Van Helsing

Format: PS2
Vivendi Universal/Sierra

3 348542 188938
Age Restrictions: 16+
14 May 2004

Deep within the mysterious land of Transylvania, monsters that inhabit man's deepest nightmares take form. One man works to vanquish the demons of the world and destroy the lethal and powerful Count Dracula. Descend into the murky depths of the Carpathian Mountains as legendary monster hunter Van Helsing. Explore the haunting land of Transylvania. Battle Dracula, Frankenstein, the WolfMan and other supernatural creatures...

If you are a huge fan of Devil May Cry, then you'll love Van Helsing as the gameplay is very similar. Following the basic movie plot, monster hunter Van Helsing is on a holy quest to rid the world of demons.

It looks great, it plays great, but there are a few things that make it a tad annoying. Firstly if you enter an area, kill all the demons and then leave and come back, more demons appear - which is a real pain. Also the fixed camera position is a real sticking point as it's not always easy to see where you can go.

Another problem is the weapons you get throughout the game - we actually discovered that most baddies were best dispatched using the twin pistols that you start the game with. This is especially the case with the huge boss monsters.

But this game has a lot to offer, and is certainly worth taking a look at. There are a selection of mini-games to be found while you are wandering around the gaming environment. You need to collect an egg, and then place them on the pedestals which are dotted around. These then take you to games where you have to perform a set task within a time limit (for example kill all the demons, or smash all the statues). These are not easy tasks, but are great, mindless fun.

The easy level is a little too easy and most experienced games will probably be able to finish the whole game in a day or two. But, once completed, you can replay the game and use any of the cheats you found along the way, as well as opening up secret areas that were impossible to access the first time around.

If you liked the movie and are a fan of Devil May Cry style games, then this is a game you have to buy. And even if you are not a huge fan of either, this is still worth a look. It's entertaining, it looks great and will certainly keep you entertained for a few weeks.

Nick Smithson

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