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Victor Vran: Overkill Edition (Switch)

Posted by GG Goblin On August - 31 - 2018

The demon killer with a penchant for metal brings his own brand of action to the Switch.

With the daddy of the action RPG genre recently being announced as being ported to Nintendo’s Switch console, Haemimont Games could not have picked a better time to drop their own loot-a-thon onto the handheld, home console hybrid. Victor Vran: Overkill Edition, which includes the core game plus DLC, will send the player to Zagoravia, and other places, and challenge them with hordes of monsters and more loot than anyone could carry, no matter if the player is at home in front of the big screen, or sitting on the bus.

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The story, as if one is needed as an excuse for smiting demonic forces, involves Victor coming to Zagoravia in search of a friend. Finding the entire city overrun with demons, Victor does what monster hunters do best. It’s a simple premise for killing loads and loads of monsters while collecting loot, but it works.

Victor is not alone in his pursuits though. There is a disembodied voice that accompanies the monster hunter on his journey, that seems to both be aiding and occasionally hindering him. The voice gives guidance to the player while also narrating Victor’s journey, and adding a fair amount of humour, making for a constant companion that it is worth sticking the headphones on for, rather than just turning the volume down. While Victor’s character is interesting and has his moments, it is the voice that brings character to the game.

Anyone who has played any of the other big action RPGs will know roughly what to expect here. Massive numbers of monsters that, once destroyed, will drop treasure and, more importantly, equipment and weapons. Victor Vran does away with any type of character class, probably because no one was brave enough to put Victor in a box. Instead, Victor’s abilities are defined by what equipment he uses, and there is a huge amount to choose from. If you are looking at staying slightly away from the action, good luck, but also you might want to equip a cool lightning gun or hand mortar. For getting right up close and personal, you have swords, scythes and hammers, for example. Each weapon also brings its own special ability as well, which work on a timer and add variety to the wholesale demon slaughter.

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Then there are demon powers, Victor’s own version of magic. There are a number of different demon powers that the player will be able to find through the course of the game, with effects that range from healing to mass destruction. These powers are fuelled through a bar that fills up as the player performs the more normal attacks, and have the ability to really turn the tide of a battle.

While the vast majority of the game will be spent fighting the demonic hordes in their rank and file form, with some being a little more tricky than others, the player will occasionally come across a boss fight as they progress through the game. These encounters can be particularly brutal, but more as a test of endurance than anything else. The bosses tend to follow patterns of behaviour that the player can analyse and exploit, which is fairly normal. However, they also tend to be a total slog as the player gradually grinds them down, making the eventual victory feel more like a relief than anything else.

Through the course of the game, players will amass a huge amount of loot and gold. Fortunately, vendors can be found to sell off all the equipment that the player no longer needs, and also to spend some gold on new equipment. Whether the player chooses to keep buying new stuff from a vendor, or to simply use what they find along the way, there is never a shortage.

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There are different difficulty levels to choose from when playing Victor Vran, ensuring the game is suitable for all levels of player. Hexes also become available that can add extra conditions to the game, adding extra challenge for the more skilled players. Finally, each stage also has its own special objective that the player can work towards. This can be as simple as killing a certain number of demons, or as difficult as taking no damage through the stage. These add further replayability, tempting the player to head back into a stage with an objective beyond just getting to the end.

Extending the game even further in the Overkill Edition is the included DLC. The Fractured Worlds DLC offers a new story for Victor, set in a place created by the collision of multiple worlds, and offers more challenge for the experienced player. Perhaps more interesting, at least for fans of heavy metal, is the Motörhead: Through the Ages DLC, which is as bizarre as it sounds. With plenty of reference to the heavy metal band, and guitars as weapons, this DLC is a bit of a trip, but one still makes use of the enjoyable gameplay found in the original game.

When it comes to performance, Victor Vran runs nicely on the Switch. There is the occasional bit of slowdown when the action hots up on the screen, but for the most part it is nice and stable. The visuals are such that they are not going to push the Switch, but there are some nice use of effects that result in a good looking game. And, most importantly, the game doesn’t feel too small on the Switch screen, which is a common problem with recent ports.

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Victor Vran: Overkill Edition is a good sized chunk of isometric action RPG goodness that feels perfectly at home on the Switch. There are plenty of options to tailor the game to the skills of the player, and the game runs well both out and about and at home on the TV. The comparisons to Diablo III are plentiful, but Victor brings his own style to the genre, and players looking for that action RPG experience on the Switch will find Victor Vran: Overkill Edition to be the best available at this time.




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