Review: Incredible Adventures of Van Helsing: Extended Edition (PlayStation 4)

Be Van Helsing, monster-hunter extraordinaire and save the day with your charming and beautiful companion, Lady Katarina (who happens to be a ghost, by the way). Explore the savage wilderness in the mountains and the soot-stained brick districts of a grim metropolis.

Pros:

  • Nice looking graphics.
  • 10.08GB download size.
  • Game play is a ARPG and very much in the same style as Diablo III.
  • Three classes to play as- Classic hunter, Thaumaturge and arcane mechanic.
  • Four difficulties- Casual, Normal, Hard and heroic.
  • Hardcore mode. Turns the game into a rogue like, One death and its game over.
  • Full Platinum trophy.
  • Four game modes- Story, Multiplayer, Scenario and Never ending story (NG+)
  • Options- Blood, If enemy respawns after you leave the area, Auto equip, Health bars, Language, Hide hat, Highlight item names.
  • Three visual quality settings- 1080p=Better performance, 1620p=Balanced or 4k=Better quality.
  • Can skip cut-scenes.
  • Used DS4 speaker.
  • Earn EXP, Level up and get upgrade points for attributes, Perks, Abilities.
  • Your companion also levels up and has her own set of attributes, Perks and abilities.
  • Can swap out different powers from the menu.
  • You have a constant companion who will fight alongside you. You can set here actions like melee,ranged or if she takes the attention of enemies or heals you etc.
  • Tutorial pop ups as and when new things happen.
  • Decent voice work for all characters.
  • Unlock portals for fast travel.
  • Main hub has your storage, Shop and blacksmith for crafting and an enchanter to buff items.
  • Clear item description. Green for good and red for bad on stats.
  • You can reset your unlock points at a vendor.
  • Shrines can be found and activated granting timed effects.
  • Map uncovers as you move.
  • Mission markers.
  • Onscreen HUD is tidy showing objectives, Health/rage and EXP bar.
  • Main and optional side quests.
  • Addictive game play.
  • Loot is like Diablo with common, Rare, Legendary and set item drops all different colour for identification. So legendary is orange and set is green.
  • Much better experience with friends.
  • Supports online co op.
  • In game text chat available.
  • Auto-saves regularly.
  • Teleport to your hub for fast travel back from anywhere.
  • Ink infested locations provide bonus off world experiences.
  • Fun to play.
  • Treasure goblin like beings that if killed will drop substantial loot but will try and run away.
  • Huge massive open levels to discover.
  • Hidden loot boxes, Chests, Totems and more.
  • Wide cast of characters to interact with.
  • Decent story.
  • Monsters are varied and all have unique attacks and abilities. Monsters can be normal, Champions or elites which have a much stronger attack and bigger health bar but give better loot.
  • You have two weapons on most classes. One melee and one ranged and its a click of the stick to change between them.
  • Dark Gothic atmosphere.

Cons:

  • A lot of man management time is needed. You have so many options/sections in which to spend your upgrade points that it gets a bit much. Then add on the fact you have to do this again for your follower.
  • Loot for classes you are not playing as drops a lot.
  • Small personal space and you have to spend valuable upgrade points to expand it.
  • A lot of fetch quests.
  • Some very cheesy voice performances crop up.
  • Slow paced in single player early on.
  • Loot progression in terms of getting better loot is a slow path.
  • Some performance issues on all three of the visual settings like slowdown or screen tearing.
  • Can get a bit tiring fighting off wave after wave of monster for very little pay off.

The Numbers
  • 8/10
    Graphics - 8/10
  • 9/10
    Sound - 9/10
  • 8/10
    Accessability - 8/10
  • 9/10
    Length - 9/10
  • 8/10
    Fun Factor - 8/10
8.4/10

Summary

The game will always be compared to Diablo for it borrows so many of its mechanics, But its not a bad Diablo style game. The setting is perfect for it, The monsters are defiently there, Its just it like Diablo needs a loot overhaul as it drops the wrong items for you or it always manages to drop lower spec stuff making the game slow down. That coupled with the sheer amount of upgrade windows you have to learn for both you and your companion. I get it, Choice is good but when its not all explained to you whats what and you muddle your way through only to find you missed a much needed upgrade, Its flat out annoying and frustrating. The game play is solid, The lore is solid, It seems to have a decent end game and scenario system to extend the games life, But it needs a kick up its arse for the loot and menu structure. Get past that and you have yourself a really neat little Diablo style game full of mystery and intrigue.

Jim Smale

Gaming since the Atari 2600, I enjoy the weirdness in games counting Densha De Go and RC De Go as my favourite titles of all time. I prefer gaming of old where buying games from a shop was a thing, Being social in person was a thing. Join me as I attempt to adapt to this new digital age!

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