Victor Vran: Overkill Edition is a dungeon crawling adventure that puts you in the shoes of the titular demon hunter himself as he seeks out a missing friend in the mysterious (and monster-filled) city of Zagoravia. This simple task becomes a bit more complicated though when Victor decides to help destroy the demon scum that has plagued the city, all whilst trying to find out where they’re coming from. Oh, and he also has a voice in his head that guides, taunts, and teases him throughout the journey, so he’s got that to deal with too.
There’s nothing all that exciting about the premise that you wouldn’t have seen before, though the strange voice in Victor’s head does add a humorous twist to the game. He’s constantly putting Victor down and mocking his actions (such as keeping on telling him that he’s going the ‘wrong way’ or making fun of his hat), whilst also making pop-culture references that though oddly placed in this twisted world, will certainly bring a smile to the player’s face. The game just doesn’t take itself too seriously, which is pretty refreshing when compared to other similar dungeon crawlers. It’s a lot of fun – something that remains consistent within the gameplay too.
Gameplay-wise, Victor Vran: Overkill Edition feels very much like a traditional old-school dungeon crawler in the vein of the ‘Diablo’ series, with a focus on lots of simplistic quick-paced action. You’ll work your way across a plethora of different environments, all whilst killing plenty of horrendous beasts and collecting as much loot as possible. It’s the tried-and-tested formula you’d have seen plenty of times before. Fortunately, Victor Vran: Overkill Edition does a great job in replicating said formula, in turn offering a satisfying experience that’ll keep you entertained throughout.
Everything in-game feels great, be it jumping around each map looking for secrets or slicing your enemies apart. With the slick controls that allow you to perform every action with ease as well as the generally consistent frame rate, everything looks and feels absolutely sublime too. Don’t get me wrong, it doesn’t really offer anything that special that you wouldn’t have seen before from a gameplay perspective, but that doesn’t stop Victor Vran: Overkill Edition being satisfying to play.
Whilst the game is certainly a lot of fun to play, it can start to feel a little repetitive over time. Despite heading across a ton of different environments (that all look great, might I add), you’ll consistently find yourself doing the same thing over and over – it’s all slicing and dicing, collecting loot, and working to the next area, with barely any change coming in each level’s layout. There’s nothing all that invigorating to find that ever really spices the game up, with it just playing it safe from start to end. Whilst this was enough for me to enjoy the game, I’m not sure if it’ll really blow away newcomers to the dungeon crawlers.
Victor Vran: Overkill Edition does have one trick up its sleeve though with the special challenges that each area provides. Besides from the main objective you have to follow, each area in the game has five different optional challenges to complete that either offer experiences points, extra loot, or gold. These challenges come in plenty of different varieties too – it might be a case of killing a certain amount of enemies with a specific weapon, finding all the secrets of the area, or even completing the area with extra difficulty modifiers activated.
These challenges were really enjoyable to complete and offered something that alleviated the sense of repetition that the gameplay often brought upon me. It actually pushes you to play in a specific way, whilst the rewards it offers are enough of an incentive to encourage you to complete as many of them as possible. Each area in the game comes with five challenges, though once you’ve completed the game you’ll unlock the elite challenges that not only give you more difficult objectives to overcome, but also give the game a greater sense of replayability.
One thing you’ll be doing a lot of in Victor Vran: Overkill Edition is killing so thankfully there’s a decent choice of weapons on offer, with Victor able to use weaponry such as swords, scythes, sledgehammers, rapiers, and shotguns to take down his opponents. Each weapon feels distinctly different too – the rapiers are incredibly fast for example, but don’t pack the same power as the slower sledgehammer. You can equip two weapons at a time too, with Victor easily switching between the two with a press of a button.
Each weapon type comes with two rechargeable special abilities which allow you to dish out some decent damage on your foe. These are particularly effective when combined with other attacks. For example, the sledgehammer has an ability which allows you to stun any enemy it hits. If you quickly combine that with the spinning attack of the scythe, you can deal massive damage to your opponents with no worry of making yourself vulnerable to a counter attack. It adds an extra dimension to the fairly simple combat mechanics, showing that Victor Vran: Overkill Edition actually has a bit more depth than it seems.
The only problem with the weapons is the lack of variety in their style. Whilst there’s a decent variety of each weapon type to find, they all look the same in-game. I had close to fifteen sledgehammers available at one point, but none of them really looked or felt different; sure, they dealt more damage or came with different bonuses, but aesthetically they looked the same. It’s often satisfying to see all the cool equipment you’re using in a dungeon crawler, but there’s nothing like that in Victor Vran: Overkill Edition. In fact, the only real aesthetic change is within your outfit, but with a limited variety on offer there isn’t too much of a change to see there either.
You can also equip different Demon Powers: a selection of extremely powerful attacks that can only be used once you’ve charged your Overdrive meter. As you progress through the game you’ll unlock more powerful variants of each Demon Power too. Much like the weapons though, they don’t really change in style – they just become more powerful. Again, they’re great to use in-game, but can just feel a little underwhelming with their lack of visual variety the further you go through the game.
Unlike other dungeon crawlers, you don’t actually choose a class at the start of Victor Vran: Overkill Edition. You’re instead given the freedom to choose exactly what weapons, power ups, and outfits you use, which each offering different stats and attacking styles that allow you to play in different ways. Whilst the weapons naturally allow you to play differently (shotguns offer ranged skills for example, whilst the rapier demands you get up close), it’s their stats and the way they affect how your Overdrive meter charges that makes the biggest difference.
Each outfit makes your Overdrive charge in different ways, which can greatly affect how you play the game; your Demon Powers offer the most effective ways to take out your opponents, so having the Overdrive meter charged to use them is vital. Some outfits make your Overdrive meter charge when you attack, others make it charge by taking damage, whilst others let it charge periodically over time. Of course, these outfits also affect your stats too, so you’ve got to take that into consideration. It all comes down to finding the best equipment that suits how you like to play. It allows a decent amount of flexibility, which makes up for the lack of choice in your character’s class.
Besides the main game, you also have two expansions to play through with the console release of Victor Vran: the ‘Fractured Worlds’ expansion and the Motörhead themed expansion ‘Through the Ages’. That’s right – Motörhead themed. Both expansions offer something completely different, with ‘Fractured Worlds’ offering an extra campaign as well as a new challenge for the player to complete on a daily basis, whilst ‘Through the Ages’ gives the player a more comedic adventure that’s full of rocking Motörhead hits, guitars to use as weapons, and a battle against demons and Nazis. Fitting, right? Both are a lot of fun though and give players plenty of extra content to play through. Much like the main game though, they don’t offer that much different from a gameplay perspective. It’s more of the same; it’s good, but the same.
Victor Vran: Overkill Edition treats gamers to a dungeon crawling experience that doesn’t really do much to evolve upon the traditional formula, but offers plenty of enjoyment with its hacking, slashing, and loot collecting action. It certainly keeps everything simple and can suffer from repetition over time, but it doesn’t stop the game being fun.
The challenges will keep you tested even after you’ve finished the game, the extra expansions give you some more meaty adventures to play through once you’re through with the base game, whilst the fact you can do it all in multiplayer with friends will ensure you’re kept coming back for more.
All in all, Victor Vran: Overkill Edition makes for a nice little dungeon-crawling package for console gamers to play through. The simplistic nature of the game won’t blow you away, but it will offer plenty of hours of demon slaying fun.
Developer: Haemimont Games
Publisher: Wired Productions
Release Date: 06/06/2017
Format(s): Playstation 4 (Reviewed), Xbox One, PC, Mac, Linux