Monstrous: The Incredible Adventures Of Van Helsing

By John Walker on July 4th, 2012 at 12:00 pm.

Anyone else want to help?

Games do rather have a habit of removing subtlety. I’m not claiming that Van Helsing has a great history of cultural appearances, but I’m fairly sure that none of his depictions have previously taken place in a world where there are more werewolves than rats. (I’m not an expert, but was it really the 2004 Hugh Jackman film that saw Van Helsing switch from hunting just vampires to every other kind of monster?) Anyhoo, that’s the rather splendid nature of action RPG The Incredible Adventures Of Van Helsing, which has now shown some in-game footage. And it looks rather nice.

This is coming from Neocore, they who have previously brought us the RTS-RPG King Arthur games, who clearly fancy something a bit less serious for their latest project. An ARPG that looks an awful lot more detailed than the norm, and features a really quite unlikely number of monsters stalking the streets. You’d imagine at a certain point someone else other than Helsing might think to turn up and fight too.

This game is actually following Abraham’s son, also known as Van Helsing, because, well, I think they plan on taking so many liberties with Bram Stoker’s original tale that it makes sense to do the old next-gen trope.

I loves me some ARPG, and their current resurgence is a splendid sight – especially one that looks to not be taking itself too seriously. There doesn’t look to be a release date yet, but at its announcement they were talking about Winter this year. Details are also scarce, such as whether there will be co-op, online play, etc. I shall endeavour to find out.

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46 Comments »

  1. fiddlesticks says:

    The 2004 version of Van Helsing also turns out to be Archangel Gabriel for no particular reason. Not exactly the most faithful adaption.

    This game doesn’t really seem to know much about Van Helsing either, apart from “dude who fights monsters and stuff”, but on the bright side they made him look like a pirate. And the monster designs look rather spiffy as well.

  2. dE says:

    They should just get the Hellsing Anime License. They’re almost there anyways.

    • Kdansky says:

      Sadly, they would reduce the world-shattering powers of the vampires to “light attack” and “heavy attack”. I want more ridiculousness in my games!

  3. Drayk says:

    I like his hat. I like the music. Could be fun

    • Gnoupi says:

      Loving the music too. Similar in a way for the two recent Sherlock Holmes movies, which is a very good point for me.

      The game has me quite interested. Though I’m not sure about the perpetual running away which seems to be in the trailer.

  4. chase4926 says:

    Diablo III – Demon Hunter

  5. Ultra Superior says:

    What a Grim night. The Dawn, so far away.

  6. JackDandy says:

    Geez.. Diablo-style ARPGs are so boring. They always feel so static IMO.

    • Hmm-Hmm. says:

      And this one looks particularly repetitive, if the trailer shows your average gameplay. I mean, if it does vary, you would figure they wouldn’t just show the same thing time and again, now wouldn’t you?

  7. Hypernetic says:

    I just want Torchlight 2 already. When the hell is that coming out?

  8. sinister agent says:

    Van Helsing wasn’t even a vampire hunter, really. He just happened to know how to deal with them, which mainly involves never attacking them when they’re awake because they’d utterly destroy you in a stand-up fight.

    Still, all in good fun. Bonus points if they keep in his wonderfully slight mangling of English.

  9. Jimbo says:

    What was the not-very-good console game that was a bit like this? It was 4 player co-op iirc. Hmmmmmmm….

    • afarrell says:

      Would it be a game by the name of Gauntlet (but nothing like the proper Gauntlet)?

      • Jimbo says:

        Hmmmm… no I don’t think so. Right era though I think. A bit like that but with demons and vampires etc. I think the guy on the box might have been holding a cross, or he might have used a cross as a weapon in the game.

    • Jimbo says:

      Ah ha, Hunter: The Reckoning I was thinking of. Only 2 player apparently, my mistake.

