Post by Ivan David Makey – a student of commerce, an automobile enthusiast, an avid gamer and a Passionate Techie (PT) based in Lucknow / Bahraich, India. Apart from hurting his thumbs on the joypad Ivan is also good at guitars and photography.
The Incredible Adventures of Van Helsing is an upcoming Action Role Playing Game (ARPG) that is set in a 19th century fantasy world called Borgova-the capital city of the gothic noir Eastern European kingdom of Borgovia. It is based on Bram Stoker’s tale of Dracula and you play as the game’s protagonist – young Van Helsing, son of legendary monster hunter Abraham Van Helsing.
This game comes from the stable of Hungary based NeoCore Games. It is slated for release on the 22nd of this month and will be made available on the Microsoft Windows and Xbox Live Arcade platforms.
The storyline traces the protagonist’s journey through the dark and twisted land of Borgova as he slays monsters with magic and weird technology. The Eastern European city has been infested with these monsters and Van Helsing’s former supernatural foes have called upon him to help them defeat this new breed of monsters terrorizing Borgova.
You can expect the game to come loaded with a distinct line-up of characters, a highly involving story-line and an immensely dark and gothic art style and setting. I am sure this is going to keep ARPG aficionados hooked on to the game for quite some time.
Do not be mistaken for this is not a sequel to the Van Helsing game that was released back in ’04. That was a single player third person shooter game. A first look at the screenshots of The Incredible Adventures of Van Helsing will instantly remind you of similar games in this genre such as Path of Exile, Diablo and Torchlight. Yes, you got me right this game is from an overhead perspective exposing the gamer to large play areas, battling enemies, performing tasks and fulfilling objectives to improve skills, gain experience points and equipment.
While I personally don’t swear by games of this kind, die-hard fans of this genre have multiple reasons to rejoice as after playing the likes of Diablo and Torchlight, they now have something new to look forward to.
The game play is also very much akin to the likes of Diablo, Torchlight and other titles of this genre; so there is not much to write home about in that context. There are melee, ranged and passive attacks and moves; the ability and skill levels of which can be explored and developed. Van Helsing has access to a number of firearms that can be used to bring down the enemy. These firearms range from the various types of rifles to dual hand guns.
Apart from this, you also have the usual weapons such as swords, crossbows, etc. at your disposal. You’re also allowed to switch between ranged and melee weapon systems on the fly. The enemy attacks you in huge numbers and you will have to keep a vigilant eye at all times ensuring that there will never be a dull moment in the game. Kudos to the developers for this!
The Hunter’s Lair is like the nerve centre of the game. It is the hub of all activity related to the game. Players can view inventories, stash the loot collected, accept new quests from allies, trade with other characters of the game, teleport between different locations and learn alchemy in the Alchemy Lab. The player is also expected to defend the Lair when it is attacked by enemies during a tower-defense mini game.
“Welcome, hunters. I am Lady Katarina, the ghostly companion to Van Helsing. Yes, I’m a ghost. Don’t try anything funny. I’m here to help you.”
Well that’s what you get to hear from your in-game AI controlled partner Lady Katarina. She’s more than your companion in the game. She can be used for a host of tasks such as drawing enemies away, carrying your goods, bidding for you in other towns while you tread forward on your quests, etc. I think this is one of the best features of the entire game – the addition of a character that functions like a second player.
Most characters in the game use voice-overs. They come with punchy lines backed by captivating voices. The dialogue between Van Helsing and Lady Katarina takes some really interesting turns at times and players will be compelled to listen in.
Everything said and done, this game seems to have in it all the makings of a best-seller owing to the fact that it’s been set in a highly detailed gothic world and bundled with an involving storyline. That stated, I’m sure The Incredible Adventures of Van Helsing is worthy enough to be counted amongst the ranks of other Point and Click ARPG biggies such as Diablo, Dungeon Siege, Torchlight, Titan Quest, Path of Exile, etc.
This is just the tip of the iceberg and you’ll have to wait until the game actually hits stores and I’m able to lay my hands on it and give you a full fledged review of it. In the mean time, let’s get our weapons loaded and our stakes within arm’s reach because we have got some monsters to slay!