by Jason Parker (Ragachak)
Hello, Internet! I haven’t written about a Port in a while, so what better time than now? I’ve spent some time with Victor Vran: Overkill Edition on the Nintendo Switch, and it sincerely made me regret not getting to this game sooner. I’ve been posting news about Victor Vran for a while now, starting with the DLC (Fractured Worlds and Motorhead), and it really bummed me out that I missed out on this on the ground floor. It’s a snarky, exciting action-RPG with a sharp, dark look, and a pretty simple premise. It didn’t need to be complicated or ridiculous: Zagoravia is overrun with undead and evil demons and stuff, and the Queen made a call: Someone needs to come to help us get rid of these nerds! That’s where the ultra-stylish Victor Vran (who even gets to pick from several outfits to pick from) appears. There are tons of areas to explore, you can access the DLC at any time, and it looks tremendous on the Switch. There’s no slow-down or lowering of quality for the console release.
Though it’s a few years old by now, there’s always going to be that fated comparison “What about Diablo 3? Is it as good as Diablo 3”? Victor Vran is definitely its own game. The biggest thing you need to have in an ARPG is solid controls and I appreciate that it’s not a twin-stick. Whatever direction you’re in is the direction you attack, and the right stick controls the camera rotation. It’s easy to cast your demonic abilities, swap weapons (since you can have two weapon types at all times), jump, swing, it’s all fluid and smooth. I also appreciate that he’s not tied to simply using a sword or a shotgun. You can wield a Scythe, a massive Hammer, of course, a badass Shotgun, he’s got undead killing options. Each has their own ability style, useful times, and of course you can equip whichever demon abilities you happen to have. So you run through areas, murder the undead/demons, collect loot, rinse and repeat. But one of the swell things is that I have yet to run out of inventory space. It’s not one of those games where you have twelve slots, everything takes up a different amount of space, and “Good luck, dork”! No, I’ve had plenty of room.
Another interesting facet of the game is “The Voice”. There’s a snarky, annoying, sassy voice that follows you around in your head, and talks trash throughout the game (as far as I’ve been). He’s always there, but sometimes he can be useful, pointing out that there’s a secret nearby, enemies are near, or you found something cool. But most of the time, it’s just a snarky jerk who pipes up when you least want him. That said, The Voice is awesome, it’s an interesting dynamic between it and the ultra-serious grimdark Victor Vran. Speaking of voices, I also want to say that it’s wonderful that Lloyd Kaufman (of Troma Entertainment fame) is the barkeep for the Motorhead portion of the game. Supernatural elements like that are key to Victor Vran, and with that comes a series of Tarot cards that he can equip, that augment various abilities. They’re called “Destiny Cards”, also have their own rarity (like everything else in an ARPG).
Now, there are one or two minor gripes about this otherwise very enjoyable game. I noticed in the Motorhead: Through the Ages DLC/World, occasionally if you’re idling, the music stops looping. This took me about five minutes I believe. Once the song had ended, it did not loop until I hit the next area/boss, where a new track would pick up. There was also some really odd skipping/pausing of the track on the Motorhead title screen. I couldn’t tell if it was being censored, or just pausing. It was pretty frustrating either way. I didn’t spend a lot of time on that menu except for once, but it was enough to stand out to me. The only other thing that bothered me was a gameplay mechanic of spell-casting enemies having so many homing shots. I always had plenty of ways to get health back, but it was pretty vexing to have a challenge like “Don’t get hit and kill 60 enemies), with homing fire. So I just had to target them first and fast. Since this is an ARPG, you will be doing some grinding, but at least there are cool challenges on each map to tackle, secrets to find, and rare monsters/rare loot to uncover. It’s worth doing, for sure.
The Only Card I Need: 4/5
So, I love Motorhead, even if I joke about them a lot. Victor Vran has a grimy, slimy, smoky look to it and I love that. These worlds are ravaged, ruined, and depressing, and it’s up to the smooth, badass, taciturn Victor Vran to show up and save the day. It controls smooth, the weapons and powers are awesome, the dialogue is well written, and the reason for doing it makes sense. You can tackle the DLC anytime you please, and I’ve sincerely enjoyed the game. I’m still making my way through the content, but it’s been an absolute joy. Having rewards when I level up, finding rare gear and secret areas, all of these things were fun. The difficulty is there, without being insane (though you can lower or raise it if you need to). Victor Vran: Overkill Edition has a look and style all its own, and if you missed out on it everywhere else and need an ARPG, this is exactly what you need.
Editor’s Note: A code was provided for this review.