Posted: June 28
I heard of this game by accident and, after playing Torchlight I & II, I decided to give it a try since it seemed so dark and atmospheric.
And it seams I wasn't wrong.
The first thing I noticed was that, unlike other similar games, The Incredible Adventures of Van Helsing is a game with a distinct "personality" (assuming this can be said about a video game).
The action takes place in the dark and mysterious world of Borgovia, a world where magic and science(and of course mad scientists) can coexist.
The world is beautifully designed and it seems the designers paid a lot of attention to details. The atmosphere somehow reminded me of London as imagined by Conan Doyle as well as Transylvania as portrayed by Bram Stocker in "Dracula".
The soundtrack is great and it fits perfectly with the dark foggy streets full of strange creatures hiding in the shadows. It's really hard to tell how much it adds to the game feeling but it's obviously, once you start playing, that the game wouldn't be the same with a different soundtrack.
The game features 3 classes, The Hunter, The Thaumaturge and The Arcane Mechanic, the last 2 being sold separately as 2 DLCs.
Each class has a very complex skill system, with multiple skill trees as well as many abilities that can be both, passive or active. While this can be frustrating for those who don't like to replay the game, due to the fact that it's quite impossible to complete a skill tree in a single playthrough, unless you wonder around and kill monsters just for fun, this makes more sense if you plan on playing the sequel, since you can import everything and continue from where you left.
The main character, Van Helsing, also has his own companion, Lady Katerina, the ghost of a noble lady. Just like Van Helsing, Lady Katarina has her own skill system with a few active and passive skills as well as different combat modes (melee, ranged). You can also set her to attack those who attack you, those you are attacking or anyone around or you can tell her to stay out of battle. She can be very useful when you're overwhelmed and she can also go grab loot for you and sell/buy items.
Voice acting and dialog is great and you can actually see the chemistry between Van Helsing and Lady Katarina.
The game also has a lot of pop culture references to movies/games like The Witcher and Lord Of The Rings.
Unfortunately, for those who are used to games like Diablo and Torchlight, The Incredible Adventures of Van Helsing, is a hard game and sometimes it can be very frustrating and cheap.
There are moments when you will be overwhelmed by creatures 2+ levels ahead of you, in confined spaces and if their huge health given by the higher level won't be a problem for you, the huge number will eventually make it impossible for you to move so you'll just have to wait for your inevitable death and respawn.
Overall, The Incredible Adventures of Van Helsing is a great game that will please many Diablo/Torchlight fans.