The Incredible Adventures of Van Helsing: Final Cut (PC) Review

By Athanasios 14.02.2016

Review for The Incredible Adventures of Van Helsing: Final Cut on PC

Despite offering most of what genre aficionados seem to want, such as millions of enemies to slay, loot to collect, and diverse classes and skills to fiddle with, the various mechanics of all three episodes of The Incredible Adventures of Van Helsing never managed to "connect" as a whole, leaving behind a Diablo clone that, while not bad, was very disappointing. After repackaging them along with all DLC as The Incredible Adventures of Van Helsing: Final Cut, it would be safe to assume that NeocoreGames has actually paid attention to its creation's many flaws, and decided to finally fix them.

The Incredible Adventures of Van Helsing: Final Cut is brimming with content. The eponymous hero of this Victorian era/steampunk-esque ARPG can be a stealthy assassin, a versatile sniper, a tough-as-nails knight, a powerful warlock, a bipedal tank with energy shields, or even a walking deploying platform of turrets and robots. He is accompanied by Katarina, a ghost that is as lethal as she is charming, and together they will decorate grim-looking forests, underground labs, and otherworldly realms with the intestines of their enemies, while gathering loot along the way; loot that can be altered in all sorts of ways.

While fun, the aftertaste left by each separate episode was of a game that was incomplete and severely flawed, since every single one was plagued by numerous problems. Does this bundle of dark fantasy change things? Not as much as it should, unfortunately. Yes, everything has been re-tweaked, but it all still feels unbalanced as hell, and while most of the bugs have been "squashed," there are still a lot of them flying around - something especially irritating when it becomes obvious that a quest cannot be completed, or when a character can't enter Multiplayer because the system thinks cheats were used even though that's false.

For starters, the difficulty is largely inconsistent. Projectiles can still kill Van Helsing way too easy, simple foes take a very long time to go down (even when all points are put to DPS), and, even worse, all enemies scale to the hero's level, which is a terrible idea in a genre where half the fun is trying to become stronger than them. This isn't a moan at difficulty, though, as much as a complaint about how tedious it can all feel at times; like, for example, when playing as a Bounty Hunter who relies on creating distance between him and his opposition - something almost impossible here, since enemies attack by the dozen and approach the hero in a few milliseconds no matter how fast he is.

Screenshot for The Incredible Adventures of Van Helsing: Final Cut on PC

While it's actually possible to forgive all these flaws and just enjoy a bit of mindless hack 'n' slash, this journey is quite long, thus slaying pack after pack of enemies who behave pretty much in the same way no matter how different they look can wear out even the most hardcore of ARPG fans. Furthermore, while all classes have quite a diverse arsenal of skills to choose from, most are pretty useless here; partly because many are painstakingly slow, but mainly because of a severe lack in attacks that do area-of-effect damage.

It's a good thing that enemies don't act as overstuffed piñatas, which is an annoying trend in most recent hack 'n' slashers, but too bad the loot is a bit… dull. Instead of offering pieces of equipment that can drastically change the way one plays, the strategy here is always: "If it's stronger, use it!" and that includes the rare - and disappointing - pieces of epic gear, which aren't really that epic, to say the truth. The fact that many items can be combined with attribute-enhancing essences doesn't help, either, since the boosts offered are rarely that significant.

The general feeling that Final Cut gives is of an incomplete product. Not just because it is still buggy, not because load times are, once again, unnecessarily long, and not even due to the fact that the HD Texture DLC included in this edition is a blatant lie (since it doesn't really enhance the visuals that much), but because of the worse cardinal sin that an ARPG could fall into, which is the lack of a high-as-a-kite replay value. The gameplay is somewhat repetitive? Acceptable. Not all classes are fun to play with? That's fine, too. What about that little thing about not being able to repeat the story mode after reaching the end, though? Why do this in this type of video game? What were they thinking!?

Screenshot for The Incredible Adventures of Van Helsing: Final Cut on PC

Cubed3 Rating

5/10
Rated 5 out of 10

Average

The Incredible Adventures of Van Helsing: Final Cut tries to amalgamate various ideas (many of which are quite original), the gothic setting is cool, the audio-visuals are great despite not being up to par with what the competition offers, and the action is enjoyable besides various unfixed problems, as well as a depressingly low replayability. All this would be just fine if this was about one of the three episodes. Look in the title, though: it says Final Cut; not alpha, not beta, not Early Access - Final. Flaws in episodes I, II, and III, used to be acceptable; not any more.

Developer

NeocoreGames

Publisher

NeocoreGames

Genre

Real Time RPG

Players

1

C3 Score

Rated $score out of 10  5/10

Reader Score

Rated $score out of 10  0 (0 Votes)

European release date Out now   North America release date Out now   Japan release date None   Australian release date Out now   

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