Having only played the first game in the series, I wasn’t sure what to expect from Final Cut. While I didn’t dislike the game it was pretty threadbare for a game trying to be Diablo. Short story, empty multiplayer servers and middling graphics, none of these things impressed me. When they announced a sequel, I didn’t really think much about it and the fact that not much information came out afterwards confirmed to me it wasn’t worth thinking about. By the time the third rolled around, all I could think was “Who keeps buying these games?” Now that I’ve played final cut, I’ve found I made a huge mistake in judging these games without trying them and final cut is the best way to show my mistake off.
Firstly, Final Cut includes all the content of all three games but made available from the get go. This means the first game is much prettier and includes classes added in the sequels. Since you have much more time with a character, you feel a lot more attached to them. I’ve put about 60 hours into the game (although Steam seems to have ignored this, tsk tsk) and honestly I’ve enjoyed every minute. While the game doesn’t overthrow Diablo or Diablo 2 when I wear my nostalgia goggles, it feels as good as Torchlight which has been the only other ARPG that I really enjoyed like I had with Blizzard’s behemoths.
So let’s say you’ve never tried the game before. What you’re looking at is a top down ARPG game, where you kill monsters over and over getting equipment drops and constantly upgrading them as you progress through the story. While the first game doesn’t have a story that’ll surprise or shock anyone, the later two games had stories that kept me on track. I wanted to know what was happening. The setting is an alternate Europe reminding me of ‘Nightmare Creatures’ (although set much earlier) with all sorts of gothic monsters and invented technologies all around. Six classes are available for players featuring a mix of melee, ranged, magic and stealth. Lots of character customization (although less than Path of Exile, which might be to it’s credit if players found PoE to be a bit overwhealming) across the various skill trees and having tried each class for an hour or two, they were all enjoyable enough with no really useless feeling skills in any of their trees.
There’s also a lot of ‘extra’ content. A tower defence game (I won’t even call it a mini-game, because it was fun enough for me to stick with it for a long time), daily quests and events and randomly generated scenarios to play through are all unexpected bits of polish on a great game. I think most players who pick it up and don’t enjoy Van Helsing will still put 10-15 hours into it before becoming bored but players who really enjoy the game will put a lot of time in. I didn’t see dead multiplayer servers, but that’s one of those things that takes time to really predict and it’s something I really put no time into as of this writing so I don’t want to judge the game based on it (and I’m probably ill equipped for such a review because I don’t typically enjoy multiplayer PVP as much as I do PVE/storydriven games).
At the end of the day, I do recommend Van Helsing Final Cut, but in particular for players who hadn’t already played the series as there is no better way to get into it than Final Cut.