Victor Vran was originally released in 2015, but now Haemimont Games is resurrecting their title for home consoles, bringing together the Motörhead: Through the Ages and Fractured Worlds DLC. In one; monster slaying, loot finding, boss squashing marathon.
The first thing you’ll notice is the main protagonist’s voice, Doug Cockle puts his gravelly toned voice box to work, and although it sounds like a good idea, it really wasn’t. After spending a lifetime with the Witcher series, it’s hard to differentiate his voice from the character of Geralt. He even has the same inflexions and tone, as if the script was written with the same character in mind. It is distracting more than anything else. Especially when Victor is a monster hunter just the same.
Watch the Victor Vran – Motörhead Through the Ages trailer below:
Combat is the stand-out highlight, it’s fast paced, responsive and at its core – fun. You can wield two weapons at once and change them with a click of a button. Shotguns, dual-revolvers, sickles, swords and with the Motörhead DLC even guitars. They all have their own set of skills and uses. A typical ARPG in this genre would have you upgrade skills to unlock new moves for certain weapons. But you’ll start with all three abilities for each from the get go. You’ll also not have the choice between armour parts. Instead, you’ll have complete outfits with their own benefits. For instance, the Vigilante’s Outfit grants +10% critical chance and 150% more overdrive when landing a critical. This means that you’ll build your character around critical chance and damage. Choosing to focus on the relevant Destiny Cards [which are equippable skill modifiers and boosts] to suit your playstyle.
I found this refreshing, it was a nice twist to the usual format and meant I could change playstyle whenever I found a new outfit, instead of having to start a new game choosing a different class like most other ARPGs.
The Overkill Edition brings the Motörhead: Through the Ages and Fractured Worlds DLC with it. The Motörhead world was by far the best, eclipsing the second DLC and even the main campaign. It added that needed pep of originality that the base game just doesn’t offer. We’ve played dungeon crawlers before, we’ve killed thousands of skeletons and spiders, we’ve been there done that. But what we haven’t done is power slid through a mob, strumming to heavy metal while lightning strikes our enemies. Lemmy Kilmister had contributed before he died in 2015, the band’s guitarist Phil Campbell and the drummer Mikkey Dee also are involved, even Lloyd Kaufman [founder of Troma Entertainment] lends his voice to the game, being a close friend to the late frontman. It oozes with love for the band and the genre, melding together the heavy metal imagery alongside the evil armies of hell. Both matching up quite nicely, as you’d expect.
The Fractured Worlds DLC isn’t nearly as good. It’s plain and doesn’t offer the same uniqueness that the Motorhead inspired-world does. If I’m being honest, I would have preferred the entire game be based around a heavy metal world of monsters. It’s cool and having to fight fire-breathing skulls while Ace of Spades is playing in the background is even cooler.
View some Victor Vran: Overkill Edition screenshots in our gallery:
Loot is the draw for any ARPG, you’ll want to change your loadout as often as you can to keep the combat fresh, but it isn’t as rewarding as other games in the same genre. All the weapon cards look the same, despite some minor changes for the rarer items, shotguns all look the same, and this is true for most of the weapons. What it comes down to is a stat change, which is a shame seeing as they could have added so many unique weapons that played into the steampunk world, granted there is a lightning gun and with the DLC you’ll have the choice of guitars as well, but it isn’t enough. The UI is a nightmare at times as well, it’s clear that this was a PC game. In combat it’s fine, you’ll switch weapons and fire off abilities with ease, but as soon as you enter the inventory, you’ll be flicking between things you don’t want and generally not having a smooth time.
I also found that any melee weapon was borderline useless, if you stand still for more than a second you’ll die. Even with ranged weapons, I’m constantly spamming the dodge button just to keep alive. That might have just been me, and maybe I could have focused my character build on one centered around health steal and armour, but it isn’t clear which direction would have been best for a melee build.
Victor Vran: Overkill Edition is at its best when it doesn’t fall back on genre tropes. The removal of a class based system is invigorating and offers the choice to build your playstyle on the go. The combination of wielding two weapons at once keeps the combat fresh and exciting, you’ll soon realise the best tactics for certain types of enemies. The outfits offer sudden class changes and the Destiny Cards will provide essential modifiers and boosts to those stats that sorely need it. I would recommend this game purely on the Motörhead expansion. It breathes life into a genre that tends to lack imagination. If they were planning a sequel, I would ditch the Van Helsing-esque paint coat and reimagine the world as one filled with rock ‘n’ roll and demons that need to be defeated with sick guitar solos.
Victor Vran: Overkill Edition was reviewed using a digital code supplied by the publisher.
Publisher: Wired Productions Developer: Haemimont Games Release Date: June 6, 2017 Reviewed On: Xbox One Also Available On: PS4, PC/Steam