Victor Vran Review (PS4)
Well balanced monsters (In the core game)
You can have a guitar as a weapon and make your foes head bang (that was just too crazy not to add to Pros!)
Good sense of humour (In the core game)
Codes dotted about on the net for special weapons make a welcome break from the usual "buy this pack of better gear"
Controls feel perfectly suited to the console
At any point you can switch weapons (and thus play style/skills) with no penalties
Your characters progress and inventory cary between the DLC and core game
Each area has challenges that ensure you will want to replay them
The Motorhead DLC had none of the character of the main game
Casual RPG elements (some may see this as a Pro though)
Victor Vran is an ARPG (Action Role Playing Game), a genre that includes Diablo 3. Diablo 3 is a game that has eaten way more hours of my life than I care to admit so I was very keen to play Victor Vran. What sets Victor Vran aside from the likes of Diablo and the many many clones out there is you are not restricted to a class. Hold a shotgun and you have shotgun moves, hold a hammer and you get hammer moves, etc. It means you can mix it up nicely and change as the mood takes you. Victor Vran also has a fantastic sense of humour. There is a disembodied character in the main game that goes by the apt name The Voice he is your constant companion and Victor (or Vicky to the voice) does not really seem too fussed or surprised about this. The Voice makes small talk about the area and often teases, he really made me laugh a lot. I look forward to uncovering more of his origin and connection to Victor as I play the main game.
The overkill edition comes with two DLC packs, one based on a popular rock band called Motorhead and the other, I have yet to have a chance to play for any length of time.
- Motorhead: Through the Ages: I have put little time into this DLC. I felt it was not as refined as the main game and the sense of humour seemed gone. However, I liked that there was new weapons (guitars) and new overdrive skills to earn in the Motorhead DLC. These items may be what makes me return to the DLC. Those items and skills can then be taken into the main game or the other DLC.
- Fractured Worlds: This offers random dungeons. Four which change every day and one that is limitless. While the core game seems very balanced to your level, I quickly discovered that Fractured worlds is a lot less forgiving. It was not so hard as to make it impossible but it certainly is a challenge! The game warns you that this is a high level DLC for level 20 or higher and I was level 14 when I tested.
Your character persists regardless of what ever DLC you play and you can change from DLC to core game at any point on the main menu via “change world”. Any items gained in the DLC can be used in the core game. I am rather fond of the Demon Power Bombing run from the Motorhead DLC.
The actual game play sees you visiting each map with a set of challenges and a quest objective. Sometimes the objective is to simply pass through that map to get to the next. The challenges can be quite simply like “Kill 30 enemies with a hammer” to quite hard “kill 200 enemies without being hit”. However, these challenges add a lot of re-playability to the game and when playing co-op with a friend there was a few times we went back to the map to clear up challenges we missed. Latter on you get a second weapon slot, this allows you to quickly switch between two weapons. Since your class and skills are based on the weapon you are holding, this means you can have two skill sets or classes swappable at the push of a button. The main thing about the gameplay of Victor Vran is how much fun the game is to play. I have enjoyed every minute of the game.
Victor Vran started off life as a PC game. Usually, when you take a game like this from mouse and keyboard to a controller, you lose a certain something. Having played both the PC version and the ps4 version I can safely say the control pad support felt spot on. The UI (User Interface) usually suffers from this type of conversion but the developers did a fantastic job in the port and Victor Vran is a true joy to play on the PS4. It was a wonderful thing to lay back on my sofa, cat beside me and just play some Victor Vran. No need to evict the cat from your lap or search for something flat to put the mouse on. Due to the extra fuses that is a two paws up from my cat too.
The monsters are well created and there is a massive variety. They even have some joke monsters. The dancing skeletons on their “invisible horses”, for example, always bring a smile to my face. The level designs are carefully thought out with cleverly done secrets that make use of Victor’s wall jump ability. Sometimes the secrets are two well hidden and take a while to find, but you would not want it too easy, right?
The soundtrack is nice and appropriately relaxing where needed though, I found I had to turn down the Motorhead music. I really do not think I am the target audience for that DLC lol. The only issue I had was with Victor’s voice (not The Voice but his voice) as it is so spot on and similar to Garrett in The Witcher that often I wanted to call Victor, Garrett. This is hardly surprising as it IS the same voice actor. All factors considered the game has a high design quality that would put many triple-A titles to shame.
Victor Vran features drop in co-op for up to four players online and two player “couch” co-op. In online co-op loot drops are different for each player. This is my preferred loot system as it means there are fewer arguments and we all have that one friend who races for a chest or drop in other games. You can make a private room (lobby) to invite friends to or you can make your game public, should you want random internet people to join you. While the multiplayer is largely PVE (Player vs Environment) Victor Vran does also features a PVP (Player vs Player) mode. I did not have time to test this mode out.
Many features are unlocked at certain levels allowing you to become familiar with Victor Vran`s game mechanics and features at a comfortable pace. Also, all the tips and instructions can be found in the main menu under Codex at any time. This all makes for an intuitive and well thought out game design.
Spoken version of the review: