The Incredible Adventures of Van Helsing

The Incredible Adventures of Van Helsing is a top-down action RPG much in the style of the Diablo series, and the comparisons don’t end there.  Even the UI gives off a Diablo scent so strong it’d make your eyes water, but it would be a mistake to simply dismiss it on those terms.

This is a game that’s quite aware of its influences.  Both aware enough to stray from them and aware enough to poke gentle fun at them.

The Incredible Adventures of Van Helsing sees you rolling out as the son of Dr Abraham Van Helsing from Bram Stoker’s Dracula, a monster hunter with a name of your choice (in my case it was Dram Boaker) in search of… well, incredible adventures.  You’re aided in your many quests by the ghost of a noble woman named Katerina whose job it is to be generally snarky and unpleasant.

VanHelsing_x86 2013-05-05 11-48-26-980

The game’s hook, and what makes it stand out from the majority of its genre is its focus on story, in that it actually has one that it wants to tell you.  The game takes place in Borgova, capital city of the fictional nation Borgovia (imaginative), a city that’s got a few too many mad scientists and, by extension, a few too many monsters. Cue My Van Helsing to pop along and shoot them all up.

Simple enough, but it’s clear there will be intrigue and twisty turny plot stuff abound.  As I came to the end of my preview build I encountered a genetically engineered beast making nefarious plans with a scarecrow.  Who created this monstrosity?  What else have they made?  Will they be annoyed that I smeared their creation across the Borgovian swamps?

Speaking of smearing enemies you’ll do this in Van Helsing just the same way you would if you were playing a Demon Hunter in Diablo 3 (in fact they’re voiced by the same voice actor).  I hope you’re good at stutter step because you’ll be needing it to keep your distance from the hordes of werewolves, robots (yep, robots), and Rusalkas that have come to the conclusion that a Van Helsing sandwich would be a hearty lunch.

This is where Katerina really comes in handy.  You can use her in three modes, melee, ranged, and ghost form which uses her to boost Van Helsing’s stats while the first two are pretty self explanatory.  I found melee mode to be the most useful, essentially having her act as my own personal tank while I stood back and piled on the ranged damage.  It’s got to be said that she died a number of times in the line of duty, but that’s probably due to my own negligence.  Thankfully she is a ghost after all and she just jumps right back into the fray after a short cooldown period.

VanHelsing_x86 2013-05-05 11-40-41-202

So should you be looking forward to Van Helsing?  If you’ve got the itch for a good old fashioned Diablo styled action with some minor evolutions to the formula, then yes.  You should definitely keep an eye out for The Incredible Adventures of Van Helsing.  It could be right up your dark, monster infested alley.






Leave a Reply