  10. callmeclean says:

    I like the street setting. Looks very different to most dungeon crawlers which is good, however the streets seem to have even less variety them the settings in other dungeon crawlers. Also the combat looks slow and wonky but hopefully that’s just cause its in alpha. Hopefully this will be at least a bit different to the other dungeon crawlers out there so I’m interested.

  11. MichaelPalin says:

    “In a world where Diablo III made a lot of money…”

  12. Richard Beer says:

    All famous historical figures end up being action heroes given enough time (c.f. Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter – presumably a Diablo-a-like version of that is just around the corner).

  13. Haplo says:

    Judging from the hordes of monsters in those streets I can only assume that this is a game where van Helsing is a murderous human thug that prowls the streets of Werewolfopolis and murders innocents.

  14. cHeal says:

    It looks lovely and I like the setting but why oh why does there need to be a hundred monsters on screen at once? I I can hear is roar and explosions of blood and all I can see are explosions of blood and numbers popping up all over the place. If I can’t actually see what is happening how am I meant to play the game, unless it requires zero skill to do so.

    What is so wrong about having a manageable number of difficult enemies that need tact and guile to beat. It’s plain ridiculous to have the main character face off against 20+ “ferocious” monsters and win quite capably. I don’t care what loot he’s carrying, if you get that seriously outnumber by supposedly threatening monster then you should die.

    This just looks like a bloody tower defense game glammed up to the max.

    • Arglebargle says:

      This! The sheer number of foes looked awful. Plus the endless running away. Dial it down some, save the one-man-vs-the-occult-army for special occaisons.

  15. theblazeuk says:

    I am pretty sure the Van Helsing dynasty of Marvel’s Tomb of Dracula comics fought werewolves and other beasties, though the patriarch himself was long dead. Oh and small disclaimer, the other beasties were all generally in service to the big D himself so technically they were just kind of in the way…

  16. RegisteredUser says:

    I’m still waiting for a game where you can vault over these masses, headbutt them, throw ‘em around, whirlwind and caber-toss enemies, generally bounce and zoom around the screen with more dynamic than the eternal kite-and-shoot.

    • Urthman says:

      Ever play the Spider-Man Web of Shadows game? The part where you can swing feet-first into a crowd of zombies and send them flying like tenpins is one of the greatest gaming things ever.

      • RegisteredUser says:

        Fighting game wise I rather liked the port of Wolverine, surprisingly enough.
        Bloody, stable and pretty fun to play if you can play that kind of thing(gets grindy and has some ugh QTE logic).

  17. Aardvarkk says:

    Seems a while back I remember TSR released a stack of books not at all based on Van Helsing detailing how to hunt and kill vampires, werewolves, zombies, liches, your mum. They had titles like Van Hel Van Richten’s guide to republicans.

    • TsunamiWombat says:

      The Van Richten’s guides were specifically for the Gothic Horror Ravenloft setting. Yes, Van Richten was essentially Van Helsing. Then he vanished King Arthur style and got replaced by his spunky Nancy Drew neices!

  18. SominiTheCommenter says:

    That TVTropes link lacks a warning, come on! TVTropes will ruin your life.

  19. MrWolf says:

    I only play ARPGs that come with punishing, arbitrary, soul-crushing, always-online requirements, so I’ll have to pass on this.

  20. TsunamiWombat says:

    Perhap’s the young Van lives in a post apocolyptic world where all the people are werewolves and other monsters, making him a sort of “I Am Legend” serial killer villain.

  21. Urthman says:

    Is this the first ARPG where you don’t get to choose your character because it has a Lara Croft style named protagonist?

  22. Dances to Podcasts says:

    So I decided to check the phonebook for how many Van Helsings there actually are…

  23. Fartango says:

    Looks like Gandalf joined the League of Extraordinary Gentlemen.

  24. Baf says:

    In the original novel, Van Helsing wasn’t even really a vampire hunter except by circumstance. He was just a friend of some people who happened to be having a vampire problem, and who had the right sort of education to understand what the appropriate response was.

    Also, he was a comical foreigner. With a ridiculous accent. Like Poirot.

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