Yikes. I know Hungarian studio Neocore Games have been a bunch of busy bees over the years what with creating, changing for the better and supporting with content its excellent Warhammer 40,000: Inquisitor, but I’d actually thought they went and forgot the series that helped put them on the map for a hot minute. Nope, they were just pretty occupied for a while, but wouldn’t you know it, out of the blue, they went and finally released the The Incredible Adventures of Van Helsing III for a very reasonable $14.99, while dropping the price on the first two games to $7.99 and $5.99 respectively.
Those prices on the two older games expires on February 5, 2020, so go get them now and fast, as they’re quite fun and a bit amusing, packing in a few surprises along the way. I’ll shut up here and let you get to it, then.
Neocore Games’ mighty, meaty Warhammer 40,000: Inquisitor – Martyr ($59.99) should have come with an advisory that if you like the game, you’re going to have to be completely committed to long-hauling it from the get-go. It’s a demanding and addictive time chomping experience that kicks off with an about 45-minute set of tutorial missions that ease you into the swing of things before it rips away most of its training wheels and lets you carve your own route through its astounding wealth of randomly generated missions. There’s a nicely spread out story here that has your Inquisitor of choice attempting to solve the mystery surrounding an ancient warship packed full of heretics, mutants, xenos and Daemons of the Chaos Gods. Detective work isn’t your sole task, thankfully. You’ll definitely get to do quite a load of daemon dispatching as you uncover assorted clues during your journey.
While you can indeed compare what’s here to Diablo III on a few fronts, the game feels like more of a throwback to Crusader: No Remorse, Origin Systems’ excellent PC (and later, console) classic from 1995. Partially destructible objects, alarms that summon packs of enemies and a few more familiar elements from that game appear here, but the game also has more than enough loot dropping, skills, upgrades and rewards to keep even the most jaded players quite busy. As with a few other games in my rather large backlog, I’ve held off doing a full review because the game really needed to be patched up so I could give a it a solid recommendation. The latest patch (1.0.5) now makes this one a greater (yet still flawed) game rather than a somewhat decent one that needed a lot more polish.
Get ready to do a whole lot of this, plus a nice bit of detective work. it’s like CSI with demons and a hell of a lot more weapons.
Well, it may be short and tease-y for a campaign intro, but this is looking really interesting. Still, I’m holding out for the PS4 version thanks to hating upgrading my PC and knowing NeoCore can do wonders with the hardware. But, don’t let me stop you from wanting to take this for a spin now on Steam. Their two ports of The Incredible Adventures of Van Helsing came out pretty well on the system, so I’m going to go in with at least the mild expectation that this new open world game will be as good as or even better than their monster hunter’s digital exploits.
Having tried a small chunk of the Early Access version last year, I can very safely say this will be quite a tough game for those who come in cold and think it’ll be a total breeze. I’m gathering the difficulty will be a bit more balanced but not totally casual to the point where it’s a Diablo III cakewalk that lets you overpower your character if you desire and end up with an unstoppable master of doom in that chunky metal armor. Eh, we shall see. We shall see.
Okay, it’s August 15 for you folks in the USA, but the game has dropped into the European PS Store already. As this PlayStation Blog post points out, a bunch of improvements and changes have been made over the PS original.
The Playstation 4 version of the game comes with a lot of new gameplay features, unique trophies, full DualShock 4 controller support and a completely reworked scenario mode and Tower Defense mini game. On PlayStation 4 Pro players are able to choose from three different settings: Better Performance (1920 x 1080 aiming @ 60fps), Balanced (2880 x 1620 aiming @ 50fps) and Better Quality (native 4K aiming @ 30fps).
– all of which sounds fine to me. Players of the first installment can (and should!) import their save file in order to take a more powerful Van Helsing into the second game, as the first big battle is indeed a tough one if you jump in under-prepared.
Even better, the game is only $14.99, making it a must for action ARPG fans looking for a budget-priced game that promises plenty of action for a fair price point.
