The latest trailer for The Incredible Adventures Of Van Helsing II plays out like an advertisement for a monster hunting seminar. An encouraging pitchman takes budding slayers through their development options, suggesting that some might want to try out a spot of thaumaturgy while ensuring that their pet chimera is cleverly utilised and well-fed. The benefits of companionship are outlined, as are new crafting and enchantment systems. Dedicated Drac-dusters may be slightly irked when the host recommends they abandon their solitary lifestyles in order to brush up on their people skills so that they can command and train armies – the world’s at war now and the stakes are higher than ever.
If the level I’ve played is indicative of the general tone of the next game, I think they may have really found their groove. As someone who mostly can’t stand tower defence, I’m really impressed with how it implemented ideas from it into the level, while never making it feel overt. Although despite this, and despite the size of the area, it did become a touch repetitive by the end of its hour and a half or so.
The first game took a while to reveal that it had a tower defense mechanic underlying its ARPG fundamentals but the up-front emphasis on training troops and managing mobs suggests the slow-burn might have been abandoned. These continuing adventures, credible or not, will burn like a flagon of Greek fire.