As a big fan of top-down, hack-and-slash role playing games, I have enjoyed the first entry in The Incredible Adventures of Van Helsing quite a lot. Hearing that a sequel was already in the works made me even more excited, so naturally, I’ve decided that an interview on Helsing and lady Katarina’s next adventure should be in order.
NOTE! Spoilers for the first game’s ending can be found below. Also, our questions were answered by Júlia Inzsöl, PR Manager at NeocoreGames.
Analog Addiction Firstly, will The Incredible Adventures of Van Helsing II be a direct sequel?
NeocoreGames Absolutely! Van Helsing II is the second part of an unfolding saga. It could be enjoyed independently, although it’s still part of an overarching plot. Actually we begin shortly after the events of the first game: after defeating the mad scientist, Van Helsing finds himself a new role in addition to being a hunter: he has become the reluctant leader of the Resistance, defending the Lair against the war-machines of General Harker, the former military commander of Borgova who considers our young hero a rebel and a threat to the city and wants to put an end to the solitary monster-hunting. Van Helsing will have to pull his socks up if he wants to defeat him.
Analog Addiction How big (in terms of length, but also in the scope of its maps) is Van Helsing II going to be, when compared to the original game?
NeocoreGames Van Helsing II is going to be similar in length to the first part, which was about 12-20 hours depending on the player. In the sequel we have a more complex story with tons of side quests and although I can’t tell you exactly how many maps you will find in the game yet I can assure you it’s going to be awesome.
Analog Addiction Will the game be more open-world this time around, or will it be divided into sections, much like the original?
NeocoreGames The second game is divided into maps just like the original. Within the maps you can go wherever you want and thanks to the side-quests it’s up to you where do you want to start the monster hunting on each map. Our tower defense mini-game will also make a return in the sequel and it’s going to be a more integral part of the game, yet it will be optional. But you should definitely give it a try if you enjoy placing traps and watching as monsters struggle with your epic defense, but you can do your usual killing stuff too in the meantime if you want.
Analog Addiction How will the team expand on Van Helsing’s current RPG system? Will we see new skills, power-ups, and perks?
NeocoreGames While Van Helsing II sticks to the traditions of the action-RPGs and the overall gameplay experience is the same the sequel is going to be expanded with a dozen new maps and other new features. The game will start with the three already introduced classes and of course all of them get new skills, perks, tricks, auras, power-ups and gear. Not to mention the huge amount of diverse loot.
Analog Addiction Is Katarina going to be more customisable? Will her set of behaviours be expanded upon?
NeocoreGames Katarina, your ghostly companion will lend you a helping hand… and tease you whenever she can. Similarly to Van Helsing she will also have a lot of new skills but her behaviour won’t really change. In the second game you will still be able to choose whether you want her to defend or assist you, kill the weakest monsters or the one most vulnerable to her attacks and you still have the chance to send her away to buy potions or sell your stuff. She continues to be very useful in combat and as a good companion she will never let you down. Also good news for the fans of our witty Katarina that in the sequel we’ll get to know some details of her life and the story of her death.
Analog Addiction Will the sequel feature puzzles?
NeocoreGames Not really, maybe a couple of smaller puzzles as hidden content but it won’t be a typical feature in the game. Now we focused on creating a more complex story with plot twists and making the interactions with the NPCs more important. In the sequel sometimes you’ll make decisions that have a strong impact on further story events.
Analog Addiction Will Van Helsing II see the return of the soldier-machine enemies? Also, will we have new monsters to hunt?
NeocoreGames Yes and yes. I don’t want to spoil the story but I can tell that this time General Harker’s warmachines will be pretty much your biggest problem to deal with. On your way you will meet a lot of new monsters and creatures: Giants, Schattenbeasts, Windbeasts or Spiritwalkers, just to name a few and you’ll see more of Borgovia’s vampires too.
Analog Addiction Will the Lair return? If yes, what changes will you implement to it?
NeocoreGames Absolutely! Your Lair is your home, more than ever. It is the central hub for the Resistance movement that chose you as the leader. This time you’ll be able to decorate your Lair with trophies that give global modifiers to the game world. Most of the time they have a positive-negative effect, for example it might empower all monsters but grant some bonuses such as more spell-power or experience to you or your allies at the same time, turning Katarina into a more lethal ghost and you into an unstoppable monster hunter.
Analog Addiction Does the team have any plans to bring Van Helsing II to consoles, as well? Maybe even on the next generation ones?
NeocoreGames We would love to release the game on consoles and right now we’re discussing our options with Microsoft. Although I can’t tell any details about the release date yet and we’re still not sure if the game will be ported to next-gen or current-gen console, we’re really excited about it. This is definitely on the top of our to-do list.
Analog Addiction Finally, is there any word on a release date?
NeocoreGames We plan to release the sequel in Q1 2014, so get ready to put your hands on it early next year and don’t forget to take a look at the first game if you haven’t tried it yet. We recently released the Complete Pack of the first game with tons of new features and improvements. It includes all three DLCs, respawning monsters, new endgame content, new netcode and PvP mode, PC controller support and finally it’s also available on Mac. So now you can try the game at its best shape so far. And to top it all with the Complete Pack we also released a Free Demo on Steam so you can take a look at the game before you decide if you want to be part of our growing monster-hunter family.
So that’s it from us, folks! Have you played the first Van Helsing game? Are you looking forward to its sequel? What are your opinions on the franchise, as a whole? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below, and for all the latest monster-hunting news, previews, reviews etc., keep it locked to Analog Addiction!
In addition to being a PC editor, Vlad Pintea is also a chief of news and reviews here at Analog Addiction, and sometimes he even speaks his own mind. You can contact him via e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org and email@example.com, on Skype (vlad94pintea), Steam, Facebook, and Twitter. Have a good day, and remember: stay calm, and keep on gaming!