GameBanshee - Hands-On Preview of Van Helsing
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May 12th, 2013, 20:27
Played beta for 3-4 hours, was thorough and now I got stuck (electric fence bug on boss fight, known, reported and will be fixed in the next patch for beta version).
The game is definetly fun. Clickfest combat is not as bad as it initially looked, there are tons of funny oneliners and text related to quests is full of humor. As
said, maps are linear, but then again, they never promised an open world, so it's kinda okay. Someone else suggested not to go jack of all trades char and was right, I was playing on normal and pretty soon you learn that you can't be very effective with equally distributed melee+ranged char.
However, I don't think, at least in beta, that the game is balanced pefectly. Some waves of mobs are utterly easy to clear, yet the next wave can be a pain especially if you (in fact your companion) aggro mobs from a few directions. Since there is no gamesaves you can only exit then use continue from the previous mob cleared point.
Also, one asked if your companion has some advanced AI options, sorry but no. You can instruct her to loot stuff, to use melee or ranged, but you can't tell her not to go aggressive until you're attacked. Now many will think great, since the game doesn't stop if she is killed, the best option is to go ranged and leave her to tank. But actually, she has a special skill later which you can (ab)use - to suck a part of the damage that comes onto you! Means she can be effective as a ranged support if you prefer close combat.
She's very similar to the companions from Torchlight, has own attributes and skillset, plus own inventory and can be sent to the town to sell stuff from her inventory.
Most quests/tasks have two options. One is usually to go for the cash, but another one is to skip cash and get another thing. In all cases, not taking the money proved to be more fruitful choice. You get a very useful rare item, XP or bonus skillpoints!
Finally I have to mention that in the case you feel you went wrong with skills and attributes, you don't have to start all over, there is a certain NPC who can reset your stats after you solve a quest for him.
There is only one negative thing and that's poor visibility of barrels/boxes. And bombs needed to be collected for a sidequest. There is a "highlight" button, but somehow it doesn't show those stuff at all. Hopefully that will be "fixed".
Oh, and the game crashed on me. Once. Yup, just once. Not bad for a beta!
I'm not sure if I'm allowed to write about all this, but I'm still doing it as it's probably already shown in some videos I haven't watched.
The beta doesn't have multiplayer integrated (at least I haven't seen it) so I'm unsure how multiplayer will behave. But I know this, all those different mobs, your character and bosses plus your and their different skills (slows, stuns, barriers, summons, buffs, heals, etc) can be put to use on a MOBA team vs team map. And if that happens, I'm 100% sure it'll be a hit!
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