We’ve had some time with an early section of Van Helsing III and we’re impressed with what we’ve played so far. For those that are new to the series, it blends the Van Helsing lore (fighting vampires and werewolves with a ghost buddy) with Diablo style gameplay and a tongue-in-cheek style of humour that is really unique to this particular series.
Playing through the available section in co-op, the main thing that struck us was the sheer power of the tools at your disposal. I played as a mage-style class while Arrow played as a Guardian-style warrior and while he took the heavy hits and tried to keep things attacking his face, I could set great swathes of the ground on fire, then every time an enemy dies in those flames, a small dragon head pops up to set more things on fire. You can boost each attack with some wrath if you’d like and those who are able to micromanage what they’re boosting can trigger some truly spectacular effects.
Of course to balance this immense power out, you’re assault on all sides by legions of enemies at every turn and this means even with some frankly terrifying spells at our disposal, we were still usually on the defensive, falling back and setting fire to everything as we made an escape from chokepoints.
In between missions you can go back to a hidden base which contains shops, crafting and even minions that you can send out on pets. In the build we’ve been playing this is quite limited but it’s clear from the menus that there’s going to be a huge amount of depth in character customisation and sidequests.
The Van Helsing games have always been entertaining, releasing as quickly as they have over the last few years, but here it really feels as if they have the balance of intense combat and ridiculous humour just right. Speaking over voice chat we literally laughed out loud more than once and were disappointed when the playable section ended.
We’ll be following this game and update our impressions when we get to play more, for now it’s definitely one to keep an eye on!