Victor Vran Nintendo Switch Review
Developer: Haemimont Games
Genre: Action role-playing game
Publisher: EuroVideo Medien GmbH
Platforms: PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Microsoft Windows, Nintendo Switch, Linux, Macintosh operating systems
Modes: Single-player video game, Multiplayer video game
Victor Vran is a famed monster hunter who, upon receiving a mysterious message attaining to the whereabouts of his missing colleague, sets off into the world. Whilst searching he arrives in the demon infested city of Zagoravia. His plans to locate his friend and leave quickly change when he discovers something unexpected!
He opts to stay in Zagoravia to assist his colleague and the mysterious Queen and help rid the city of its demon problem.
Interestingly we look at the game from an isometric perspective, which provides an almost top-down view of the world around us. The world has definitely seen some better days, much of it is tumbling down around us and with the sheer volume of demons on the loose it is clear to see why!
The games surroundings beautifully fit with the tone of the game. The outfits, weapons and landscapes all have a well planned steampunk/gothic vibe that is completely suited to the nature of Victor Vran. Zagoravia is a visually very interesting place to wander round, with many of the areas offering secret rooms filled with treasure. One thing I particularly like about the design is the minimap on the bottom of the screen shows you where you have/haven’t been. This I found particularly useful as navigating dungeons that are all quite similar in design can be quite tricky!
Another very good design choice is in the way the ‘walls move’ when you rotate the camera. Often in games, especially during combat the ‘camera’ can get stuck behind a wall/tree or something that obscures the line of sight. However, in Victor Vran, as you rotate any walls in the way simply disappear. You can see where you need to see and when you turn away they appear again. A really useful technique especially when playing using the Switch screen.
Straight away we know we are controlling a strong character who means business! Victor, voiced by highly regarded Doug Cockle, is similar to that of Doug’s previous characters Geralt of Rivia in the way he approaches his tasks, his incredible skills with a variety of weaponry and generally grumpy demeanour.
We have the ability immediately to swap between a huge range of weaponry from the get go, there is no levelling up required in order to handle certain weapons. Which is where Victor starts to feel less like an RPG and more like a dungeon crawler/hack and slash similar to Diablo.
Now something Victor Vran does very well is loot! Now I love a good root for loot and will often spend way too long gathering stuff! Enemies drop a good amount of loot, especially the bosses, which can all be sold and swapped with the traders. Generally in order to have the best gear you’ll be getting it from the traders, so loot away and get ready to sell!
If there IS a limit to what Victor can carry I did not notice it. The inventory size is more then generously sized which is ideal when faced with so many different types of enemies round each corner. As you progress through each area you’ll find that certain weapons are better against certain enemies so having a good range is critical!
Now if the weapons just aren’t quite cutting the mustard Victor even has demon powers! These are unlockable and and will unleash all sorts of incredibly entertaining and satisfying attacks! Demon attacks include:
Purging Flame: Which creates a massive pillar of FIRE!
Diamond: Summons a magical shield
Boomerang: Does what it says on the tin, big ass magical boomerang!
The range of enemies throughout Victor Vran is not as vast as it could be but it does include Spiders, Skeletons, Wraiths, Gargoyles and Vampires, to name but a few. These all feed into the steampunk/ gothic-esque vibe that Victor Vran is going for and which it really encapsulates!
The enemies just keep coming. Even when you think you are done, there’s always more! If those little beasts weren’t bad enough then we get the boss fights! Now I don’t want to give too much away but I’ll mention Vail The Immortal as an example of a boss. Vail, is the boss of the Mausoleum of Bones (which sounds like a cool/creepy nightclub). He loves his projectile attacks, so be sure to practice dodge rolls before trying to face him and he has a lot of health, oh and the ability to revive himself! Great, I know.
The Switch port was released in August (2018) and whether docked or on the move the gameplay is seamless. Even when waves of demons are crashing over Victor the frames hold steady and gameplay is smooth. What is nice about this, is that it feels as though it was made with couch play in mind. You can play single player, locally with two players or with up to four players online! I can tell you with some of these waves of demons, you’ll be glad to have a few allies on your side.
Now with the Switch Version of Victor Vran, you get the ‘Overkill Edition’, which includes two expansions; ‘Fractured Worlds’ and ‘Motorhead Through the Ages’, which gives you new weapons and a SLAMMING soundtrack!
Victor Vran has definitely made himself at home on the Switch and the game works great as something to just pick up and have a go at when you’ve got a spare 5 minutes, however you may well find yourself still playing even after hours of hacking and slashing! It is an adventure well designed and well put together, I especially love the multiplayer feature. Not enough titles allow you to take an adventure with a friend, especially without needing to have another console/play online. Couch co ops always have a space in my heart!
One thing I will say, is that you aren’t really playing Victor Vran for the story. The narrative takes somewhat of a back seat to slaughtering millions of demons and trying to beat the challenges in each area. It is a slowly revealed tale which comes in after certain levels but does feel somewhat like an afterthought. Victor Vran is a long game, possibly too long, but its incredibly fun and does give a great sense of achievement.
Victor Vran does not bring us a genre defining title, but it does do the dungeon crawler/rpg/ adventure genre proud. I enjoyed working my way through Zagoravia very much and especially liked throwing meteors at spiders! I would not hesitate to recommend Victor Vran to someone in the market for a dark adventure that is both engaging and well designed.