as you mow down hordes of enemies. You'll feel like a hunter refining your craft as you learn when to dodge roll versus when to jump, when to switch weapons, and how to use your abilities not only for damage but for movement.

You realize maybe you shouldn't have vendored that rapier

This title strikes a balance between imbuing you with a sense of power and mastery over the demons you hunt, and instilling genuine caution by punishing you when you fail to strategize. You might be chugging merrily along, owning the world with your hammer and shotgun, when suddenly a durable yet agile wraith comes along, and you realize maybe you shouldn't have vendored that rapier. Victor Vran's distinct weapon types represent not only different styles of play, but different damage-related and ability-based advantages you leverage against monsters. The guitar and revolver, which start dropping after you install Motörhead Through the Ages, add even more versatility to your arsenal in the game. Specifically, the revolvers offer rapid-fire ranged play and shots on-the-move, while the guitar utilizes medium-range projectile barrages and a get-out-of-dodge, damage-them-while-I'm-at-it, Lemmy-take-the-wheel charge move with an AOE.

Motörhead's frontman Lemmy Kilmister, the godfather of heavy metal, played an early version of the Motörhead-themed DLC and liked it. He was “very excited” about its development [2], and Haemimont already had his endorsement and blessing. The band's surviving members and friends surely aren't alone when they wish Lemmy had lived to load it up.

Motörhead Through the Ages meshes surprisingly well with Victor's character. In fact, it's the first crossover of this type I've seen that so brilliantly and smoothly reinforces the message and spirit of the original story. Victor's a guy looking to free himself, and when he fights for the freedom of others, you feel those echoes. I didn't expect to tear up when Lemmy “had to go.” Even if you're not a Motörhead fan, their tie-in will captivate you with the same energy and individualism so beloved by fans off the band.

What did you think was going to happen when you sought out all those magic glowing skeletons and plague wraiths and mage vampires? Not pain?

Fractured Worlds connects Victor to a labyrinthine network of dungeons full of challenges that change daily. He searches for pieces of an artifact there, an artifact that has the power to lead him to his heart's desire, finally breaking the demonic pact he struck long ago. The content expands naturally upon Victor Vran's storyline while capitalizing on its addictive combat and crafting systems. It's the straightforward DLC. It's the one we expected. It's great. Its maps tend towards sprawling layouts with multiple paths that encourage exploration. It's your encore of the original — refining Victor Vran's strengths, shoring up its weaknesses. You dive headfirst into loot piñatas and endgame character progression, all the while immersed in a shattered world's ambiance and Victor's wry, weary voice as he carries on with his quest.

Small hang-ups remain, such as the clumsy negotiation of your jumps with objects in the environment and inevitable difficulty spikes when you don't realize how hard that new monster is going to hit, or how hard monsters you've seen before hit en masse and in combination [EN: Sounds tower-defense-esque]. But that's life, right? That's realistic. What did you think was going to happen when you sought out all those magic glowing skeletons and plague wraiths and mage vampires? Not pain? Really? There's a reason why all Victor's hunter friends are dead. It makes sense in-universe for him to suffer occasional, unfair dismemberment. Guy's got a dangerous job, after all.

1. About (Victor Vran). Haemimont Games. https://www.victorvran.com/#about
2. https://youtu.be/fkCo5ksA168

8

The Verdict

Victor Vran: Overkill Edition adds innovative and enjoyable DLC to an already engaging base game. Fractured Worlds brings an encore of action and dungeon-delving with an increased level cap, while Motörhead Through the Ages delivers novelty and a tribute to heavy metal. Hearty new content strums all the right chords for fans and newcomers alike with mechanical refinements and expansion on Victor's story's themes. While you can pick up each DLC separately, thematic unity amongst the edition's pieces rewards you for playing them together. Smooth gameplay and strong momentum, framed by a thought-provoking narrative, render Victor Vran: Overkill Edition a solid addition to any collection.

Kelsey Erwin

Kelsey seeks out RPGs with the narrative clout of Greek tragedy and strategy sims more punishing than QWOP. Their favorite part about being a gender neutral PC gamer and reviewer is that it's probably the only thing no one else on the site will put in a biography. Super saiyan special snowflake originality! Kelsey always keeps a pot of hot tea close at hand, and the sign of a truly great game is when it can monopolize Kelsey's attention so completely that the tea grows cold. While a dedicated believer in the PC Master Race, Kelsey also still spends time with their old favorite console, a cinderblock size Playstation 2.

Related items

  • Divinity: Original Sin 2 Review

    With Divinity: Original Sin 2, Larian Studios creates a title that brings together the best aspects of table-top and classic roleplaying games. The graphics, along with the score and voice acting, are painstakingly detailed and are truly awe-inspiring. Every decision you make, from character creation to dialogue, will affect your experience, giving you a slightly different playthrough every time. This is not a game for the casual player, however. The sheer size of the game and the difficulty of some battles will require dozens of hours and have you loading quicksaves time and again. Divinity: Original Sin 2 is primed to be on many all-time favorites lists; few, if any, have succeeded to this degree.

  • Ys SEVEN Review

    Ys SEVEN is packed with content -- over 30 hours of gameplay, a deep storyline, and a catchy soundtrack.  Though the plot retreads the ‘hero tasked with saving humanity’ story arc, it does so in an original manner through a rich cast of characters. However, the default configuration is a hassle, which seems odd, considering that this title was first developed for the PSP — although if you had no idea that this entry originally came out on PSP, you’d never think that it wasn’t developed for PC. You’ll want to love this game, but problems with the controls might keep you from considering it one your favorites.

  • Tangledeep Early Access Review

    Tangledeep is like the platonic ideal of RPGs: it has everything you want in a dungeon crawling roguelike without all the mess of outdated graphics or frustrating UI. This gem evokes memories of 16-bit Super Nintendo RPGs from back in the day. Do yourself a favor, grab Tangledeep before it gets more popular, and just try it for a couple twenty hours. Did I mention there’s great replay value?

More in this category: TEKKEN 7 Review »

Latest Shows

Mantis Burn Raci…

The OPN interview showcasing the release of VooFoo Studios' 'Battle cars' DLC for the fast-paced, competitive, top-down racer, 'Mantis Burn Racing.' A conversation with Creative Di...

Crumple Intervie…

The OPN Dev Talk with Gabriel Gutierrez from Nascent Games, on their title newly release title "Crumple." A great conversation about what it takes to get a studio on the run, and o...

Out Soon

PC Gaming Incoming

FIFA 18

Score incredible goals in FIFA 18 as new movement and finishing animations unlock more fluid strikin...

Total War: WARHA…

Sequel to the award-winning Total War: WARHAMMER, Total War: WARHAMMER II introduces a breathtaking ...

XCOM 2: War of t…

War of the Chosen adds so favorably to the original XCOM 2 experience that fans should consider it near-perfect as well as essential. Although some features in XCOM 2: War of the C...

Project CARS 2 R…

Project CARS 2 sets the benchmark for what a true racing sim release should be. With exquisite graphics, exceptional realism, and palpable thrill, the gauntlets have been thrown do...

Life is Strange:…

Life is Strange: Before the Storm plays like a cutscene with a point-and-click element that is a joy; no button combinations or consulting a grainy minimap: Daedalus himself design...

Divinity: Origin…

With Divinity: Original Sin 2, Larian Studios creates a title that brings together the best aspects of table-top and classic roleplaying games. The graphics, along with the score a...