The third instalment in the episodic saga, The Incredible Adventures of Van Helsing III depicts a new chapter in the heroes’ lives, following exactly where II left off. With a new villain in charge and a surprise threat on the horizon, the monster hunting Van Helsing and the spiritual Katarina set off to finally slay this beast once and for all..
The main strength here, for all its B-movie cheesiness, proves to be the plot and chemistry of its characters. While the story might be over the top, the writers knew exactly when and when not to take things seriously, resulting in one of the best balances between grim humour and genuine suspense in this genre. Atop of this a few curve balls behind the bosses will keep you guessing, so while it might not be The Last of Us in terms of narrative strength, there’s far more substance to the world than we’ve seen from a lot of Blizzard’s releases lately.
The mechanics themselves are balanced between a variety of classes, your common or variety types with a few interesting mixes. While you do have the Necromancer stand-in (just replace zombies with steam gushing weapons of war) and the heavily armoured tank (still a guy with a sword) the roles and abilities of each characters have been given a genre relevant tweak but retain extremely close balances of power.
However, for all that is good here, the game does a great deal wrong, especially as a trilogy finale. Much of what was on offer before has been ditched with very little has been added in its place. For example, the Neverending Story mode has been removed entirely, and the level cap for characters cut in half. Atop of this, there’s no option to port in older profiles and few to no new enemy types worthy of any mention. Combined with its short length, what should have been a finale seems far more like an underwhelming expansion than a new instalment.
Such repetition might have been forgivable were the bugs from previous games removed, but they’re still here in full force, and rove to be especially prevalent in the multiplayer mode. Expect items to disappear from your inventory and keep a very close watch on certain enemies, some of who have the habit of walking through walls.
Van Helsing III has its charming moments, but beyond the new dialogue and story it’s sadly an inferior sequel. It’s certainly an entertaining series, but there’s little reason to buy this over its predecessor. If you feel compelled to look into this at all, just buy II and then perhaps look at III one if you’re left hungering for some closure.THE INCREDIBLE ADVENTURES OF VAN HELSING III / DEVELOPER: NEOCOREGAMES / PUBLISHER: NEOCOREGAMES / PLATFORM: PC / RELEASE DATE: OUT NOW