In a cliched world of action RPGs involving medieval/fantasy type settings, it’s refreshing to discover Neocore’s 19th century steampunk gothic-noir type game, The Incredible Adventures of Van Helsing.
The game’s ambience of nighttime villages and murky swamps accompanied by a greatly appropriate soundtrack will keep you playing until your index finger gets numb.
Character class and selection is so varied the game will probably warrant more than a single playthrough to flesh out all of its possibilities. Upon seeing the blank skill tree when first starting out it’s almost mind blowing to wonder where you’re going to put all of the skills, perks and auras the game allows you to. It’s not quite the endless skill tree as Path of Exile,
but it’s deep enough you’ll feel your character grow as you play. Enemies come in waves, overwhelmingly so. I played a range character and being able to kite the enemies helped somewhat. If you decide to play as a melee class I think you’ll have your work cut out for you.
Neocore is a small publisher out of Hungary, and big publishers could take some lessons from these guys. I’ve never had the desire to play an RPG through more than once until I played this. Despite the trappings, however, all is not perfect. There was no game manual included in the download, and for the developers to instruct players to read online forums and watch online videos to learn simple instructions about the game bears little in the way of professionalism. Once I learned how “rage” (the energy required to do super attacks, acquired through killing NPCs) worked I was able to accomplish much more. Some creatures in the game had an attribute called Abomination. I never did find out exactly what that was. And the final boss fight involved a lot of lag for me. I died many times because I simply lagged out. Definitely not a deal breaker, but it made that final fight more difficult than it had any right to be. This may or may not be an issue affecting anybody else. I have a state of the art rig, and I was surprised the lag even occured.
Still, I’m glad I found this game. I look forward to playing through it again, experimenting with another class. And then I’ll look forward to tackling Neocore’s sophomore effort, The Incredible Adventures of Van Helsing II.