Review: Victor Vran: Overkill Edition (PS4)

Formats:

  • PlayStation 4
  • Xbox One
  • PC

Format/Hardware Used:

  • PSN Download
  • PS4 Pro
  • 4K HDR

Extras:

  • DualShock 4 Required (1)
  • Move None
Flag_of_the_United_States.svg
Title: Victor Vran: Overkill Edition
Format: Blu-ray Disc / PSN (5.79 GB)
Release Date: June 6, 2017
Publisher: THQ Nordic
Developer: Haemimont Games
Original MSRP: $39.99
ESRB Rating: M
PEGI: 16
A copy of this game was provided by the publisher for review purposes.
PS Nation Review Policy

Gameplay:
The continuing adventures of Geralt – I mean, Victor Vran – make their debut on PlayStation 4 and the initial playthrough started with my first-ever videogame typecasting confusion.

Victor Vran launched the same year as The Witcher 3 but the former did not become a PlayStation 4 game until now. Both games featured Doug Cockle as the voice actor for the main protagonist.

So after playing months and months of The Witcher 3, I jumped on Victor Vran for the review and felt a bit confused upon hearing that very familiar voice of Geralt of Rivia coming from an almost identical type of character.

Only this wasn’t a Witcher, and that demon hunter wasn’t Geralt. Oh, both characters took on the jobs of killing monsters for pay, but the relationship between them ended there.

This is a top down action adventure game, reminiscent of Diablo and Champions of Norrath, more akin to Legacy of Kain if you were fortunate enough to have played that excellent game back in the PlayStation 1 era.

Tasked with bounty hunting demons and abominations for pay, Victor finds himself embarking on quests and leveling up to take on even more challenging beasts. Along the way you’ll meet new characters and unlock more powerful weapons and abilities.

While tasks are clearly laid out in the environment, the game encourages exploration and rewards it with hidden chests that promise upgrades to weapons.

Victor starts the game with a sword but a healthy variety of options become available almost immediately, including a pretty brutal shotgun which gives a little Bloodborne vibe to the whole thing. And well it should, as the setting is very familiar in its dismal fantasy style.

Combat is less Diablo and a lot more strategic in that you often have to get in close and take some damage whereas Diablo turns almost every melee weapon into a projectile.

You are afforded a dodge button to get you out of tight situations, and the ranged weapon helps to thin out the masses before you plow in with reckless abandon. In addition to primary attacks, you know, the typical hack and slash, you can map different more-powerful techniques to the other face buttons and combine them to unleash some serious damage.

These subsequent skills apply to each weapon. You can unleash a devastating sword spin with the “sword” while your shotgun will project a massive long-range attack that covers a huge affected area, clearing out a cluster of enemy with ease.

… Cinematics are told in a comic book style that looks great …
This simple combination of weapons and techniques makes for a very enjoyable combat system that made it fun, even when I was just grinding for cash.

Fortunately, the game is not simply dependent on the grind for enjoyment. Quests are handed out pertaining to the overall storyline, and you are also offered various tasks within a mission that reward you for your diligence.

As you gain levels, more and more perks and augments are unlocked, including a card system that enhances Victor’s abilities. For example: your power meter recharges over time, but certain perks have that recharge sped up when you kill enemies.

This is also true of the armor sets available in the game. These range in capabilities but also vary drastically in style. While I may have started the game sporting a Chakan-like hat, I ended up opting for a traditional samurai outfit for my first two hours.

Visuals:
Victor Vran doesn’t get my award for “best looking game of the year” but it’s still a great looking title nonetheless. It simply lacks the level of detail and identity I’ve seen in other games within the same genre.

Still you’d be hard pressed to fault the game for this while you’re playing it, as the world is consistent visually and creature models, as well as Victor himself, look great and function properly within their environments.

Cinematics are told in a comic book style that looks great. And it was cool seeing Victor himself drawn out, so that I could remember that it wasn’t Geralt talking, since his character model was always so far away in the gameplay portions.

… Solid work was done here …
Audio:
Besides my own personal issues with the typecasting, an issue that I do not fault the game for in any shape, since Nolan North is in every video game that ever existed, I applaud this indie adventure game for sporting some fantastic voice work.

Victor narrates his adventure as he traverses the world and most characters you interact with are equally voiced well, bringing to life those little models with some personality.

Online/Multiplayer:
This is definitely one of those games that is better played with a friend, and it allows for two player couch co-op. Since it really doesn’t have a character creation tool, all players end up playing as Victor.

Identity isn’t really as unique here as other isometric dungeon romps, but the ability to customize your armor set does help with that a bit.

Conclusion:
I seriously miss games like these, particularly in this generation. They are certainly less frequent, even more on the console side of things. Victor Vran brings that Legacy of Kain gameplay back with a healthy amount of tasks to accomplish, a narrative to keep you busy, and plenty of loot and upgrades to keep you busy tweaking your character.

It does so with attention to gameplay and even some multiplayer and it never gets boring. To keep the adventure from being lonely, you can choose to embark with someone else. I have no qualms recommending this to any fans of the genre. Solid work was done here.

Score:
9.0

* All screenshots used in this review were taken directly from the game using the Share functionality on the PlayStation 4.

Flag_of_the_United_States.svg
Flag_of_the_United_Kingdom.svg
Flag_of_Canada.svg

 

Twitter Digg Delicious Stumbleupon Technorati Facebook