27.02.2024

V Rising REVIEW. The taste of good blood

3

A sudden hit on Steam.
A game from an independent developer in the tiresome genre of “survival simulator”, where there is collecting and recycling resources, creating new things, building a shelter and bold raids on bosses. Where did this sudden love come from? Simple. You have to play as a vampire.

  • Developer: Stunlock Studios
  • Publisher: Stunlock Studios
  • Release Date: May 17, 2022

The first thing you’ll have to get used to in V Rising is that all folk methods of fighting vampires work. Garlic poisons and weakens the ghoul. Silver is destructive, so coins must be discarded from pockets. Consecrated earth and fire do a lot of damage, and if you step out into the sun for a few seconds, the carcass of the lord of the night will boil to the bone. How pathetic he is now.

V Rising is a survival simulator in which you crawl out of crypts alone, on a separate server, with friends or strangers, and see a cozy fantasy world before you. You are an all-powerful being, able to conjure and transform into animals. You are a nocturnal predator, the top of the local food chain. You are weak at first, but in time you will be awe-inspiring to everyone. Moreover, you will have not just a castle, but a real scientific and production complex with obedient servants, dumb zombies and cages with live people. You’ll have to fatten them up to make the blood taste better…. I guess this is paradise.

Except in this world, everyone knows what vampires are. And they know how to fight them. So the path to power is blocked by nuns, vampire hunters, patrols with experienced warriors who have all their rich arsenal to confront bloodsuckers. And don’t forget the monsters. If there are vampires here, then it is reasonable to assume that somewhere in the neighborhood there are necromancers, werewolves and stone elementals.

Pardon the tautology, but this “survival simulator” does a pretty good job of “simulating life”. It seems nothing complicated, but in many games do you see, for example, bosses calmly stomping along the roads and picking fights with each other? Undead fighting humans. Warriors protect the passageways of peasants at roadblocks. Wild beasts try to tear the throat of any traveler, but if a vampire turns into a wolf, the pack stops reacting to him. If a werewolf happens to burst into a village and starts mauling everyone, a smart vampire will wander into an unoccupied settlement.

It’s a battle of all against all, and primarily against you. And you can and should take advantage of it! If you need to kill a boss, you should drag him into a thicket where a revived tree is stomping.

The path of the vampire starts with a simple editor to create a character. Don’t get hung up on the appearance, it can be changed later. Then we learn how to attack, gather resources and create the simplest weapons. Convenience for the sake of convenience, you don’t need special equipment to mine stone, ore and wood. The same sword is good for everything. And it doesn’t deteriorate over time! Convenience.

Once in the open world, you are put in front of the fact that you need to establish your own castle. And here you need to be very fast, in order to have time to occupy a favorable clearing before other vampires take over the best territory. The situation resembles the development of the Wild West – the first to run is the owner of the land.

The problem is that there is not much free land for building. And if you want to build a castle complex, then first you have to run, and after that you can not relax in any case. You have to spend resources and mark all available lands as your own, so that no one else did not stick.

On my first server I made a strategic mistake. On the first day, I did not mark the found hill as mine, and as a result, two more grew next to my castle on a relatively small patch of land. And that’s all, there is no room for expansion, but we need to grow, because, I repeat, we have not just a castle, but a scientific and production complex. At first there’s nothing to do there. You set up a sawmill, a stone crusher and relax. And then. Coffins for minions, cemetery for skeletons, tubs for plants, a teleporter for quick movement around the world, machines for processing materials, machines for creating objects, research tables, alchemical laboratory and, of course, the throne! And it is desirable to place all this not randomly. Vampires are partial to gloomy aesthetics, red carpets and curtains, wooden wall coverings and marble floors. And candles! The more the better.

The uniqueness of the local development system is that it doesn’t exist, in the usual sense. No matter what you do, experience doesn’t grow, levels don’t rise, skills don’t appear. To get something, you have to earn it – kill some boss.

There are three dozen bosses here, and almost every boss gives the vampire combat skills, recipes for creating things and a new machine. So our hero learns to turn into animals, teleport, freeze or set fire to the victim, heal in the process of battle. It’s a pity that only a few skills can be used at a time, but you can replace them freely in a calm environment.

Armor and weapon rating determines the cumulative level of a vampire. You can come to the server, if you are, say, called your friends, take from them shmotki, dress up, and immediately become a real ghoul, the menace of nuns. By the way, don’t laugh. These ladies kill with their holiness better than axes and swords.

The named enemies in V Rising are beautiful. You’ll have to face them often, they revive regularly and go about their business. There is no need to kill them repeatedly, but the first fight with them will definitely be memorable.
The bosses are varied and inventive. There are the odd ones that barely offer any resistance. There are nasty ones that attack from afar and teleport. There are funny ones, like that chubby grandmother. She just screams and runs around the village, attracting the attention of the guards. Then there are the creepy ones. You see them, turn pale and retreat into the shadows for the time being.

