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Xbox One Game Review
It all seemed so simple: defeat the mad scientist, free the land and ride into the sunset, but sometimes the fall of a villain only opens the way to more sinister foes. So the incredible adventures continue, and Van Helsing, the famous monster-hunter returns to save the day again with the help of his charming, ghostly companion, Lady Katarina. The gothic metropolis of weird science is on the brink of destruction as chaos rules the streets and a new enemy plots revenge. It’s time to enter the dark side of Borgova and the forbidden wilderness, but beware: you are not the only one behind a mask...
The Incredible Adventures of Van Helsing II is a roleplaying game (RPG); a gothic-noir adventure that sees you take on the role of the world famous vampire hunter, Van Helsing.
When the game starts you have the choice to play as one of three classes: The classic Hunter with shooting and melee skills; the magic-wielding Thaumaturge or the Arcane Mechanic, the master of deadly devices. In addition you can import your level 30 characters from The Incredible Adventures of Van Helsing.
If you've played and enjoyed the first game than you'll be right at home here. If you're new to the genre... you'll need patience and a lot of concentration. When the game started I quickly discovered that there was a hell of a lot to get my head around in a relatively short space of time. It's not that this is any different to any other RPG game, it's just that the design and layout is a little different. But, once you've got your head around everything then you can start to enjoy the game. In fact, with RPGs that I'm unfamiliar with, I generally like to have a quick play to familiarise myself with how things work and then restart the game so that I can get things right from the very start.
I was worried, in the opening tutorial level that this was going to be a rather dull hack & slash game which held your hand around the repetitive looking environments. But nothing could be further from the truth. Yes, there's a lot of hacking and slashing to be done and the enemies do arrive in waves, but part of the fun sees you either engaging in close combat or keeping your distance and using your ranged weapons (which take a little time to master effectively).
The Hunter's Lair returns in the sequel as your perfect hideout to stash collected loot, trade with non-playable characters, teleport between locations, forge new items, use the alchemy lab and accept new quests from allies who join the Resistance against the scientific scourge.
With enemies invading in waves, you have the opportunity to defend your Lair and other strategic locations with deployable traps and several upgradable functions to ward off evil, now with improved gameplay mechanics and up to 7 levels presented as optional side quests.
As the leader of the Borgovian Resistance, you have to micromanage the allied troops, improve the equipment of the Resistance fighters or find loot that makes them more powerful.
The deeper into the game you get, the more there is to love about it. For those that own the first installment, this is a no brainer. And at the ridiculously low retail price, this could be the best £12 you spend.
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