The Incredible Adventures of Van Helsing touts everything you’ve come to know and expect from an action-RPG. It’s loaded with skills and spells, collectible weapons and armor, quests and discoveries. Sure, it’s reminiscent of those that have come before but, Van Helsing is its own beast, steeped in rich lore with enough innovation to strike out on its own. But what’s so incredible about the adventures of Van Helsing?
“The atmosphere, I think it’s very special,” says Linda Bozoradi, one half of the public relations conduit for Neocore Games. The other is Orsolya Toth, and both have been leading us through the brooding introduction to Van Helsing.
“A steampunk universe in an action-RPG is not a common thing,” Toth states. She’s not wrong. The world of Van Helsing is a strange one. Stuck somewhere between the mystical ways of the old world and the mechanical wonders of modernization.
The cinematic prologue sets the stage as a winding red line curves across a parchment map of Europe. It snakes through Paris, Venice, around the southern tip of Greece and through Istanbul. Each location accompanied by brief descriptions and hand-drawn renditions of an encounter in the region: Gaston the Butcher, The Shadow Casino, the Crimean War Dragon and The Krakken. As the latest in the long line of monster-hunting Van Helsings, our protagonist narrates these adventures, revealing his current assignment in the form of a mysterious letter asking for his family’s famed assistance in the land of Borgovia.
It seems that the development of action-RPG The Incredible Adventures of Van Helsing is coming along nicely and indie studios Neocore Games have recently published a new gameplay trailer …
Once upon a time, Neocore Games’ upcoming XBLA hack-and-slash title The Incredible Adventures of Van Helsing was set to star Van Helsing Jr., son of the legendary vampire hunter. Now, however, Junior’s out, and who takes his place is up to you.
The traditional action-RPG experience and what is sacred to it is, for the most part, set in stone. The isometric camera, stat increases on level up, new skills, tons of loot with each miniscule bonus making one item infinitely more worthwhile than another, all of that good stuff. Games like Diablo and Torchlight embody that experience, and The Incredible Adventures of Van Helsing endeavors to join the diagonally-skewed club. You play as the great Van Helsing’s son, Van Helsing, in a world overflowing with the occult surrounded by the marriage of science and magic that could be considered fantasy steam punk.
As a bit of a disclaimer, developer Neocore Games is still rather early in the development process, so our hands-on is of pre-alpha gameplay. In fact, not only did we have to use a keyboard and mouse to play, they still haven’t decided on how to map the controls to the controller. This puts a shimmering asterisk on all of our experience with it seeing as the way a game controls is of grievous importance. That said, what we experienced hinted at something solid and enjoyable, albeit at the moment not particularly unique.
Van Helsing is perhaps best known for his legendary battles with the big mack daddy of all vampires, Dracula (and, well, that one Hugh Jackman movie the less said about the better). If Neocore Games’ upcoming The Incredible Adventures of Van Helsing is to be believed however, the famous vampire slayer’s son may just be every bit the monster hunter his father was – perhaps moreso.