Release Date: May 30th 2017 (Xbox One)
The world of Zargovia is infested with demons most foul. Many demon hunters have tried to fix this issue, and been killed in the process. Now is the turn of Victor Vran, legendary demon hunter and protagonist.
“As long as there is rock and people who want to rock and roll, the fight is not lost”
Victor Vran (and the accompanying Motörhead: Through the Ages expansion) is Van Helsing meets Blade, a demon hunter with the powers of a demon. The standard game sees demonic protagonist Victor sent to Zargovia, a town besieged by the forces of the underworld. Here he meets Queen Katarina, who naturally asks if he can slay the foul manifestation that has slaughtered her people. Victor agrees, being the foolish fool that he is, mostly so he can search for a lost friend in the process. Thus begins the crux of the storyline; finding Adrian and helping the queen with her demonic house guests.
During the game players unlock various weapons and abilities that suit every play-style, from primarily ranged combat with shotguns, spell books and handheld mortars to up close and personal with swords, rapiers and scythes. There truly is something for everybody, and some of the weapon names are as comical as they are terrifying. Just what, exactly, is a Piercing Scythe of Luck, or a Devastating Hammer of the Bear? Aside from these are Demon Powers, which require a charge to use but grant Victor some truly deadly abilities. These vary from offensive to defensive, with a few doing a little bit of both.
The standards the game delivers on a well made tone and has a tonne of replay-ability thanks to the challenges in each area. However, with the addition of the Motörhead: Through the Ages expansion, players are treated to an even more epic prospect. Not only does it introduce several new levels based on Motörhead’s albums, but the backing track changes from the eerie orchestral music in the normal levels to the utterly perfect backing track of the bands back catalogue.
Motörhead: Through the Ages starts off in The Pub at the End of Time, and players begin by talking to Lloyd, the barman. Sat at the bar is Lemmy, the lead singer and bassist of Motörhead himself, there to judge the worthiness of Victor. The story for this add-on follows a similar vein, although rather than a queen and a castle, players are treated to a pub and a rock god. The bosses are also based on Motörhead songs, and feature some terrifying design features. The main goal is to restore power to Snaggletooth, whose very essence has been used to power the war machines which Victor will be fighting. The expansion also adds two new types of weapon, the Guitar and the Revolver, which both add yet more diversity to the multitude of play styles on offer.
Victor Vran is also co-op enabled, which should make a difference to how each play-through pans out, with the option for each player to specialise in a different play style, or everyone to be all out tanks and win purely by superior firepower.
Haemimont Games have done a brilliant job. It’s a graphically appealing romper – which is difficult for a top-down game, and the music is well done, giving great ambience to the game. The only thing that slightly lets it down is it can begin to feel slightly repetitive after a while, though in all honesty, the challenge level counteracts that.