This has the be the shortest time I’ve gotten a review done for a game. I usually take a few days after my first impression to release a review, but I expected The Incredible Adventures of Van Helsing III to be a lot longer and it wasn’t. Van Helsing III is a solid game, but does it surpass it’s predecessors? Read on to find out.
The Incredible Adventures of Van Helsing III is about Van Helsing’s son, Abraham, and his ghostly companion. The third installment focused more on Katarina’s backstory. We learned her origin story in this game and how she became a ghost. The story telling is about what you would expect if you’ve ever played a Van Helsing game then you’ll be right at home with the witty dialogue and action combat.
If you’ve ever played an ARPG you’ll know what to expect here. Tons of monsters, loot, and quest for you to do while you level up your character until you reach the level cap so you can farm for legendary gear or make a new class. It’s no different here, but The Incredible Adventures of Van Helsing is different than your typical Diablo game. Van Helsing games have always had a mix of tower defense segments in them. Deathtrap is a good example of how they’ll play out and if you don’t know what Deathtrap is I encourage you to read my review here.
The major difference that sets The Incredible Adventures of Van Helsing III apart from it’s predecessors are the six new character classes. I originally thought that these new classes would be available alongside the three we already had, but I was mistaken. The original three character classes from Van Helsing I and II are gone, but I’ll go more into detail later on this review.
You’ll obviously run into a lot of loot while you’re out slaying monsters and you’ll probably be making frequent trips back to your secret hideout or you can just give Lady Katarina all of your loot and let her sell it for you. This is a really great mechanic and I’m glad it’s still present in the game.
The soundtrack here easily beats both Van Helsing I and II. The opening menu theme is beautiful and it really sets the tone of the game. Every track fits the stage it’s on nicely and it really added to the experience for me. The only track I didn’t like was the final boss one. It was just your average encounter music.
Six Character Classes:
As I stated above there are six character classes in The Incredible Adventures of Van Helsing III. All of them are vastly different than each other. I enjoyed my playthrough as an elementalist, but I do wish the skill tree was a lot deeper. In Van Helsing II we had over 20 magical skills to master over the course of our playthrough. In Van Helsing III we only have 8 and I beat the game only using two of them.
I was originally going to place this in the bad section of this review, but learning what happened to Lady Katarina and saving the world helped to place it in the positive section. There is nothing groundbreaking about the story here, but it gets the job done. I was disappointed in more than a few parts of the story, but I enjoyed the ending to the game. I would say it’s a toss up between good and bad, but I enjoyed it more than I hated it.
In Van Helsing III your former ally, Prisoner 7, has betrayed you and is trying to convert the world back into the way it was in the past and to do that he’s using the Ink to shape everything in his image. Van Helsing must save the day once again and get his revenge at the same time.
You Can’t Import Your Old Characters:
This is probably my biggest problem with the game right now. All of that hard work I did going through both Van Helsing I and II was pointless. To make matters worse every time I die I see a phantom of my old thaumaturge. He’s wearing everything that he had in part 2, but I can’t use him. What’s the point of this? It’s bad enough that you pretty much gutted the skill tree, but now you’re going to tease me with my old character that I’m dying to use? That’s not cool Neocore.
The New Skill Tree Looks Nice, But It’s Lacking:
There’s no denying that the new skill tree in Van Helsing III looks better than it ever did, but we only have a fraction of the skills that we had in previous games. The only two spells that I used throughout my entire playthrough was my two lightning spells. The ice spells are useless and the only cool fire spell is the summon that you get, but what’s the point of that when I one hit just about everything with my lightning?
The passive skill tree is still there, but it’s also been gutted to hell and back. I don’t understand why they decided to dumb the game down so much. Is it because it’s going to the Xbox One?
Level 30 Cap:
The Incredible Adventures of Van Helsing II had a level 60 level cap. The Incredible Adventures of Van Helsing III took it down to 30 for some reason. Why? Your guess is as good as mine. That’s not the only thing that went down though. The game is way too easy. I started playing this morning and beat it a few hours later. It took me hours upon hours of gameplay to reach the level cap in Van Helsing I. It took me 7 hours to reach it in part III…
You Can’t Buy Healing Potions Anymore:
Who thought it would be a good idea to take away our healing potions? I really want to know this so I can slap them in the face. Why would you take potions out of an ARPG? Instead of potions we get a single health/mana potion that takes an eternity to cooldown for another usage. Give me back my potions. I liked having over 100 of them.
No Neverending Story:
Every Van Helsing game had a Neverending Story mode. It’s Van Helsing’s version of a new game plus. It ramps up the difficulty and lets up play through the game as many times as we want. Why is it missing in here? The only thing I got after I completed the game was Scenario Mode, but I never really liked that mode.
Little To None Replayability:
Since there’s no Neverending Story I don’t really feel like jumping back in this game and I just started it today. I feel like Neocore Games ran out of funding for this game and just released it as is.
Van Helsing III Is Nearly Unplayable Right Now:
The Incredible Adventures of Van Helsing III is filled with bugs. I had to figure out a way, by myself by the way, to enter the game. The developers had no idea what was causing my game crash. I can’t even play this online right now because the game will only turn on in offline mode. I’ve walked on floors that were missing textures, and fell through the floor to my death a few times. There is a ton of missing dialogue. I could be talking to an npc that I’m actually interested in and the dialogue would just skip itself and go to the next line. This game was not ready to be released. It feels like a beta some times.
The Incredible Adventures of Van Helsing III right now is the weakest game in the trilogy. I have no idea what the devs were thinking when they stripped this game down and released it. I love the gameplay and I love Van Helsing, but I think I’ll stick to parts 1 and 2 before I touch part 3 again. I’ll wait until there’s more content and I’ll consider writing about this again one day, but I’m really disappointed that series ended this way.
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