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RPGWatch Forums » Comments » News Comments » GameBanshee - Hands-On Preview of Van Helsing

Default GameBanshee - Hands-On Preview of Van Helsing

May 10th, 2013, 13:18
GameBanshee has posted a preview of the soon to be released The Incredible Adventures of Van Helsing.
The interface for Van Helsing is about what you would expect for an action role-playing game. The camera gives you an isometric view of your surroundings, and the left mouse button does the bulk of the work, allowing you to move, attack, and pick up loot. You can also use the right mouse button for a secondary skill, press the Q key to quaff a healing potion (all of the healing potions are the same, so a single key is enough), press the R key to switch between melee and ranged attacks, and press the shift key to attack without moving.

What you do in Van Helsing, for the most part, is kill stuff. During the early part of the campaign, you encounter bandits, werewolves, mechanical men (who look a lot like British redcoats), harpies, and more. You also talk to people to pick up quests and purchase equipment, which sometimes requires you to make decisions. For example, at the end of one quest, I had to make a choice about killing or freeing a werewolf. I decided to let him go, and later I got a reward because of it. I also saw some places where I had to choose what to do with quest items, where different actions give different rewards.

So far I'd say that The Incredible Adventures of Van Helsing looks pretty good. I liked the theme of the game, with fighting evil creatures in dark caves and forests, and I also enjoyed the rapport between Van Helsing and Katarina, who have amusing conversations with each other. I didn't see much of the main storyline (you receive a plea for help from somebody in Borgova, but I was still on my way there when the preview build ended), and so your ultimate goal in the game is still a mystery, but I'm optimistic that it will be fun and surprising based on the writing samples I've seen so far. Look for Van Helsing to be released at the end of this month
More information.

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Last edited by Couchpotato; May 10th, 2013 at 19:59.
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May 10th, 2013, 13:18
Preorder still not available.
And I really want this game.

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May 10th, 2013, 13:22
Originally Posted by joxer View Post
Preorder still not available.
And I really want this game.
You can from here:

http://devblog.neocoregames.com/orde…m=500&prodid=2
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May 10th, 2013, 14:30
Originally Posted by SpoonFULL View Post
You can from here:

http://devblog.neocoregames.com/orde…m=500&prodid=2
Yeah, you can preorder it for $15 and get to play what I believe is most of the first Act on Steam. They just send you a key for Steam Activation. Pretty fun, although I find that either picking melee or range is the way to go instead of a mix. At least so far.
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May 10th, 2013, 19:23
Details please. I won't go for 834756835873465$ options, but what's the difference between first three packs?

If there is none, I'll go for the cheap one.

[EDIT]
Found it:
http://devblog.neocoregames.com/orde…f-van-helsing/

The 50$ option gives you:
„Treasure Hunters” Perk: A special magic-item related Perk for the cooperative multiplayer sessions, which grants you magic item find bonus. It stacks when you are teaming up with your friends who also pre-ordered this pack.
Now I really didn't plan to play it's multiplayer option, but if someone here is interested in co-op game, feel free to invite me as I've just preordered that option with the perk.

Waited 2 minutes for the beta key… Now that was fast.
Beta is 4 gigs size?

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Last edited by joxer; May 10th, 2013 at 19:33.
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May 10th, 2013, 22:44
I think they give you the whole game but you can't advance at a certain point because something is missing to do that.

I think because they said the game is only around 10 hours that most of that huge size is audio. Lots of spoken audio in there.

Of course I heard they are planning a trilogy so we will get more game eventually
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May 11th, 2013, 00:40
Dunno but it's installed and I really didn't plan doing anything tomorrow. Expect a post or a few (without huge spoilers!) just like I did with Mars. Oh and… Since it's beta, I won't be bughunting.