A vampire needs blood. But not just any blood. It’s only good for survival, to keep from dying of thirst and wounds. If you’re in a pinch, you can take a rat out of your inventory and snack on it. The quality of the victim’s blood is of great importance. The higher it is (displayed in percentages), the more passive bonuses the vampire gets. It also matters what the victim was doing before his death. The blood of a brigand or a schoolboy gives different abilities.

Popularity, financial success, tens of thousands of players online – V Rising seems to be repeating the path of last year’s Valheim. An unqualified hit and one of the best games of the year. But there is a problem, and not just one, but three.

The first one is that there is no fast travel. More precisely, there is a teleporter, and you can quickly find yourself in the desired area. But back, filling your bag with resources, you’ll have to walk back with two people. Or four, if you turn into a wolf or steal a horse. Since you need a lot of resources, these “walks” along the same routes eventually become annoying. The path is long, with occasional minor collisions. Magic disappears and boredom sets in. Why the teleporter doesn’t let vampires loaded with cotton and iron ore through is a mystery.

The second problem is the routine of resource extraction and processing. Over time, the life of a vampire turns from an adventure into a job. You look at the item you want to build, figure out where and what materials you need to gather, and stomp over there. You chisel the ore, you come back. Minus 30 minutes of your life. Unload everything into the smelting furnace, let’s say 1000 units of ore. It takes two minutes to smelt one bar of iron from 20 pieces of ore. And you need to get 30 ingots… Wait an hour. There are assistants ready to go to the allocated area for resources. Except they’ll be there for 24 hours. Real time. You’re willing to take a day to build yourself a new sword?
I don’t think everyone has that much free time at their disposal. And the further you go down the production chain, the more time is spent on collecting and manufacturing. Exploring the territory, raiding settlements, destroying bosses – it goes to the background.

Finally, the third problem, a critical one, is that this world is static. In the sense that it’s not a procedurally generated landscape, but a manually drawn world. There is little open space, and if there is a piece of it, it is immediately built up by vampires. As you travel, the textures of the land, the trees, the composition of the enemies, and the quality of the settlements change, but there will always be narrow paths. It gets boring quickly.

The game offers three types of servers. PvE – the most comfortable. There is just joint building of the world with castles, raids on settlements, killing bosses and sluggish struggle for resources. They resume quickly, so no one cries.

PvP is brutality in the flesh. You kill, you get killed, resources are taken away, your castles are broken. Not for nothing do the developers immediately say that on such servers it is better to go together with friends to immediately make a clan. Thanks to the player-centered combat system, such battles are pretty darn entertaining. So I would recommend this game primarily to fans of humiliation and domination. Plus, with friends it is much easier to kill bosses, collect resources, build and strengthen the castle.

The third type of servers – by their own rules. This is where one’s imagination can run wild.

V Rising is based on the Unity engine. The game is still in its early version. It has a huge open world, life simulation, dozens of players connect to one server and immediately start building it up and ravaging settlements. It’s a complex system, and it’s all the more amazing that in the entire time I played the game I didn’t encounter a single, I repeat, not a single bug. The game did not slow down for unknown reasons, did not fly out to the desktop, the hero did not fall under the ground. Quality, unattainable for “professionals” from big studios.

The game is beautiful. The night is bright, moonlight floods the space with silvery light. Daytime forces the vampires to hide under trees, with the shadows following the course of the sun and shortening at noon.


Playing V Rising alone is fun, but for about 20 hours. Then you stumble over the lack of land to expand your castle and get bogged down in mining, transporting, and processing resources. It gets boring. But with friends, this “vampire survival simulator” can drag on not just for dozens – for hundreds of hours. Especially on the PvP-server, where you can “rob caravans” and storm castles. The thrill is guaranteed.

The battles with a view from above are very well done here, there are many different bosses, you don’t need to spend mana on skills, the world lives, and the cycle of day and night is masterfully woven into the game mechanics. There are a lot of interesting ideas in V Rising, and even if you’re not into the survival simulator genre, the game is worth checking out, if only to broaden your horizons.


PROS:

  • Vampire simulator with all the trappings
  • Diverse and interesting bosses
  • Unusual development system
  • Cool combat system
  • Simple castle building
  • Gothic aesthetics
  • Spectacular graphics and attention to lighting
  • You can play alone or with dozens of other vampires
  • Flexible customization of your server allows you to fix most of the game’s shortcomings

CONS:

  • Tedious resource extraction and processing
  • Constant running back and forth along the same route
  • The game world is still a little small

Preliminary evaluation of the game:

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