LifeisXbox’s V Rising preview | A question I see pop up on social media every October and whenever vampires get popular again is to name one other than Dracula. If you’ve played Castlevania you get an easy way out of that conundrum by saying Alucard. We also recently saw the fall and rise (and even harder second fall) of Morbius entering the collective vampiric brain-space. Or maybe you still remember some of the Twilight characters? I know for sure that the ladies from Camilla’s court from Netflix’s Castlevania animation are some to remember. At this point, aside from Serana and Lord Harkon from Dawnguard I’d have to start looking them up myself. Luckily I’ll be able to add my own vampire to the list from now on, as the developers over at Stunlock Studios bring us V Rising in early access to have our own go at being lords and ladies of the night.
ℹ️ Previewed on PC | Preview code provided by PR/publisher, this preview is the personal opinion of the writer and is based on an unfinished game.
Wake up and smell the blood
In V Rising, you play as a vampire of your own design that has been sealed away in ages past. Upon your awakening, you’re greeted with a brief tutorial explaining movement and basic combat, before letting you out of the graveyard you were sealed in. Luckily you’re not just left to figure it all out, as you always have a discreet quest displayed in the top left corner of the screen with some rather concrete goals at first that later move to grander objectives, meaning you’re left to choose what steps you take to get there yourself. These go from simply getting you a basic set of tools and armour all the way to a Breath of the Wild-Esque “kill the final boss” given to you at one point.
Blood in your veins, coffin in your castle
The first order of business is to grab someone to drink. Staying cooped up in that coffin for so long has made your throat so terribly dry. The skeletons and other undead don’t have any blood, but roughly all other enemies do luckily. So as soon as you enter the woods you’ll be able to feed on the local wildlife such as wolfs, deers and bears. Yet the most enticing prey of all are the humans you can find patrolling the roads, living in villages or working in their camps. It’s a good thing there are so many of them since just like in real life, they all have a specific blood type and percentage of effectiveness. This blood type corresponds to the class of enemy you’re exsanguinating and carries with it a host of buffs related to their class. For example, a brute will give you life steal per hit while a worker will increase your material yield when attacking resource nodes. Materials you will need to construct your lavish castle from which to start your hunts. V Rising offers a fairly standard at first yet quite expansive base building system. You start from the castle heart which you must fuel with blood essence to create a castle of your own design on a grid system. In this castle, you’ll sleep, craft, hide from the sun, command servants, conduct research and capture prisoners. The top-down view V Rising uses helps make them feel just that bit bigger than they actually are.
Bossing around V Bloods
And last but oh so certainly not least we get to the bosses. And there are a lot of bosses. 37 at the time of writing in fact, so since V Rising is currently in early access that number can still go up. Aside from stone golems and Ents, most bosses will be what’s called a “V Blood” boss. Defeating them will grant you a new skill and can grant one or more new recipes or castle upgrades This generous roster of bosses slowly opens up as your gear level increases. Meaning that with better gear, you can track higher-level bosses, which reward recipes to craft better gear and crafting stations. Repeat until you’re at gear level 80 and can take on the final boss. Another great thing is how all of them feel so unique, each with its own distinct style of attacks, voiced lines and place in the world. It is exactly for this reason that you might want to get a friend to help out in taking them down. I’ve had more than a few bosses where I had to stalk my prey for a bit while a friend was running over to take them on together. I’ve been lucky enough for this preview to have friends who wanted to join in and play on a dedicated server one of them so generously decided to host. Because while you can take on V Rising on your own, there are many multiplayer options for varying levels of PVE and PVP.
V Rising is one of those rare indie survival crafting games that find a good theme and gameplay balance and take it to the next level. You go from zero to antihero to restore yourself as the prince of the night you once were to exact your revenge on the land that imprisoned you long ago. Team up with other vampires to defeat bosses and yet other vampires, or simply terrorise the local bipedal livestock and slake your thirst. This is one early access game I’ll most definitely be keeping an eye on as it has effortlessly charmed me to play it deep into the night.
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Hey there. Thomas is the name, Sci-fi, action and (J)RPG’s are the game. I strongly prefer co-op over PVP games. Whenever possible, you may find me run wild at a convention in western Europe. Certified anime enjoyer.