Game Discussion: The Incredible Adventures of Van Helsing III Forum

Poor conclusion for a trilogy...

AuthorMessage
togethawiistand
Posted on 03 April 18 at 04:15, Edited on 04 April 18 at 01:36 by togethawiistand
Out of the 4 Van Helsing games (I'm including Deathtrap, like the series page does), this 3rd one from the "Incredible Adventures" is the one I'm enjoying the least. Not that the other two were excellent, top-notch games, they certainly weren't. Interestingly enough, Deathtrap, without a campaign, managed to be better than all of the others.

The way a lot of the quests in this game were executed makes it so obvious that they certainly are there just to extend played time a little longer. That's clear on many maps where they make you go all the way in one direction to a certain objective and then back all the way again to turn it in. I don't recall that happening a lot on the previous (and still better) games, where one could in a single time exploration sweep a whole area uncovering all its secrets, interacting with all interactive objects, looking into every nook and cranny from one direction to another without ever turning back. I'm not saying that this last way of playing is absolutely better than the first, although it works for this genre. But I am saying that when the player becomes actively aware that you're making things a certain way just to stretch the content then it means that you've already failed in several ways, one of them being to enthrall the audience with the story you meant to tell.

Another instance of this stretching deceit is the fact that your character move a lot slower than in the previous installments and (at least with the 2 classes that I've played with) there's no aura or skill that can make it go faster.

The fearless difficulty is also guilty of this, one final last example of what's being noted here. Being so unfair and overwhelming (but still achievement related, of course), it's a pain to be underpowered for most of a playthrough. No fun at all the way they executed this "complete on hardest difficulty" sort of achievo. Not being able to import chars from past games and the poorer skill trees introduced in this final chapter of the trilogy and lots of useless auras just made things worse.

So, to summarize the situation just with the examples given: go there and then come back missions + slowly walking + fearless BS = 30+ hours of play, easily. But that's not the total time that you, if a completionist, is gonna spend here. Then there are the copied and pasted achievements from VH2, such as "Real Life is Overrated" (is it?). I wonder if there's anything of economic value more desecrated than a gamer's "free" time.

Moving on and as the last part of my rant, I've gotta admit that, after playing so much of a universe, be it what may, I start caring about the lore and NPCs and get interested in how things will turn out. I expect that the narrative will deliver answers to questions and needs of closure. When something feels rushed or poorly explained, it turns me off big time. One of these moments happen during the (predicted) rescue of Vlados. What a lost opportunity to capitalize in something that we're awaiting since the beginning of the previous game! The way they did it was almost as insulting as killing Jul 'Mdama at the beginning of Halo 5 and not even acknowledging it. Without any further spoilers, all I'm gonna say is: what a wasted opportunity to make something truly great or at least slightly remarkable. Or rewarding.

Concluding, TIAoVH III feels like the weakest game of the trilogy in more than one sense. As someone who played the previous two or even Deathtrap I'd say this: don't get your hopes high. This ending is probably not what you expected, if you expected anything at all.

Maybe that's the price we pay for a commissioned trilogy. These games were coming out, one way or another. Too bad it now lies in the realm of "could have been"...
To do or not to do. THAT is the question.
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