If you were to come across Victor Vran: Overkill Edition on the storefront of your chosen gaming platform, you would be forgiven for thinking it was either a Diablo 3 clone or a doomed Motorhead cash-in. However, if you venture further in you will discover a game which has depth and, in parts, is some of the most fun I’ve had in gaming for a long time.
Firstly, the gameplay is engaging throughout. Playing as demon hunter Victor Vran, you violently weave your way through a surprisingly varied series of environments. From incredibly early on you can wield two weapons and switch on the fly, even mid-combo. This can lead to some imaginative strings of destruction. The weapon system is also where the first layer of depth appears. As you play through, you will collect more weaponry (swords, rapiers, hammers, scythes, shotguns, and guitars are just some) than you’ll know what to do with. The statistics on these varies randomly meaning that you will be able to continually improve your arsenal as you go. Each weapon type offers up different move sets as well. giving you plenty of chance to build around your preferred playstyle.
The loot-based reward system throws up two further layers of gameplay depth: Destiny Cards and Demon Powers. Destiny Cards work like boons or perks, and provide a passive bonus to your Victor Vran. Which cards you can equip is dependent on your character level and which cards you’ve found. Each card type also has improved versions of themselves. Again, this leads to a satisfying feeling of gradual progress over time. Secondly, at some point in the past, Victor Vran was a little naughty and made a deal with some demons in exchange for magic powers. These are also granted as randomised loot. From meteors to shockwaves, and improved versions of each power, collecting and swapping out these screen-clearing abilities is a key gameplay-loop component.
The main campaign tells a satisfactory story. You are given enough information to drive you forward, engage in Victor Vran’s story, and explore the world you find yourself in. The side characters deliver enough of a performance to prevent them from just being shop fronts. Victor Vran himself is intriguing from the opening cinematic, and has real character. This is mainly due to his voice actor, Doug Cockle.
Perhaps then, this is the first major issue in the game. Doug Cockle, as wonderful as he is, uses exactly the same voice he used when voicing Geralt in The Witcher series. The combination of his voice, magic, monsters, and some suspiciously Eastern-European inspired place names really pulled me out of Victor Vran’s environment. Although the sensation dulled the longer I played, I never shook off the distraction of hearing Geralt. Equally, the enemy design suffers from connections to another game. It is here the Diablo 3 comparison rears it’s head. You will destroy fields of the same enemy type, with slight variations on their colouring or abilities, and you will come across unique ‘Champion’ versions of the monsters. Like Diablo 3, this is par for the course in these games and isn’t an issue on it’s own. However, Victor Vran does find itself in the Diablo 3 shadow in this instance.
What makes Victor Vran: Overkill Edition an amazing purchase is not this fantastic base game, but the two added play modes. Fractured Worlds provides the immediate replayability of the game. Packaged as a side story to the main campaign, Fractured Worlds develops Victor Vran’s lore and universe. More importantly it gives you daily challenge dungeons.
The second piece of included DLC is the Motorhead inspired Through The Ages. This is worth the entrance fee alone. Again working as a side story, Victor Vran is summoned to help rescue several realms which are inspired by the music and designs surrounding Motorhead. This includes in game representations of the band. Slaying demons to the backdrop of iconic Motorhead tracks (you will be shocked how many you will recognise) feels natural. In fact, it almost makes the lack of Motorhead music in the main campaign feel like a massive misstep. The quality is equal to the main game, and the Motorhead connection runs impressively deep. I’m not a Motorhead fan by any means, but this DLC lit me up with enjoyment and excitement.
Ultimately, Victor Vran: Overkill Edition will be loved by action RPG game fans, and should absolutely be on their wishlists. Impressively, it should also be on the radar of action game fans overall. If you are looking for a fun, hack-and-slash game with the freedom to shape the playstyle, you won’t go wrong with Victor Vran: Overkill Edition.
Victor Vran: Overkill Edition is available on PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and Windows PC from May 30th and is rated M for Mature by ESRB.