There have been tons of overhead action RPGs over the decades yet few have come close to the incredible world of Diablo. Now that Victor Vran is available for console with two substantial pieces of DLC, let's see how it holds up in the genre.
Victor Vran: Overkill Edition includes three experiences: the main adventure within Zagoravia city, a Motörhead-themed campaign, and a collection of randomly generated dungeons to explore. The first thing you'll notice upon booting it up is just how responsive and intuitive the controls are. This is impressive considering good old Slick Vic has a large repertoire of abilities at his disposal. As you hack and slash your way through demons of all sorts, you can switch between two weapons and perform weapon-specific abilities that'll likely have devastating consequences on the enemy hordes. On top of this, you can unleash a couple of equipped ultimate moves whenever the respective meter is adequately filled. Of course, blocking and dodging attacks from your foes is crucial if you want to emerge unscathed from battle. With such comprehensive and enjoyable gameplay, it's sure to satisfy any genre fan.
The graphics may not be realistic but everything comes across as flashy and appealing with plenty of cool visual effects and points of interest that pop off the screen. You'll explore a wealth of locations that all look distinct, too. On the audio side, you'll hear many mood-setting orchestral pieces and tons of rocking tunes in the Motörhead expansion. The effects are very satisfying as you hack up the demon hordes with style and the voice acting is accomplished quite well with a talented cast. Whether a voice is taunting you as you play or Victor is reciting his inner-monologue; each actor does a great job of making their respective character come to life.
One of Victor Vran's most impressive aspects is its variety of content. You'll come across loads of unique enemies and bosses throughout the campaign such as spiders that emerge from eggs and nests, fireball-shooting skeletons, and possessed humans. You never know which kind of enemy you'll run into next so exploring each new stage is always an enjoyable endeavor. Speaking of exploration, there are also tons of items to discover and equip. Experimenting with swords, guns, scythes, grenade launchers, hammers, and the like to see which weapons suit your play style is quite rewarding. As you play, you'll also constantly check off challenges per area. Being able to complete all of them will require the skills of an expert hunter so hardcore gamers will delight in the challenge.
Before I move on to discuss the two included DLC packs, I should mention Victor Vran's less desirable aspects. First of all, the gameplay is incredibly fun but it does get rather repetitive if you play it in long stretches. Therefore, it's best played for an hour or two here and there because you don't really do much besides running from point A to point B while fighting hordes of demons and the odd boss. Next, I understand that Victor Vran initially debuted on PC but the menus on console are clunky to the point where they can be frustrating. Accidentally destroying an item or equipping a crummy weapon is easy to do so make sure that you're patient before fumbling around your inventory. Finally, I enjoyed playing local multiplayer with my wife but I'm disappointed that I can't play with her and with online players simultaneously. Instead, you can only do one or the other which is needlessly limiting.
Motörhead: Through the Ages
This DLC is an entire campaign based on Motörhead mythos. It not only features a rocking soundtrack from Motörhead themselves; Lemmy is an NPC along with the eccentric director Lloyd Kaufman (for some reason). This campaign turns up the fun by adding plenty of humour, awesome music, and insane bosses. Heck, you can even slay demons by rocking out with your guitar out and dress as members of the band by unlocking their costumes. Overall, this is great DLC for those who want to inject some metal into their gaming diet.
The Fractured Worlds DLC is primarily for gamers who already mastered everything Victor Vran has to offer and want to dive into some randomly generated dungeons. It gets insanely tough quite early on which makes it a perfect fit for a post-game challenge.
Victor Vran: Overkill Edition is chock full of action RPG goodness that'll delight any genre fan for dozens of hours. Its core gameplay may get a little repetitive but what's here amounts to a surprisingly varied and enjoyable collection of content.
- + Enjoyable overhead action RPG gameplay with a healthy arsenal of moves
- + Spot-on visuals and audio
- + Large variety of items and monsters
- - Gameplay gets kind of monotonous after playing for long stretches
- - Incredibly clunky menus
- - Can't mix local and online players