Within the first few minutes of playing Neocore Games’ The Incredible Adventures of Van Helsing gamers will recognize the title as a “Diablo clone.” While the game has its own personality, art style, story, and gameplay mechanics, there’s no denying the specific niche the game seeks to fill.
As a descendant of the vampire-hunting Abraham Van Helsing, players head out to rid the world of all sorts of mythical creatures (from werewolves to harpies). But what they will really be doing is a whole lot of clicking.
As the gameplay video above shows, The Incredible Adventures of Van Helsing borrows heavily from Diablo‘s lead, but tries to make them a tiny bit more approachable. By that I mean, the game is fairly straightforward and it doesn’t ask players to grind their way to higher levels.
Don’t misunderstand, the game offers plenty of mechanics for veteran players to sink their teeth into. The game has a fairly robust, yet singular, skill tree, and its combat is unique, if a bit pared down.
The combo system leaves a lot to be desired, but does allow for some interesting mixing and matching with attacks. And being able to switch from melee to ranged attacks helps players find their own groove without committing. The only real drawback to the combat is the large packs of enemies scattered throughout each level, which create chaos more than anything else. Chaos occasionally leads to fun, but not always.
Where the game really strikes an interesting chord is in its production design. Save for the very bodacious Katarina, the game has a visual style that teeters somewhere between the cartoony designs of Blizzard and an outright realistic world. One might argue that the game needs a little bit more color in the early goings-on, but the muted palette does wonders to set a murky tone.
Overall, The Incredible Adventures of Van Helsing is a perfect primer for gamers looking to get their feet wet before hopping into Diablo or Torchlight. It does a decent amount of handholding early on, and adequately communicates how and why each mechanic works.
The veteran Diablo player, on the other hand, may see the game as lacking in some pretty key areas (combat options, skill tree diversity, level replayability). What it does offer all types of gamers, though, is a unique art design and a very reasonable price, and that makes it worth checking out.
Have you had a chance to check out The Incredible Adventures of Van Helsing? What do you think of the game?
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The Incredible Adventures of Van Helsing is available now on Steam.