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E3 2012: The Incredible Adventures of Van Helsing (Hands-on)

Posted by: Matt at 6/14/2012 6:30 PM
Tucked away behind the overwhelming Microsoft booth sat a couple of small meeting rooms, that somehow people were able to conduct business in. Neocore Games had one of those spots, and amongst the din of Stereo Libre from Dance Central 3, was showing off an early build of The Incredible Adventures of Van Helsing, an action RPG that combines the lore of vampire hunters with the worlds of alchemy and steampunk.

The early build placed our hero Van Helsing Jr., son of the legendary vampire hunter in the employ of the vampires, who have come under attack from monsters born of machines in the land of Borgovia. There wasn't much to the story in the demo, but it showed off some pretty solid gameplay running on the PC build. Players will be given the option of playing the ranged game with Van Helsing's guns, or they can mix it up and go melee with his sword. Players can further augment these attacks by using special abilities, or they can temper the weapons directly if they have the alchemic capacity to do so.

Weapon and armor modification comes from alchemy, which can be used to break items down to components that can then be recycled to make more powerful items. There will be plenty of items to work with, with every enemy felled dropping items during my short demo. That's not to say that enemies went down easily though, some had special abilities that allowed them to resist damage from head on attacks, making position important. Others were immune to magical attacks, making some of my area of attack spells utterly useless. For such an early demo, it certainly was challenging.

It was definitely an early build, as there wasn't much available beyond the initial area I was given to explore, but I was assured there would be plenty of stuff for Van Helsing and his ghostly companion to explore when the game is released for Xbox Live Arcade and PC near the end of the year.