Neocore Games is a Hungarian indie developer, mostly known for the King Arthur series of games that mixes strategy and RPG elements.
The Incredible Adventures of Van Helsing is the studio’s upcoming title, which is set to land on PC on May 22. According to developers, an Xbox version will be available as well, though no release date has been unveiled yet.
Nevertheless, I had the chance to play the closed beta version of the game and things are looking much better than I expected.
The story is set in 19th century in Eastern Europe in a world full of magic, monsters and weird technology.
As a RPG fan, I found this steampunk universe intricately depicted by Neocore, starting from monsters that freely roam the fictional kingdom of Borgovia and continuing with the plethora of weapons, armors, skills and perks including in the game.
I cannot refrain from comparing Van Helsing with Diablo III and Torchlight II. Even though the former borrows lots of RPG elements from the other two, it takes all those features to a whole new level.
The main protagonists, Van Helsing and his ghost(ly) companion Katarina, will make use of a wide range of weapons, including revolvers, swords, muskets and rifles.
There are all sorts of actions that you can predefine for your companion, like allowing her to collect all loot that drops from monsters.
You can set Katarina's behavior or how exactly you want her to fight: melee, ranged or ghost. The latter only provides buffs to your character, but it's extremely useful in boss fights.
Your character's skill tree is huge and it's split in three categories: Mystic Warrior (melee), Occult Hunter (ranged) and Auras. There are no classes in this game, so you can choose the skills that define your play style.
The good news is that you can level up your companion as well. Although Katarina's skill tree is not that big, I found most of the abilities extremely powerful.
In fact, one of the things I liked is that you can choose various skills and perks that complement each other and there are a buck load of choices.
The Incredible Adventures of Van Helsing is the first part of a trilogy and has been confirmed by developers to have about 8-10 hours of gameplay.
According to Neocore Games, the time span between two parts will be of about 6 months, so we can expect the next installment in the series to arrive by the end of the year.
Worth a full Softpedia review? Yes.