Victor Vran is an ARPG that has you exploring non random levels while completing challenges, finding secrets, fighting enemies, collecting items, and following a story through many areas.
While it is an ARPG, Victor Vran handles classes and abilities differently from most others. Instead of choosing a class in the beginning, you just choose an outfit to wear that determines your defenses and how easily you earn overdrive, which allows you to use demon powers. Other outfits can be found as you play through the game, so you won’t always be stuck with the same one. Every type of weapon can be equipped no matter the outfit you are wearing, and each weapon comes with a basic attack and two abilities. Two weapons can be equipped and switched between at any time, so you can find two weapons that chain their abilities well together.
Another difference is that ARPGs tend to have completely random levels to play through, but the ones in this game are custom made and are the same every time you play through. A small amount of areas are required for the story, while there are a ton of optional areas that are harder and even have bosses. Each area has 5 normal and 5 elite challenges to complete, rewarding you with items, gold, and experience. Challenges come in many forms, such as killing enemies in a certain amount of time, finding all the secrets in the level, or defeating a certain enemy under a certain condition. There is also at least one secret to find in each area, which consists of a chest hiding somewhere. Secrets can sometimes be in plain sight, require you to go down a long path, or even false walls that you can walk through.
A variety of enemies are available to fight in Victor Vran. Each area typically has one or two types of enemies, each with many variations. Especially when playing in hardcore mode, enemies can have modifiers that make them stronger in many ways, and may even use demon powers against you. Examples of enemies include spiders, vampires, elementals, and skeletons.
Playing on normal and keeping all hexes turned off does make the game pretty easy to play, and you can always play with other people if you don’t feel like doing everything yourself. Levels take at most 20 minutes to complete, and this is if you explore the entire area looking for secrets and other things, so you should be able to enjoy the game if you don’t have much time for games. There is a hardcore difficulty level that can be chosen when starting the game, which forces you to play with all 5 hexes turned on, such as enemies having bonus armor, enemies dealing more damage, and you periodically taking. If you want to play between normal and hardcore, each hex can be individually turned on and off when playing on normal. Many challenges, especially the elite challenges you get after beating the game, will also give you a nice challenge to work towards.
Completing the game will take you anywhere from 10-15 hours, depending on the difficulty mode you chose and if you decided to play through some optional areas. After beating the game, there are a ton of challenges to complete on every level, secrets to find, and a few other things, meaning the game could easily last you 50 or more hours. There are many options to change and aside from the usual sound/video/control options, you can choose what to display on your HUD and UI while playing the game. The graphics are fairly standard with nothing amazing or terrible about them. It does run somewhat slow if you completely max out the settings, but lowering the anti aliasing some does get rid of the sluggishness. There also seems to be periodic stutters that can be annoying, especially when you’re in combat. Although there are multiple songs in the game, many areas share the same music and there seems to only be one boss song as well. There is a good variety of sound effects when it comes to enemies, but you can barely hear them when you use certain weapons like the shotgun, as the bang sound it makes is louder than everything else. Every character in the game has voice acting and there is also a narrator of sorts that makes comments pretty often in most areas. Other than movement seeming kind of odd at times, especially when jumping on walls, there didn’t seem to be any noticeable bugs.
I enjoyed Victor Vran and played through it on hardcore mode. Even though I prefer a challenge in games that I play, the hardcore mode in the game didn’t feel hard until the last ten percent of the game, and instead felt annoying. This is because it took forever to kill enemies, especially when you first start playing, mainly because of the hexes you have while playing hardcore. To remedy this, I built my character as a glass cannon meaning that I ignored defense items and purely went for offense, so that it wouldn’t take forever to kill anything. Even though I had no defense, I almost never died except for when there were huge groups of enemies and sometimes on bosses. In other words, hardcore mode is mostly annoying instead of hard, and normal difficulty is probably too easy. Other than the game’s difficulty, I also loved the amount of content the game has in completing challenges and finding all of the secrets in every level.