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V RISING Review for Steam

V Rising developed and published by Stunlock Studios is an interesting take on the isometric survival game that focuses on the player being a vampire focused on gaining power over time.  The game itself is a unique blend of survival, crafting, and base management with a focus similar to Raft, especially in regards to farming materials.  Moreover, the gameplay loop for the game while a bit repetitive is broken up quite well by the base building mechanics and background lore.  By having the lore in the background introduces some roleplay elements into the game from a player’s perspective.  Aside from that, the game itself takes on various design elements surrounding the stories for vampires in general with some being Easter Eggs.  This makes V Rising a complex game in regards to gameplay, story, and design.

The gameplay for this game is quite a unique take for the survival base building genre of games.  To reiterate, the player character is a vampire and will need to build a base to store items, and be safe from sunlight during the day.  Aside from that, the base building is tied to the core progression loop for the game were weapon, armor, and material upgrades can be found by killing special enemies.  These special enemies are difficult and can take multiple tries if the player rushes in with no plan relying on brute force.  While this can be successful for some of the ranged attack bosses by utilizing the proper gear, and strategies will provide a better success rate when engaging with more difficult bosses.  This gameplay loop has been utilized in other games such as Terraria, Raft, and Fallout 4 so those who are familiar with gathering resources in order to progress will have an easier time adjusting to V Rising as opposed to those who are just freshly coming into the game with no prior experience.  However, this can be easily remedied by changing the settings for the server or private world to make it either easier or harder to tailor the experience to the player’s skill level.

V RISING Review for Steam

Furthermore, all the previous statements for the game can be varied as the game is multiplayer and can offer some changes in regards to how efficient the group of players can acquire items.  This multiplayer aspect is derived from the live service portion of the game with various servers dedicated to PvE (player versus environment), and PvP (Player versus Player).  These servers can either be made by the company becoming official servers or by various groups of people of varying numbers creating their own special servers.

V RISING Review for Steam

By allowing people to host their own servers allows for a greater range of playability as groups of friends can play with one another without the fear of having to deal with server resets or people trying to mess with others on purpose (griefers).  This allows for some additional gameplay elements to be introduced and especially in the case for PvE where players can raid bases and interact in combat.  However, this too can be considered part of the larger story from which the game is built upon through the various lore entries in game.

The story is deeply connected with the gameplay and that is evident from the game play loop and the overall progression of the game.  V Rising’s time line wises occurs after fall of Dracula and the player who awakens in the catacombs must regain their power so there is some minor speculation that can occur just from spawning.  As to delve into how intertwined the story is to the game is that it relies on the player going after the various bosses that all provide a brief description as to what the world has started to become.  This provides the player a chance to test themselves against these ominous enemies, and learn about the world being so twisted ever since the fall of Dracula.

V RISING Review for Steam

Moreover, there are some roleplay elements that are involved in the game’s story from a multiplayer perspective as it can be taken down different routes such as various risen vampires’ group up to take control over the lands, or fight amongst each other for the right to rule through power.  This is quite a well thought out approach to the story’s narrative allowing players to fulfill that role through their own actions in game.  By having the background story fleshed out allows players to write their own.  This showcases that the developers know what they are doing allowing players to make their own legends.

The design of the game is focused on vampires and from that gothic architecture is at the forefront for design.  This can be easily seen in the architecture for base building with elements taken from gothic themes synonymous with vampires.  However, there are wallpapers players can apply to walls that allows for some more creative freedom to the player in terms of customizability.  This increased creative freedom allows players to create one-of-a-kind bases that showcase their own individuality.

V RISING Review for Steam

Furthermore, the game offers various downloadable content (DLCs) available as they can provide a different aesthetic entirely depending on what theme they are introducing.  One of the more phenomenal DLCs that have left a lasting impression is focused on the Castlevania theme introducing cosmetics, and music that allows players to modify armor cosmetics, wallpapers, etc.  This is then compounded by the appearance of the legendary vampire killer Simon Belmont making an appearance in game and is no push over.

Stunlock Studios has developed and published an amazing base building game that really stand out in the genre by having an isometric point of view with the player character being a vampire.  The gameplay loop keeps your attention as it involves a mixture of combat and resource gathering that offers incentives in the long run that all culminate into a fun time especially with friends working together on a single goal.  By having a story focused around the player offers a more intuitive sense of writing relying on players to write their own story.  While this can be taken as a form of lazy writing it accomplishes two things by setting the mood, and establishing roleplay elements.  Aside from that, the design of the game heavily revolves around some cultural aspects pertaining to vampires stemming from contemporary popular culture and some historical aspects.  V Rising itself is a solid 8/10 game and feels like a complete game through the current sea of microtransaction based games while offering a proper gameplay experience.

V Rising is available for PC via Steam.

Related: Reviews by Kyle Manila

I would describe myself when interacting with games as a strategist with a pension for stealth and loud explosions.