‘Victor Vran: Overkill Edition’ Review: Silly Name, Serious Game

4.2
out of 5

Victor Vran: Overkill Edition, from Bulgarian indie developers Haeminmont Games (Tropico) was originally released in 2015 for PC, has come to consoles. An action RPG that could be called a Diablo “clone”, Victor Vran brings some interesting new ideas and a fun, easy to learn combat system that translates well to a controller. Set in a gothic fantasy world, part steampunk, part magic, players control Victor Vran, a demon hunter who is running from his past. Victor is voiced by veteran voice actor Doug Cockle, best known for Geralt in the Witcher series. In fact in many ways it is similar to that game series, in the overall mood of the world Victor inhabits. With two expansions, local and online co-op play, Victor Vran: Overkill Edition is a must buy for fans of the genre who missed this gem on PC.

When Victor Vran: Overkill Edition begins I already notice it is unlike most ARPG, as players start with selecting an outfit. These will enhance your play style preference. There are no classes, players’ abilities change based on the weapons they equip. This may seem like a rather simple setup, but on a console, where buttons are limited, it works extremely well. Each weapon type has a general attack and two special moves. These can be chained and if done in the right order grant increased attacks or timer decreases. Swapping between your two equipped weapons is a must, not only based on the combat range, but to use cool-downs as well. I quite enjoyed this feature, it was nice to not have to study every spell in a level tree and plan ten steps ahead. Simple can be enjoyable. 


The ability to jump and rotate the camera a full 360 degrees are also features I have rarely seen in the ARPG genre. This adds some very well hidden paths to secret treasure, so keep an eye out for them. Having a jump along with a dodge is also helpful for avoiding damage in combat. Victor uses special attacks that require the use of the overdrive meter. These attacks are equipped just like gear, with two slots. Also like gear they vary not only in type but in rarity and rank. Adding even more customization, players collect destiny cards. Each card has a point value, the total amount Victor can equip raises as he levels. These provide various perks based on play style. Equipment can also be upgraded via transmutation, my preferred way to unload excess loot. While selling it for cash is optimal at the beginning, by the time you reach level 16 and unlock the transmutation station, you should be sick of selecting each item one at a time to sell it. The interface at the vendors was one of the weak points in Victor Vran: Overkill Edition, a “sell all” button would be welcome.

Victor Vran: Overkill Edition also includes one of my favorite expansions to any game ever, Motörhead: through the Ages. Lemmy Kilmister even appears, in silent form sadly, as he passed in 2015. The gameplay and monsters fit perfectly in the war torn, Nazi infested dimension Victor finds himself. Troma Entertainment’s (The Toxic Avenger) Lloyd Kaufman, whom Lemmy was a friend of, is your guide on this insane adventure. Victor also can acquire my personal favorite weapon, the electric guitar. Shoot waves of flaming skulls, lightning bolts, and power slide your way to victory, all to the actual music of the band Motörhead! I could not stop smiling, or killing things, or headbanging. You have not lived until you have unleashed an area of effect “headbanging spell” on a group of fifty or more Nazi skeletons. Lemmy would approve.

The graphics in Victor Vran: Overkill Edition are not particularly special, with no zoom feature and everything played at a distance, that detail really isn’t necessary anyway. But this also keeps load times very fast. The music is also rather bland, other than the Motörhead expansion, but is moody and fitting for the base game. Enemies, while plentiful, are not greatly varied in models, and can get repetitive. They do have many different attacks that will keep players on their toes though, and with random overly powerful versions wondering about, players must be quick to dodge or run away, else death will come swift. Even for it’s faults though, Victor Vran: Overkill Edition has so much to do, with local and online co-op, innovative combat and customization systems, it’s a must buy for any fan of action role playing games.

Combat is fun and familiar, though it may be a little too simple for hardcore ARPG fans. The stories in the base game and Motörhead expansion are fantastic, full of humor, great voice acting, and interesting still-art cut-scenes. The third expansion, Fractured Worlds  includes a good mash up both previous expansions with challenges and loot for higher level characters. All in all Victor Vran: Overkill Edition is a good 20 plus hours of playtime at the bare minimum and completionists will have many, many more, with special challenge switches, enabling fun variables for already completed levels, and generally just enjoyment looking for loot or killing monsters with friends. Even if you have never played one, Victor Vran: Overkill Edition is a great introduction to action role playing games and with an MSRP of $39.99, it’s also a great deal. Pick it up and just keep telling yourself, “That’s not Geralt of Rivia.”

Victor Vran: Overkill Edition is available now on PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and PC. This review is based on a PS4 copy provided for that purpose. 

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