The Incredible Adventures of Van Helsing is an action RPG game developed by Neocore Games Studio. The studio is best known for King Arthur series, which includes two full games and several add-ons. Neocore Games has also developed Crusaders: Thy Kingdom Come.
Player takes on professor Van Helsing’s son, who – like his father – hunts and kills all kinds of monsters. The adventure begins with a letter requesting assistance, sent from Borgovii, a land located on the eastern fringe of Europe. Many years ago, the professor had helped liberate that region from the rule of a vampire coterie. Back then, he was allied with brilliant scientists, Fulmigati being one of them – a true Renaissance man and a great talent. At this point the brave monster hunter is already advanced in years, so he sends his son to Borgovii along with Katarina, a noblewoman of those sites, whose is ghost is bound by and oath to serve Van Helsing family.
Once the heroes reach the aforementioned land, things get more complicated. The young Van Helsing gets ambushed, and the bridge leading to the city gets blown up. During the crossing through the surrounding villages, swamps, and forests, it turns out that scientists – the former liberators of Borgovii – plunged into madness and rushed at each other's throats. No other but Fulmigati himself has proved victorious in the Civil War, and he is now trying to subdue magic, which is ubiquitous in this region, by means of science. This results in legions of mechanical soldiers, technologically improved werewolves, devoid of free will, and other abominations created in secret laboratories. However, mythical creatures do not intend to stand down without a fight, and Van Helsing is soon recruited into a resistance movement led by a vampire - one of those, who were overthrown by his father. And so the battle for liberation of Borgovii and restoration of the disturbed balance between science and magic begins again.
In terms of character development, the system is built on solutions proven in similar games. The hero has four primary attributes: body, dexterity, willpower, and luck. Each is responsible for different aspects. The first increases number of hit points and provides better defense against enemy attacks and higher damage in melee combat. Dexterity determines the chance of dodging and damage over distance. Willpower stands for the number of mana points and magical potential. Luck in turn, allows you to find more gold and magical items as well as deal more critical damage.
As for skills, players are given choice between two paths. Mystic Warrior is a melee combat specialist, while the Occult Hunter specializes in use of ranged weapons. Of course, the abilities ascribed to them are grouped into two trees. The game also uses a Frenzy bar, which allows you to use more powerful variations of previously learned powers. You can ascribe extra effects to each power, which are employed when the character gets angry. For example, a melee attack can be improved with a bleeding effect or a significant increase of inflicted damage.
The developers have implemented two other interesting features. The first is the tricks and auras category ascribed to abilities. Tricks are various types of passive effects that constantly affect the character, such as higher chance of finding gold or hit points recovery on hitting an opponent. On the other hand, auras are active area abilities that are helpful in combat.
The second feature is the hero’s reputation, which unlocks unique perks. Thanks to those, Van Helsing is able to cheat death or make Katarina much more combat effective. The noblewoman too can develop and gain new experience levels. Just as the main protagonist, she has four attributes and can use items. Katarina's skills are focused on improving her companion’s abilities. She can be sent out to sell equipment looted or buy health and mana potions.
There are five types of items in the game: normal, magical, rare, heroic, and set. The latter must be improved by continuous use so to unlock their full potential. For example, a sword may require a certain number of kills, while an armor some successful attempts to stop incoming attacks. Equipment can be further improved with enchantments (they add one random ability) and various types of essences that provide a nice variety of additional features.
While playing, you traverse dark-themed locations and kill beasts, such as overgrown rats, zombies, goblins, demons, and other fantastic creatures. The main character has two types of basic weapons – a sword and a gun. In time, he acquires new abilities and techniques that make fighting easier. Although the game about the adventures of Van Helsing is maintained in Gothic atmosphere and has references to Dracula novel, it does not miss out some humorous dialogues and funny twists. An interesting feature are tower defense elements interwoven in the gameplay.
Game mode: single / multiplayer Multiplayer mode: Internet
User score: 8,5 / 10 based on 818 votes.
Pre-release expectations: 8 / 10 based on 67 votes.
PEGI rating The Incredible Adventures of Van Helsing
The Incredible Adventures of Van Helsing System requirements
PC / Windows
- Quad Core i5 2.0 GHz
- 2 GB RAM
- graphic card 896 MB (GeForce GTX 275 or better)
- 20 GB HDD
- Windows XP/Vista/7/8