Yep, the backlog has been officially backloggier thanks to stuff being stuff in the real world. But things are getting played bit by bit here despite incessantly annoying diversions. Hey, one needs something FUN to do between bouts of eyebrow lifts, sighing into adult beverages and trying not to trip over the assorted stacks of THINGS TO GET DONE lined carefully in strategic spots around the office. Okay, it’s not anywhere near that terrible, but I love to melodrama my issues a bit much. Anyway, here’s part one of a series of capsule reviews, or a brief rundown on things that have been tackled, games division.
The Incredible Adventures of Van Helsing Extended Edition (PS4): If you’re a big Diablo III or other isometric ARPG fan and want another game of the chase and chop variety, a mere $20 will be well spent on NeoCore Games’ more amusing and in some areas, harder game. While it goes for a more Steampunk Victorian visual aesthetic and uses a good deal more in the way of humor in its storytelling, the quest and side-quest 1-2 punch holds things together quite nicely. Granted, you have fewer classes to play around with, but the skills system for your Van Helsing and his ghostly aide Katerina ends up being pretty complex with many passive skills that boost combat to some often grand destructive levels. There’s no defensive roll like the console versions of DIII, but you’ll get used to dealing with huge packs of foes by taking it slower and picking off smaller groups one by one.
The game is generally solid overall and features online co-op play (no split-screen here, sorry!), a very fun “tower defense” mode that pops up a few times as a diversion from the main plot, and about 30 or so hours of gameplay if you’re determined to get everywhere you can on one run. The ending is somewhat of a ‘To Be Continued’ deal, but having played the other parts on PC, it’s worth the wait for the sequel to hit PS4 at some point. In fact, as this is only the first of three chapters, it would be great to see the other two arrive on PSN as soon as humanly possible and perhaps later, the entire trilogy out on a disc via a small print publisher like Limited Run Games or SOEDESCO. As always, we shall see. But for the money there’s a load of great fun to be had and had again.
Mantis Burn Racing (PC/PS4/Xbox One): While it’s initially short on tracks and content compared to other arcade racers, the difficulty curve in developer VooFoo Studios racer makes the game supremely challenging right from the get-go. A blazing fast proprietary engine showcases gorgeous 60fps racing where the slightest mistake will leave you in back of the pack and eating the digital dust of your opponents blowing past you. Practice makes perfect, but expect the game to not let you breathe much against AI that gets better as you do. Against live players the competition is far fiercer with expert players constantly making short work of anyone popping online for the friendliest of matches. You’re going to get smoked like a country ham if you’re not ready for the tracks in this one for sure.
That said, once you get the handling and have matches where you’re in the zone and nail those tricky turns, not bashing into other cars and generally having a zen-like experience racking up wins, the game is so hard to put down that you may need an alarm set to remind you to do important stuff. I haven’t tried out the new Snowbound DLC yet, but if this video is any indication, this 100% FREE update is going to suck me in all over again to the point where I’ll need to get a dog or cat or some other pet to remind me with a paw to the face to get up and go for a stroll, play with or feed them. A service animal for gamers? Who knew!
Finally! PS4 and PS4 Pro owners looking for another solid isometric action/RPG can put down Diablo III: Reaper of Souls for a spell and pick up NeoCore Games’ fast-paced, fun and often funny The Incredible Adventures of Van Helsing: Extended Edition on February 28 (March 1 in EU territories) for $14.99. This deal includes the first part of the trilogy and in addition to its single player campaign mode, you’ll get the ability to play co-op and PvP multiplayer modes. This is the second console port for the game, as the hatted monster slayer has previously appeared on the Xbox One. Yes, next week is incredibly busy for Playstation fans. But if you’re not grabbing the big AAA games dropping next week, a little Van Helsing is more than enough to keep you busy.
It looks as if the wait is just about over as NeoCore Games is finally getting its beta-tested, gamer approved version of The Incredible Adventures of Van Helsing: Final Cut out and about to put the bite on your Steam Wallet on November 5. There are three ways to get the game, but you need choose only one. If you’ve already bought the first three chapters, Final Cut will unlock automatically and you can download it once it’s up. If you haven’t bought the trilogy yet and want to play them or just own separate downloads, you can (and should!) grab The Incredible Adventures of Van Helsing Anthology from Steam, which also unlocks Final Cut for free. Even better, Anthology is going to be on sale for a limited time for 66% off ($25.49), AND you’ll get every drop of DLC from the three games, a FREE copy of Deathtrap, the tower defense game that will make you like tower defense games again.
