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The Incredible Adventures of Van Helsing Review

The Incredible Adventures of Van Helsing

Release Date: May 22nd, 2013 (PC)
Genre(s): Action RPG
Publisher(s): Reverb
Developer(s): Neocore Games
Multiplayer: None
Co-op: 2-4 Player Online
Score
5/10

The Incredible Adventures of Van Helsing Review

Posted by Scott Grant | 24 May 2013 |

And if I see Van Helsing, I swear to the Lord I will slay him!

The Incredible Adventures of Van HelsingI’ve played my fair share of hack-and-slash dungeon crawlers, but I have yet to play one that takes me into a 19th century world of classic myths and monsters. Until today, that is, when I fired up Neocore Games’ The Incredible Adventures of Van Helsing. The setting was enough to get my attention, but some of you may be here for different reasons so, it’s time to take up your sword and pistols, and start killing some werewolves. I hate werewolves.

Single Player

If the name didn’t give it away, The Incredible Adventures of Van Helsing is set in a gothic world resembling the classic 19th century, eastern european, setting that fans of classic monster tales know so well. This version, however has a few tweaks that really give you the impression that Neocore were trying to pay homage while making the backdrop their own.

You will play as the not quite as famous son of Van Helsing, the famed monster hunter, who travels around with a witty apparition named Katarina who will assist you in combat. The back and forth between these two characters is entertaining and manages to be funny without going over the top. In fact, the whole game is quite well written and it is easy to see the care and attention that went into designing the world and characters.

The Incredible Adventures of Van Helsing

Who else wants some?

 

Combat will follow a very familiar formula, for those who have played any Diablo style hack-and-slash game before, with attacks mapped to the mouse buttons. Your Van Helsing will also be able to switch between sword attacks and gun attacks at the press of a button. This is the only real update to the combat formula you’re used to in this type of game, but why mess with something that works?

As you move through The Incredible Adventures of Van Helsing, you’ll notice that the game favors quick setting changes and a variety of backgrounds over larger areas to explore. I am a fan of this approach as a lot of similar games have you feeling like you’ve been staring at the same few trees, or same patch of desert, for far too long. Van Helsing keeps things fresh, and I like that.

No new ground is broken in terms of gameplay but, for some of you, that may be a good thing. The characters and setting keep things interesting, even after you realize that you’ve been down this road a few times before. Somebody has to shoot these werewolves, after all.

The Incredible Adventures of Van Helsing

Lock your doors, people.

 

Multiplayer

The Incredible Adventures of Van Helsing offers online co-op for up to four players, so you and your friends can all get in on the monster-slaying action. Unfortunately, the game was released with the co-op component in a non-functional state.

During the first day, users were unable to connect to co-op games and those that did connect experienced major lag and syncing issues. Neocore Games were aware of this and reported, via the Steam forums, that the online portion of the game was ‘bugged’ and that they were working on a fix. Today, there was a small patch but it came with a warning from Neocore to not use your regular character as online games could still result in lost progress. We were able to connect and play a co-op game for a bit, but soon ran into issues where the players would go out of sync an appear stuck on the screen. We also experienced failure to load new areas when switching areas, and some of the lost progress mention in the patch report.

At this time, co-op is so unstable that we have to recommend you stay away completely. This is too bad, as we did have some fun during the short periods we were able to play.

Closing Comments

If you really enjoy top-down, hack-and-slash, RPG’s then I think you’ll like The Incredible Adventures of Van Helsing. The setting, environments, and characters are quite charming and manage to stay fresh throughout. Unfortunately, the severe technical issues the co-op mode shipped with are going to mar the release of an otherwise decent game.

Score: 5/10

Price: $14.99
Release Date: May 23rd, 2013 (PC). Coming soon to XBLA.
Available On: PC via Steam

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  • Heroxhakmed

    Whoever wrote the review uses terrible logic “well the
    multiplayer didn’t work day one and multiplayer is half the game right? So
    apart from the good single player i’m going to give it a 5/10 because half the
    game isn’t working on launch” Well then Scott according to your logic
    Diablo 3 should have gotten a 0/10 for being broken day one of launch right?
    Then why does it have a 7.5 then? Oh they fixed the problem much like what
    Neocore did (and is still currently working on) to the multiplayer. You see why
    some indie devs have so much trouble nowadays when their game is getting shit
    talked out the gate while triple A titles get a pass because the big renown
    gaming company behind them says “we are working on the issue, don’t give
    us a bad score just yet, give us some time” Either grade everyone but the
    same standard or get out of gaming journalism (don’t pick favorites just
    because it’s a triple a title!), you say no new ground is broken then you also
    say that is a good thing because “if it aint broke don’t fix it” so
    knowing this there is no reason to give the game a 5/10 unless you are taking a
    massive chunk out of the score because of the coop (and sense you stated no
    negatives in your review of the single player it is clear that this is what you
    did)I don’t even own the game but I was literally awe struck after seeing the
    score after an otherwise glowing review of the single player. Maybe I’m completely
    wrong here but it looks like another good indie game may go under peoples
    radars because they had some issues on launch that are otherwise getting
    resolved resulting in low scores, it just makes me upset is all.

    • http://thecontrolleronline.com/ Scott Grant

      Diablo 3 is a great example if you’re looking to debate this point, and I certainly don’t think you’re completely wrong. The crux of your argument seems to assume that these two games were on a equal footing before the technical issues were considered. I don’t consider them to be, but it’s OK if you do.

