Welcome to Borgovia, where you will meet all nature of creatures in your travels.
Enter the world as Van Helsing, son of the great Abraham Van Helsing, famed vampire hunter.
Travel with your companion Lady Katarina as you explore Borgovia, a dark and industrial land, filled with sorcery, hordes of frightening creatures and twisted machinery.
Begin by choosing a character class to control on your journey. Will you be the Protector, a melee-specialist or the ranged shooter, the Bounty Hunter? Perhaps you prefer a tactical game, go with the Constructor. On the more imaginative side of the coin, you have the Phlogistoneer, a master of wierd science. What RPG would be complete without the Elementalist, a wielder of magics, and the killer, the Umbralist? Each class recieves their own skills tree, where every player can customize their gameplay. Add to that a Perks list where you can gain extra bonuses throughout the game.
I forgot to mention, that Lady Katarina is a ghost. Choose if she will aid you as a melee fighter, ranged fighter, or she sit back and watch, boosting your ability.
Journey to Markova, where you learn of the Inkwell, and of the strange mechanized army plaguing the villagers. Once you save the village, you learn that there is a larger story unfolding. And when you think you know where the story is going, you learn there is still more to discover. Battle your way through spiders, toads, rats and wolves as you make your way to your subterranean hideout. Meet with gypsies, vampires and militia as you begin to unfold the mysteries around you. Enchant your armor and prepare for the battles to come. You will lead militias and battle hulking mechanized enemies before you reach the end of the story, so be prepared.
Final Cut is not a new chapter to the Van Helsing games, but rather something more of the ‘remastered’ variety. The developers have combined the missions from Van Helsings I, II and III, while removing some of the redundant and less popular features.
You will have the opportunity to take charge of tower defenses as you protect your base, and to command squadrons to go out and fight on your behalf while tending to your own missions with the available mini-games.
This game was the first I’ve seen that allowed you to choose what respec you wanted to do, piece by piece. When you respec in most games, you have to back and fill out your skills from the beginning. As I learned more about my abilities I have gone back and adjusted my skills a few times easily with this handy adjustment. While I never used them, you are also able to respec your perks, attributes and even your companion Katarina.
The atmospherics here are beautiful, but can be a resource hog if you are running some older hardware like I am. Flowing grasses, ambient shadows, fog of war are great effects for a game, and I am personally a fan, but I had to turn these off to get my game to run. The other thing you will want to be aware of, is that the load times on this compilation take a long time. A. Long. Time. Through the steam community I learned that this game was packaged to load approximately twelve different languages. If you go in and remove the languages you do not need, you will cut down the load time significantly. Once I learned this trick, it made getting into the role of Van Helsing much easier.
The soundtrack was thrilling enough to keep you focused on the game without being distracting. I found myself getting lost in the game, just wanting to push on to the next enemy, then the next enemy. You have to admit that the soundtrack helps keep you in that moment.
The replay value for this Final Cut is great. With 6 different character classes and multiple ways for the player to spec out their character every time they play, you are given the chance to have over a dozen different gameplay experiences. Add on top of that the multiplayer component, this game could hang around for a while.
To be honest, this game tested my patience at first. The terrible load times in the beginning led me to believe that my computer would not handle it. I got quite frustrated, and it led me to the conclusion that I need to build a new rig.
That being said, once I got into ‘The Incredible Adventures…” I can see why they chose the title. The missions, both mandatory and optional are quite the adventure. Whether you are tracking down a mystical scroll, or defeating the giant beasts on a floating island, you will agree with the word ‘incredible’. With a rough gameplay time of 50 hours, this game has something for everyone, and then some: action-packed adventures, challenging battles, skillful mini-games,and if that’s not enough, there are daily challenges as well. There are even cooperative and PVP multiplayer modes to keep your game interesting.
Neocore Games really put together a strong offering here, showing that ARPGs can be a lot of fun, if done right.
This review was based upon a digital copy of The Incredible Adventures of Van Helsing – Final Cut supplied to Brutal Gamer by Neocore Games.
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