The third way to get the game is to buy The Incredible Adventures of Van Helsing Final Cut itself for $44.99, which nets you one download with the trilogy and the Final Cut content that includes a new endgame and plenty of other cool stuff. I’ll leave it to you to flip that coin and decide what’s what. Me, I need to go clear out some space on my hard drive and figure out how to get a lot more time to dive into this one. It’ll get played to death, fear not.
While game delays are always bad news, in this case it’s a case where the developer is trying to make a one-size fits all release work across multiple digital delivery systems in order to get the game in question into the hands of as many people as possible. Go read the very informative blog post on the official site for details. In a nutshell, NeoCore is working hard on getting Steam and GOG.com buyers the same deal where buying the trilogy nets those folks The Incredible Adventures of Van Helsing Final Cut for free even if they buy one of the original games at a later date or buy the trilogy across the two different digital stores.
That’s hard enough to rig, but Final Cut is also going to be doing some additional testing and polishing of the game to insure it’s their best and most polished game to date. Hey, I don’t mind the wait if it means the end result makes me not want to stop playing it.
Warts and all, The Incredible Adventures of Van Helsing has been quite a fun trilogy to play through. Taking the addictive chase and chop-fest of the Diablo series, adding humorous touches like a sassy AI ally and a fun “tower defense” mini-game that’s nicely implemented into the main story, NeoCore Games has crafted a great time chomper of a game. Coming September 23, The Incredible Adventures of Van Helsing Final Cut will give new players the entire trilogy with loads of fixes and new content. Over 50 hours of gameplay, six classes to choose from, new cut-scenes, and an all-new new ENDLESS endgame that can be played in a number of possible ways.
Yes, you can still get an actual ending to the big Borgovian bang trilogy. But NeoCore knows its fans love what they’re doing and the endless endgame is a way to keep them glued to their screens with saucer-sized eyeballs. The game is coming to Steam and gog.com on September 23, 2015 for $44.99, but gamers who own all three games in the trilogy (on Steam at least) will get Final Cut for free when the game launches. I’d say that’s going to surprise some who don’t know this and own all three games when they log into Steam next week and see something huge creeping onto their hard drives.
That said, this game NEEDS to come to consoles at some point down the road. There aren’t enough of this style of ARPG on the PS4, Xbox One or Wii U and that’s a sad thing indeed. We’ll have to see if NeoCore has those plans in the works, but if not, the PC game is one that doesn’t require a super-killer rig to run.
NeoCore Games’ fun (and old school as heck) Action/RPG trilogy The Incredible Adventures of Van Helsing may not be as well-known as Diablo, Torchlight or some of the other games it’s inspired and influenced by. But for a select legion of fans it’s been their go-to game for hours of chase ‘n chop thrills, offbeat humor and a decent enough level of challenge. While part 3 wasn’t as stellar to some players, NeoCore has kept both ears open to fan reaction and is in the process of polishing up the entire trilogy into one package, The Incredible Adventures of Van Helsing Final Cut. Set for a September release on Steam for $44.99, the game will feature a wealth of old and newly added game content that should keep fans quite busy for some time.
According to the press release:
The game is a standalone product that
combines campaign content from all three games with modified or added content
provides over 50 hours of gameplay in the campaign mode
lets the player choose between 6 playable classes from the beginning
has a reworked and extended skill tree system
contains all the tower defense game modes, all made optional yet highly rewarding
If that’s not enough for you, guess what?
Whether the player has completed the campaign or not, it is possible to
create a new character or get a level 80 character from the beginning
play one of the 20 scenario maps that can randomly assemble terrain, monsters, objectives and conditions
try out the daily quests, challenges and weekly events
join one of the refined multiplayer modes (4-player co-op mode, touchdown, arena, or battle royal)
reach level 100 and evolve further with an endgame featuring a Glory system, rare items and currency, Dreamshards
Even better, those who already own the three games will get Final Cut for FREE. NeoCore is obviously intent of making this final version of the trilogy the one to own, so keep an eyeball peeled for it on Steam if this one’s up your dark and foggy alley.