Victor Vran Review

Richard Walker

All is not well in the fantastical medieval realm of Zagoravia. The streets are overrun with demonic creatures, almost all of the monster hunters are dead, and the kingdom itself is hanging by a thread. Enter Victor Vran, one of the kingdom's last remaining demon hunters and sporter of fashionable hats; a man tasked with essentially single-handedly saving Zagoravia from the all-pervading threat of ghouls, ghosts and grotesques.

A gothic-flavoured Diablo-esque adventure, taking in dungeons, haunted castles, and dark cobbled alleyways, Victor Vran is a surprisingly accessible and enjoyable isometric romp around a range of labyrinthine locations, killing things and scooping oodles of shiny loot. The story, such as it is, seems largely irrelevant given how the simple act of butchering monsters, levelling up and acquiring new weapons becomes so damn addictive.


Victor dances with one of his old demon hunter mates.

Starting out with a simple sword and very little else, Victor Vran throws quite a lot at you within its opening few hours, and indeed, there is rather a lot to take in. Beyond the combat mechanics, which are remarkably easy to get to grips with, Vran also has formidable Demon Powers at his fingertips, ranging from a barrage of meteors to a huge shockwave, devastating plumes of flame or a big purple boomerang projectile that damages any enemies in its path. There's a dizzying array of choices.

Level up enough, and you can have two Demon Powers to call upon, assuming you have enough juice built up in Vran's Overdrive meter, that is. Repeatedly slash enemies to ribbons, and you'll fill your Overdrive bar, enabling you to unleash Vran's demon spells, while each weapon has its own pair of special abilities to boot. Add to this the ability to leap, roll and evade attacks, and Victor Vran's combat is rather versatile, giving you plenty of options when it comes to vanquishing the game's menagerie of nasties.

Voiced by Doug 'Geralt from The Witcher' Cockle, Victor Vran as a character isn't all that far removed from CD Projekt's own monster slayer, and while it's hard to divorce Cockle's voice from such an iconic character, his turn as Vran is similarly great. There's a neat vein of humour running through Vran too, thanks in no small part to 'The Voice', a disembodied, erm, voice, who provides a constant commentary with silly asides throughout the game.

It lends a much-needed dose of personality to proceedings, while keeping things suitably entertaining amid the unrelenting hordes of giant spiders, wraiths, vampires, 'essences', and other nightmarish creatures stalking the dark corners of Zagoravia. Victor Vran's RPG systems too are deep and numerous, but never overwhelming. Everything is clearly presented and well organised, so the myriad Destiny Cards that grant various buffs, additional outfits, talismans, weapons, powers and other accoutrements are never difficult to grasp. The gold you accrue, however, seems largely pointless. There's no incentive to buy anything when loot is so plentiful.

Juggling spells and weaponry is a cinch too, as each is mapped to its own trigger, while weapon switching is a case of simply hitting the right bumper. It's a remarkably streamlined setup that means you can just revel in the game's exploration, vast mountains of loot and non-stop monster murder. Dungeons, meanwhile, are divided into compartmentalised areas, each with their own series of challenges to tackle and secrets to find, connected by larger zones dotted all over Zagoravia. You'll be five-starring the lot, if the game takes hold.

And what's good about the Victor Vran: Overkill Edition is that there's no shortage of content, with two expansions included, adding the Motörhead: Through the Ages world and Fractured Worlds' array of randomly-generated dungeons. These worlds can be switched between at any time via the main menu, preserving progression and items across your character profile, which is a nice touch if you fancy mixing things up. Otherwise, the core world of Zagoravia on its own offers plenty of bang for your buck.


This is what you call 'having the odds stacked against you'.

Still, if you're a fan of Lemmy and co., you'll no doubt get a kick out of Through the Ages and its all-Motörhead soundtrack, as well as the array of weaponised guitars that come with it and the waves of beasties you'll take on at the various Monuments of Rock in each area. Killing hellhounds, succubi and other demon spawn, it's all good, slightly daft fun, while Fractured Worlds offers a great deal of additional replayability, with the level cap raised to 60. Throw in game-modifying Hexes that add an optional extra layer of challenge, and you could potentially be playing for tens of hours.

Sadly, it's not all sunshine and rainbows, as the Xbox One version of the game suffers from a ruinous bug that causes the game to freeze and completely lock up at random intervals. This issue doesn't seem to affect the PS4 version, although instances of tearing and occasional frame rate dips rear their head in both versions. So while Victor Vran is a damn fine dungeon crawler, it's regrettably not without its fair share of technical hiccups. It's worth mentioning that boss battles can be torturous wars of attrition too, which could be off-putting for some.

Despite said shortcomings, Victor Vran: Overkill Edition is nonetheless a fantastic package that's well worth dipping your toe into if it's demon slaughtering, loot-packed RPG action you crave. While it doesn't necessarily do anything new, Haemimont's game makes a fine first impression on console, making it easy to see why it was such a hit on PC. If you're done and dusted with Diablo and need more action in a similar vein, then Victor Vran will most definitely scratch that itch.

Victor Vran

Victor Vran: Overkill Edition is a robust, enjoyable dungeon crawler with satisfying combat mechanics, marred only by a single, albeit quite major bug on Xbox One. This issue aside, Victor Vran is genuinely excellent.

Form widget
70%
Audio
80%

A solid and fitting orchestral score, with fantastic voice over work across the board. Good stuff.

Visuals
70%

Pretty, detailed environments and nice artwork throughout, Victor Vran is a good-looking dungeon crawler, marred only by some minor frame rate issues and occasional tearing.

Playability
80%

Tight, responsive and infinitely enjoyable combat, rewarding loot systems and plenty of scope for exploration. Vran is a robust, surprisingly fun and accessible dungeon crawler.

Delivery
60%

Plenty of content, well-delivered, with its three worlds persistent across the same single character. The only problem that lets the Xbox One version down is a crippling freeze bug that occurs at random intervals. This needs patching out sharpish.

Achievements
70%

A hefty 90 achievements spread across the core game and its two expansions. You'll be playing for a good few hours to nab the lot, but then, Victor Vran is a lot of fun, so it shouldn't prove too much of a chore.

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