      The Incredible Adventures of Van Helsing has a number of elements that I truly enjoyed, but that doesn’t necessarily translate into a perfect or high score. A game can have no major issues, yet fail to impress. I hope this game can overcome it’s issues and many people can go on to enjoy it. If you don’t feel the review conveys this sentiment, than that is a failing of mine. Perhaps I was being too lenient because I knew I was going to have to call out the co-op issues. A big part of my lost confidence came from the fact that Neocore still warned of issues, even after the first patch (issues we went on to encounter).

      I like to approach reviews with consumer advocacy in mind, as well as appreciation of art. As a consumer advocate, I can’t highly recommend a game that has major technical flaws. As someone who appreciates the art form, there were elements of this game that I was fond of.

      Diablo 3 was, and still is, a review I struggled with. Was I tough enough? Was I too tough? I’ll likely never be sure, but I do know that I paid for the game with my own money and the score I assigned it had nothing to do with the size of the developer.

      Writing reviews is an evolving process, and I don’t consider many things about it to be black or white. It isn’t about being right or wrong and we invite people to disagree. Did I get this one right? I can’t tell you that, but I can tell you I won’t “get out of games journalism” because some people don’t agree with me. What I will do is continue to strive toward clarity and improvement.

      • Heroxhakmed

        I appreciate the time you took to respond before I say anything else, thank you for that. I agree with you that they shouldn’t be on equal ground the more I think about it, technical issues aside Van Helsing should be held up for being an indie title that was able to replicate much of what Diablo 3 (a triple a title) was like as far as overall “feeling” (being fresh yet familiar/ a hack-n-slash rpg) Also not to mention Van helsing is a fraction of the cost (which is something i feel should play into the rating sense you are paying 15$ for a full priced triple A experience) or at least that’s what i took away from your praise is that Van Helsing was able to accomplish a lot of what Diablo did. Now I never said any of the points i made should translate to a high score just a high-er score and maybe you were a little too lenient by giving it so much praise in the single player portion (I have learned the majority I know about this game from this review) because it seems judging by your own words this game is better than a 5/10 just because of the lack of flaws you stated, it just didnt balance out right in my head if that makes sense. My final note is about the whole “get out of gaming journalism comment I made in my first post and it wasn’t necessarily targeted at you just reviewers who pretend to hold all games to the same standard but in the end give the edge to the triple a studios (not trying to hate on big studios but if an indie studio can crank out a product that is just as good or better then you are doing something wrong, I would personally always give the indie dev the edge but that is a personal belief of mine) so basically im just tired of lopsided reviewers who are either to lenient toward triple a studios or too harsh towards indie devs when once again i feel you are right they shouldn’t be on the level. Those are just some of my gripes with your review but i’m trying to be as constructive as possible and once again I really do appreciate you actually responding to criticism unlike a lot of other gaming journalists.

        • http://thecontrolleronline.com/ Scott Grant

          All of your concerns are valid, and I’m glad we could hash them out. I just want you to know that even if you and I don’t agree on everything, myself and our site strive to not let in any outside factors when reviewing games. We don’t lean one way or another based on the size of the studio, and if you take a look around you’ll see that we love Indies and the success they’ve had over the last few years.

          • Heroxhakmed

            I have done a bit more digging on your reviews and have noticed that you do indeed show no bias one way or the other, i’m glad to see there are still some reviewers who haven’t “sold their souls” and actually give fair and honest reviews :)

          • http://thecontrolleronline.com/ Scott Grant

            We really appreciate you taking the time.

  • Igor

    Recommend similar type games but highest rated?

    • Vladimir

      Diablo 1 & 2, 3 not so much. Titan quest. Path of Exile. And a few other.

    • http://www.thecontrolleronline.com/ Peter Carpenter

      Torchlight 2 is definitely my favorite top-down Action-RPG. It’s one of the best for playing co-op too. You can check out my review here http://thecontrolleronline.com/2012/09/torchlight-2-review/

    • DarkCrusader

      Stay away from Path of Exile, they are having major MAJOR issues with hackers, and the company’s not doing a damn thing about it. Other than that, I highly recommend Torchlight 1 and 2. They were made by the same people that made Diablo 1 and 2, and are alot cheaper than most same-quality games. Torchlight 2 is getting rated up there with Diablo 3 on content, playability, higher ratings on customization, it has NG+++++, and best of all, it’s only $20.

News

The Incredible Adventures of Van Helsing Gets New ‘Thaumaturge’ DLC Today

The Incredible Adventures of Van Helsing Gets New ‘Thaumaturge’ DLC Today

Posted by Peter Carpenter | 26 Sep 2013 |
Thaumaturge. Quick, say it three times fast. Fans of The Incredible Adventures of Van Helsing...
The Incredible Adventures of Van Helsing Confirmed For May 22nd Release

The Incredible Adventures of Van Helsing Confirmed For May 22nd Release

Posted by Peter Carpenter | 07 May 2013 |
But only on Steam. NeocoreGames announced today that their upcoming Action-RPG, The Incredible Adventures of...
The Incredible Adventures of Van Helsing Brings Diablo Style Monster Hunting to PC and XBLA

The Incredible Adventures of Van Helsing Brings Diablo Style Monster Hunting to PC and XBLA

Posted by Scott Grant | 15 Jun 2012 |
A gothic hack-and-slash adventure. While Neocore Games announced their new project a while ago, post...

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The Incredible Adventures of Van Helsing