Those of you that enjoy sinking hours upon hours of loot-seeking in the popular dungeon crawling Diablo series will find Victor Vran: Overkill Edition to house some familiar ground. Originally released for PC, Victor Vran makes his way to console with two brand new expansions and visual enhancements, tied up with a neat 60fps bow for good measure. The story revolves around (you guessed it) Victor, a hunter that is paid to slay demons. Situated in Zagoravia, a place that is jam-packed full of all forms of nasties, our main man finds himself on a path to seek out his friend Adrian, and liberate him from the evil that’s present throughout. It’s a fairly standard offering as far as games in this genre go, but enjoyable nevertheless.
Victor Vran is voiced by Doug Cockle, the talented voice that we all otherwise know as Geralt of Rivia, from The Witcher. One thing that immediately struck me, and let me point out that this is by no means a negative outlook, is that I just couldn’t wash Geralt from my mind. Every single damn time Victor would open his mouth, I heard The Witcher. That’s mostly because Cockle’s portrayal of Victor and Geralt are almost identical, and it doesn’t help that both characters are also monster hunters. Again, this isn’t a complaint, more of an observation (and a cool one at that).
Much like the aforementioned comparison to Diablo, this game will have you fighting off hordes of evil demons throughout the entirety of play. You’ll be looting for weaponry and gold alike as you slaughter anything that steps in your way. Unlike Diablo, the weapon hand outs in this game are thick and fast. So much so that I hardly spent a fraction of my overall gold by the time I reached the end game. This is excellent for those that enjoy reaping the rewards swiftly, but for those that enjoy the shock of seeing a new weapon, or those that really enjoy spending their pennies wisely, it’s a little bit of a let down.
I prefer it when I feel as though I’ve earned what I’m wielding, whether that be from saving up the cash to spend it wisely or having a weapon drop on rare occasion, which is sadly absent here. Hopefully the developers patch the drop-rate, making it far less lenient. This may sound like such a trivial thing to complain about, but as a fan of the Diablo series and other like-minded games, it was almost immediately noticeable. As for the weaponry there are heaps of deadly tools for you to play with, such as swords, shotguns, hammers, scythes and more.
Each of the weapons come with their own traits. Shotguns for example can fire several slugs at once, which will literally mow down anything in your path. You do indeed have a cooldown that you need to be mindful of when utilising these traits, naturally preventing abuse of power. On top of weaponry, you can obtain buffs known as Destiny Cards. These typically give you that extra layer of aid, such as adding to your health pool or gifting you with some explosive defence. Demon Powers on the other hand serve themselves as spells that can be used to strike down foes, or to alternatively protect yourself. There’s certainly enough on offer to please those that appreciate diversity.
Throughout the whole adventure, Victor suffers from a voice in his head that constantly speaks to him. I say “suffer” loosely, because from the player’s point of view it’s outright hilarious. This voice not only narrates your actions, but throws in some laugh out loud wise-ass remarks. The voice will even purposely take you off the beaten path to seek out treasure, all whilst convincing our poor protagonist that he’s still on said beaten path. This really helps to keep you engaged with what’s happening on screen, and I found I bonded with Victor more so than I believe I would have, thanks to the joint performance of both Cockle (Victor) and Wincott (Voice).
The actual gameplay is as fun as a dungeon crawler can get. Dungeons come in varying shapes, sizes, and difficulties, each of which push forward optional side quests that dish out even more rewards. Mercifully the game handles well and comes with some very simplistic controls. You have your standard attack, you weapon attacks, and your movement. Each time you attack an enemy you will slowly build up your Overdrive, which is used to utilise the previously mentioned Demon Powers. At the beginning of the game you can only equip one, but as you make your way through the adventure you earn the ability to equip two. What I will say is (despite my nag about the weapon-drops), Victor Vran always remains fairly challenging. Sure, you can beef yourself up to the eyeballs with powers and weapons, but the difficulty curve seems to scale with you as you progress, which is a big thumbs up.
The game also supports local co-op and online play, which is certainly useful for the super tough hardcore difficulty that you can select. Even just the core game houses enough content, but the inclusion of the Motorhead and Fractured Worlds DLC just takes it that one step further. The Motorhead DLC adds vast new worlds to the universe, all of which are inspired by Motorhead’s lyrics and attitude. Fractured Worlds allows you to take on four randomly generated dungeons every day, as well as upping the level cap to 60. The latter DLC is one that I gravitated toward the most, but the former DLC is heaps of fun too. When you look at the price tag and weigh it up with the core game, the added content, and the new lick of paint, it’s a more than worthy exchange.
The level design throughout the entirety of the game is well set, and often comes with buckets of hidden secrets and pathways to track down. General rule of thumb, if you cant reach a ledge by simply jumping, there tends to be other ways to reach new heights. The several environments that you will traverse differ greatly from one another, which really helps to keep the game feeling fresh. The same can be said about the enemy variants and the boss battles. There’s no denying that the developers have poured a great deal of thought and careful planning into the experience. This includes the exceptional dynamic combat, which sees you using your set attacks to create devastating combos as you dodge and even jump to evade incoming attacks. It’s a system that feels responsive, fluid, and very comfortable.
Victor Vran: Overkill Edition comes with a vast amount of content that should easily please any fan (or even newcomer) of the dungeon crawling formula. The story doesn’t do much to push out the boat, and the overly generous loot system does slightly shave away at that rewarding aspect the game wants you to feel, but even with those minor issues to the side there’s a lot of fun to be had within. Local and online co-op, as well as hardcore difficulty, optional side quests, and extra DLC, makes this an absolute bargain as far as longevity and replay value goes. The game boasts dynamic combat, fluid controls, crisp varying environments and enemies, topped off with a straight-forward customisation system. When all is said and done, you will easily sink hours and hours of play into this game and still have more than enough reasons to return. Victor Vran: Overkill Edition is a must have.
This game was tested and reviewed on Xbox One. All of the opinions and insights here are subject to that version.