V Rising is an early access open world survival ARPG hybrid available on Steam where players get to become vampires — here’s our review.
Developed by Stunlock Studios, the game became playable on Steam just last month. Note that this review will only look at the V Rising base game, and not take into account the game’s 2 DLCs. Also, bear in mind that since V Rising has only recently entered early access, my thoughts in this review may not reflect the exact nature of the game once future updates arrive.
The game puts players in the shoes of a vampire who just woke up from a deep sleep. Like any bear that comes out of hibernation, the player must rebuild their castle, gather blood and resources and become the biggest baddie of the forest.
To start a game of V Rising, players will have to decide between picking PvP or PvE servers to join. If you want to play entirely offline, then you’ll have to make a private server of your own. Whether you decide to join or make your own server, you’ll soon be brought to the character creation screen.
The character creation is pretty solid. You can design your vampire to look beautiful or menacing, or maybe even a combination of both. It’s nothing too complicated and left me pretty satisfied with the look of my character without having to spend hours before getting into the action.
V Rising‘s gameplay is what you’ll get when you mesh Valheim‘s survival gameplay together with top-down ARPGs like Diablo. The early game is harsh. My vampire was still weak from the years of inactivity, and there’s a lot of survival stuff that needs to be done, such as hunting enemies for crafting materials and building my own castle. Combat animations might look slightly janky at times, but the controls are fluid and fun.
Castle building is pretty cool and reminds me a lot of The Sims. However, given the survival aspect of the game, there is a lot more planning involved, like having to place stuff in a way that doesn’t inhibit future expansion. Sadly, the building process itself is pretty convoluted, requiring a lot of different crafting tables and mechanisms to get things started, which could be more streamlined. Also, unlike The Sims, you can’t speed up time, so the process of crafting and gathering materials is very slow.
The game’s day-night cycles play a huge part in the gameplay, more than a lot of other survival games. As a vampire, you’ll want to avoid the day like the plague, as it’s a surefire way to weaken yourself and die. Looking for shade and moving around them adds feels really refreshing. Eventually, you’re bound to fight enemies and even bosses during the day, but being able to pull that off and win is very satisfying.
My biggest issue with V Rising for this review is definitely the progression. Unless you’re playing solo or with a dedicated group of friends, the game can be very punishing. While it may not require as much commitment as say, Rust, you’ll always be behind players with too much free time or the hardcore survival game vets.
However, even in a PvE server, the experience is very linear. The game more or less forces you to follow the main objective which is a shame given the amount of room for freedom and exploration in these kinds of games. For example, if you want to unlock more things and actually make meaningful progress, then you need to absolutely follow the game’s objectives and defeat certain bosses.
Unfortunately, this does not even come close to how grindy the game is. After the early game, it takes an exorbitant amount of time to craft a simple piece of high-tier equipment. Even with a more effective flow to farm materials or with servants to help out, the grind is too immense for me.
That’s pretty much it for this early access review of V Rising. The game has a lot of potential, with a solid concept and interesting gameplay. The biggest problem I feel that the game has is its progression, which hopefully will be solved by the time the game officially launches.
Learn more about the game by checking it out on Steam.
|Good blend of survival and ARPG concept||Progression becomes tedious and grindy later on|
|Plenty of content even for an early access title||Crafting and castle building needs to be more streamlined|
|Your role as a vampire lord is more than just a gimmick|