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PS4 Game Review

The Incredible Adventures of Van Helsing: Extended Edition


Format: PS4
Publisher: NeocoreGames
Developer: NeocoreGames
RRP: £15.99
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Age Restrictions: 16+
Release Date: 01 March 2017

The Incredible Adventures of Van Helsing: Extended Edition, on the PS4, from NeocoreGames is an action adventure role playing game with the gamer taking on the persona of Van Helsing, a renowned vampire and demon killer. The game has you running and shooting through some imaginatively created dungeon levels hacking slashing and shooting your way to the final victory through demons and cyberpunk machines. You are aided in this venture by your ghostly companion, Katerina, who can be tasked with various actions during combat. The overall campaign should take you about twelve hours.

Review imageYour vision of the game is from a top down perspective, the environments are highly detailed and I liked the use of shadow. Information about your current configuration and that of your companion is displayed in all four quadrants of the screen. Top right you have your mini map with all objects and portals, you’re going to be using portals quite a lot as Van Helsing only seems to progress at one speed and on larger maps it gets a bit tedious moving him from one place to another if he is only running.

The basic mechanics will be familiar to anyone who has played this sort of game. Progress allows you to gain experience which levels up your character. Exploration and defeating enemies gains you access to better gear, so there is some grinding involved if you want the best and strongest stuff. Walking around highlights objects that you can interact with from small chests and barrels, always worth a look, to machinery, like elevators which you use to travel between levels of the game. If you die the game gives you a choice about where to respawn, the nearer to your current location the more of your in-game currency you’re going to spend, no currency and you are placed back at the beginning of a level.

There are many occasions where you are mobbed with opponents, and once this happens it is difficult to get your character either out of the situation or have him survive. You can try running through levels, but as Van Helsing only travels at one speed, and it feels like a lot of the enemies are faster, this is often a costly option. As the game progresses this desire to mob the character can be a little frustratingly repetitive and Katerina seems to not be the most useful of characters, even becoming a distraction during combat with her incessant request for potions. Well, if she were more useful I may have considered it but, as she appears to have nominal effect on the game, she can forget it.

Review imageSingle player campaign is solid enough taking you through actions which require both offensive and defensive capabilities, either close quarters or ranged, depending on the class you’re playing. Get to level 57 and you unlock the Scenario mode which allows you to play on separate maps. At level 60 you unlock the Neverending Story where enemies drop higher rated loot. You can also add on the Ink Hunt through the PSN store which has four unique maps with more story, you once again must be at level 60 to use this.

Multiplayer allows you to create or join a game, unfortunately, at the time of writing this could not be tested as there were no games available.

You have the usual number of options over what is displayed on the screen as well as alterations involving the audio, video and controls, only the vibration strength can be altered the rest is an outlay of the controls of your gamepad.

Although it gives a solid dungeon experience, this came with many plus’s and minus’s. On the plus side, the vocal acting is very good and the score is evocative. The environments are well executed, but the game struggles to get away from the fact that this appeared four years ago on the PC and XBox, only now appearing on the PS4.

Review imageGameplay, crowd controlling not withstanding felt a little soft, Van Helsing runs around shooting and slashing opponents, but the sounds that are produced for this activity is distinctly underwhelming. The three classes do give you some differentiation in gameplay, but the differences are not significant as they all must essentially fulfil the same rolls.

The game does come off strong in customisation, whether it is crafting new weapons or determining points on the character progression tree, you should end up with a hunter which will feel uniquely your own.

If you’re looking for another Diablo type experience then this is a good game, given it limitations.


Charles Packer

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