Victor Vran is an action-RPG made by the Bulgarian independent development studio, Haemimont Games. The game is made in the style of Diablo and is set in a gothic medieval universe where both science and magic are key elements. You play as the titular Victor Vran, a hunter of demons and the vile scourge that serves them. Your mission is to enter the city of Zagoravia in order to find your hunter friend, Adrian.
The gameplay is similar to Diablo in overall style, but there are some major tweaks to the combat system and mechanics that serve the game nicely, and makes its combat feel a little more unique to the genre. For starters; you actually have a dodge button rather than having to use an ability to dodge, so dodging dangerous projectiles and attacks becomes a lot easier — this dodge becomes a godsend later in the game, when there are a million things on the screen at once. There is also a jump button which is used to traverse certain parts of the landscape, and to find secrets hidden in the levels. You can also use it to avoid enemies when they are swarming you, making it incredibly useful in encounters.
You also have access to Demon Powers; ultimate abilities that are usable once you fill your Overdrive meter, which is increased through different criteria. Victor Vran has no class system — instead, costumes become your replacement for classes. Costumes change the appearance of Victor and also change how you build your Overdrive meter, making your build based around what costume you’re wearing. I went with a costume that gives you Overdrive when you land a critical hit, so I based my build around critical hits, but there are all kinds of ways you can build Victor — it adds a lot of variety to the game, even you’re playing as the same character.
Destiny Cards specialize your build even more, with additional stats or abilities given to your character through equipping them. It all adds up to a wide variety of ways you can build the same character and makes the game more interesting, because you have no idea what you’ll find in order to change your build, and you can make entirely new ways to play. It’s a unique system that I think works well, and keeps you from being stuck on the same path for the entire game, and adds a lot of variety to the gameplay.
Victor Vran‘s graphics fit with the Gothic monster theme with every area and locale fitting the setting the creators are trying to present. The architecture remains consistent throughout the entire game, although the locales themselves are different enough that the game doesn’t become boring. The animations for Victor and enemies are very good and the effects look sharp, although there can be instances where there is too much on the screen at the same time, resulting in poor performance due to so many particle effects.
The enemies are varied enough that they don’t become boring, but with all the mentions of demons, there aren’t a whole lot of demons in the game. The codex tells you that the spiders are the demon’s physical forms in the our world, but I wish that they had at least made some demonic enemies to fight, because the game keeps talking about the demons and demonic hordes even though you hardly see any. This is a minor criticism, but an important one about the game’s setting and story.
The music in Victor Vran isn’t all that memorable; I had to go back into the game while writing this to even remember what it sounded like. It plays its part mainly as a backdrop to the action and dialogue, and even though it isn’t the most recognizable, it plays its part well enough. The voice actors do a fantastic job as well, with Doug Cockle — voice of Geralt from The Witcher — voicing Victor Vran to good effect. Andrew Wincott does a fantastic job of sounding exactly like the Stanley Parable narrator, even making jokes about how similar he sounds. Seriously, he does a fantastic job, and I swore it was Kevan Brighting the entire time. The rest of voice actors are good as well, but the best interactions come from Victor and the Narrator, making for some of the game’s best moments. The game’s sound effects do their job well enough and are effective, but I wouldn’t say they blew me away — they did their job and that’s about all I got out of them.
Victor Vran is an action-RPG that uses its base formula well, while also adding its own unique features to the mix. The voice actors are awesome, with Doug Cockle and Andrew Wincott’s dialogue keeping me entertained and laughing in between the serious story. The game is also good value for $20, and it kept me entertained for at least 10 hours, and that was without even completing all the side objectives, finding all the secrets, or even trying out some of the endgames features. If you’re looking for some value for your money; Victor Vran will keep you entertained for a long time, and if you’re looking for a new action-RPG to try, I would put this high on my list.
(As of this review’s publishing on July 25th , Victor Vran is 10% off on Steam until July 31st to celebrate the official launch. If you want to save some money on a good game, I recommend you get it now)
A steam code for Victor Vran was provided for the purpose of this review