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May 12th, 2013, 15:45
I bit on this and spent a couple of hours playing . It reminds me a lot of titan-quest in terms of being clean. The quests are a bit more rpg'ish than titan-quest; the map so far are a bit linear and simplistic. I've not explore the full skill set (the trees are quite large) yet to really comment. I think the voice acting is quite decent. So far no ctd bugs like in king author (a game i really liked by the same developer but crashed far too often). So far my biggest concerns are linear smallish maps, a bit sparse in quests and a bit short (if 10 hours for the whole game) but as I said I'm really early in the game so things might change as I move on a bit.
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May 12th, 2013, 19:27
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 you 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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May 13th, 2013, 05:31
Joxer, are you enjoying a game that has mob respawn?
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May 13th, 2013, 05:46
Originally Posted by Dr. A View Post
Joxer, are you enjoying a game that has mob respawn?
It looks like he is run for the hills the sky is falling. I'm still looking forward to playing the full game instead of the small demo from pre-ordering.

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May 13th, 2013, 05:58
Originally Posted by Couchpotato View Post
It looks like he is run for the hills the sky is falling. I'm still looking forward to playing the full game instead of the small demo from pre-ordering.
Haha! Well, so long as he is enjoying himself

Yeah, I'm looking forward to the full game as well. Gonna fire it up with a buddy and play co-op all the way through. It's a shame the game is only around 10 hours long. Also its meant to be the first in a trilogy so hopefully the sequel will be much meatier.
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May 13th, 2013, 09:05
Originally Posted by joxer View Post

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.
The question was about making her more aggressive. At the moment, it seems you must move the PC close enough from a mob to trigger a pursuit movement in the NPC, then get the PC to fall back.

Tank waiting from behind is not a proper AI for a tank. A tank must lead the line and be the ones attracting aggro.

I wondered if there was a command to order the NPC to move to one spot. It would supplement the lack of tank AI.
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May 13th, 2013, 10:56
Oh I didn't mention?

The game IS NOT endless mobrespawn grinder.

Once killed, mobs don't have Jesus' resurrection/revival powers. They're dead for good. At least in singleplayer mode.

Well, except one boss. Looks like that, but in fact he reacts a split second before killed. And he pulls the trick only once.

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May 13th, 2013, 11:03
Originally Posted by joxer View Post
Oh I didn't mention?

The game IS NOT endless mobrespawn grinder.

Once killed, mobs don't have Jesus' resurrection/revival powers. They're dead for good. At least in singleplayer mode.

Well, except one boss. Looks like that, but in fact he reacts a split second before killed. And he pulls the trick only once.
That's interesting! A finite number of monsters in a hack/slash is unheard of.

Unless I'm mistaken and action is not a substantial part of the game? How is the story and to what extent do you see RPG elements?
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May 13th, 2013, 11:26
Grinding is not a major part of the game and no, your main quest is not kill 546754234752385454545454545236523 mobrespawns. And no, this is not yet another Diablo clone.

I've said I got stuck due to a gamebreaker bug and am waiting for the next patch so really can't be objective and say the story is awsome and there are these and those RPG elements well/poorly executed. You'll have to wait for a review. Not mine, I'm not doing it.

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May 13th, 2013, 11:57
Sounds good, thanks for the information.
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May 13th, 2013, 14:16
I think i'll repeat my comment that this game is closer to titan question than diablo. I thought i noticed that some areas reset if you die before completing them.
-
I've run into the fence bug - but I'm not sure how much of the beta represent the full game. I think they say it is 1 of 3 acts but I'm not sure if all acts are equal length. I don't really have anything else to mention. I had no ctd; no complaints iwth the voice acting but some of the banter became a bit repetitive. The only real bug i ran into was the fence bug but it is not clear to me what the most effective skills/stats are - i didn't really spend too much time playing with different combos. I should mention that you can 'craft' (combine items and get a new 'random' item); embed 'essence' into items (sort of like runes on other apg). It was a bit lacking on puzzles (I think I only found one) and it had quite a few interesting optional quests.
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