Stunlock Studios has a special development approach: the studio takes a trendy genre direction and rethinks its typical mechanics from a non-trivial point of view. For example, in the middle of the last decade, the team was characterized by an attempt to combine the MOBA genre and the well-known zombie universe in the Dead Island Epidemic project. It turned out to be remarkable, but, unfortunately, the project was closed without leaving the “beta”. Then Stunlock released the isometric online action arena Battlerite, after which within the same world they tried to enter the territory of royal battles with Battlerite Royale. An original approach can really be felt in each of the studio’s projects, but it’s also clearly felt that its games lack a lot for such a coveted mass character. However, looking at V Rising, it’s clear that experience has been taken into account.
The vampire has no goal, only craft
Vampires were once the masters of the world and reveled in their almost limitless power. But the people, weary of fanged tyranny, raised the bloody lords on pitchforks, forcing the surviving bloodsuckers to dwell in the shadows for many, many years. But now the vampires are once again ready to fight for the right to dominate the food chain, which means it’s time to move the coffin lid (from the inside, of course) and return triumphant to the mortal world. And for starters, it would be nice to find a cozy place for the residence.
The first building in our conditional fortress will be the heart of the castle, which, like us, feeds on the blood of our fallen enemies. More specifically, Blood Essence, one of dozens of resources that can be found in the world of V Rising. The more it is in the heart of the castle, the greater our possibilities – our house will be able to literally occupy a larger area.
When the heart of the castle is beating, it will not be superfluous to take care of your own well-being. For example by installing a coffin in which a deadly sunny day can be awaited. Another important element of decoration are the chests, where you can store the extracted valuables. And since we’re starting to gain some sort of capital, it seems like a good idea for the Wave to enclose our holdings with walls. At first, you can limit yourself to a simple wooden palisade – even if the sense of beauty will not satisfy, but we will hide our goodness from the prying eyes of the server’s residents.
But in order for our residence to look not like a dilapidated barn, but like a domain befitting the status of a formidable mortal lord, we must work. After all, if simple wood or stone, which are literally nearby, is suitable for basic interior items – it is enough to beat the sources of resources, then more complex production processes are intended for the more important and functional elements of our castle. For example, brick blocks and processed planks are required for strong (and most importantly, handsome) stone walls. Raw materials are transformed into such products in various crushers, sawmills and furnaces. Naturally, the further we progress in the development of the fortress, the more sophisticated materials we will need and the more different devices we will have to build.
And let’s not forget that someone (including us) has to mine valuable raw materials for our estate. Before heading out into the world, it pays to stock up on quality gear by gathering something digestible for a trek on a workbench. Of course, the terms “quality” and “digestibility” vary for different locations and against different opponents. For some opponents, a few slashes with a crumbling bone club will do, while someone wielding a powerful copper sword will barely feel the crushing vortex. By the way, with more skillful work, a weapon not only improves attack, but also unlocks additional active skills – for example, a blow with a “scissors” in a large radius or, for example, a steel “whirlwind”.
Picking tiles, decorating walls, arranging workbenches, and smelting weapons at will is certainly insanely exciting, but it’s still pretty typical of the genre. But where V Rising really impresses with originality lies in the embodiment of the entourage of everyday vampire life.
For example in the mechanics of draining our victims. You can use almost any resident of these countries. And what features we get depends on who we replenish our blood supply (required to sustain life and use various skills). After tasting the robber, we increase the chance of critical damage and movement speed. After tasting the beast, we get increased protection and accelerated regeneration. Eating with a tough fighter gives us additional attack speed and an increased life steal indicator. The resulting effects are affected by the quality of our dinner’s blood (varies randomly from one to one hundred percent).
But the main dish here is the bearers of V-Blood, actually the bosses. In order to hunt for a valuable delicacy, you must build a bloody altar on your estate, which will open up an extensive menu for us. After you’ve selected a dish to try (and depending on your gear level), you can start tracking down a tasty NPC moving towards the visualized loot smell. I note that the battles with porters are quite fierce and it is far from always possible to refresh the first time. Sometimes you have to retreat to better prepare to attack. The success of the battle depends on many factors – not only the player’s reaction speed or the quality of the equipment, but also the selected active skills and active blood effects.
Having defeated a powerful enemy and, of course, drained it to the bottom, we open new horizons of development. Someone will issue new recipes for weapons or components, other defeated enemies will “grant” us blueprints for machines, furnaces and other elements of vampire life. But most importantly, by drinking the bearer of V-Blood we will unlock new skills that will give us additional advantages and significantly diversify the game.
Magical abilities fall into several categories – blood, chaos, illusion, ice, and unholy divination. Each discipline offers a variety of attack and defense options that can be combined in any way within the two active slots. There is also a separate cell for the teleportation ability, again with a touch of one of the witch schools. And, of course, how you can do without an absolute skill that will help you emerge triumphant from the hottest of situations.
In addition to battle magic, V Rising also has another type of spell – vampire! All are available at the same time, with no space restrictions: the player can always restore their shattered health, bend an almost defeated enemy to their will (it can also be taken to the residence and made its servant, providing a personal coffin). , or turn into a wolf or a bear, for example, by purchasing the appropriate trait boost. And you can also take the form of a person who has received an invaluable skill for socialization – soldiers and hunters will not rush at us with torches, peasants will not run away screaming, and it will even be possible, for example, to negotiate with wandering businessmen.
Stunlock Studios has stayed true to its creed. V Rising is their trademark, a non-trivial look at the well-known genre. However, this time the team managed to make not only an original, but also an incredibly addictive and diverse project. It’s striking how meticulously the developers went about creating a living world – it’s full of events and exists by its own laws. Men and beasts fight on dusty roads, lycanthropes storm farms in the thick cover of night, and ancients clash with V-Bloodbearers in the thickets of forests. And all this does not necessarily happen before our eyes, sometimes we are just faced with the consequences of a grandiose massacre (perhaps also arranged by other players), while collecting easy loot. Any of our little skirmishes can end in a grandiose massacre with no obvious outcome. Add to this celebration of constant and unpredictable adventure the almost childlike joy of a successful sortie for precious ore, or the incredible satisfaction of creating a powerful new sword, or the boundless joy of defeating a powerful boss, and it becomes clear , how V Rising was able to win the hearts of millions of players so quickly. .
If everything is so exciting in Early Access, what happens with the full version? I’m looking forward to.