Take back what’s rightfully yours.
A new game emerges from the shadows of the minds at Stunlock Studios and offers a unique survival game experience. V Rising is an open-world vampire survival game set in the land of Vardoran. You’ll be tasked with reclaiming Vardoran as a powerful and ruthless vampire through the means of hunting down menacing foes and absorbing their power to claim as your own.
V Rising provides the player with a massive playground filled with various enemies and mechanics that offers several unique builds and playstyles. Combat aside, should you tire from feasting on the blood of innocent villagers, you can retire back to your custom-made castle. V Rising deserves consideration if you seek a new survival game to sink your fangs into.
V Rising offers some light story elements to set you on your path in Vardoran in the early areas of the game. For the most part, however, you’ll be telling your own story as you slay V Blood Bosses and customize your own castle.
The game begins with you arising out of your coffin after a centuries-long slumber. You’ll soon leave your crypt into the world you had left behind. Not long after venturing into the Farbane Woods, it becomes apparent that the world is much different from when you once ruled the lands. Ruins of massive vampire castles scatter Vardoran, indicating that someone or something had wiped out your kind while you slumbered.
With the thirst for revenge and the desire to reclaim Vardoran, you begin your long and bloody journey to rebuild what had been lost.
The visual department of V Rising is average but offers some eye candy here and there. You can easily see that the artists at Stunlock Studios focused more on the environment rather than the character models. Some bosses and enemies are designed with a low-poly style that stands out from the more detailed environments that they roam.
With a game focused on avoiding sunlight, you’ll be delightfully surprised with how effective the shadows are drawn. As a vampire, you’ll want to avoid sunlight at all costs; thankfully, the various environments offer shady areas that shift as the sun rises and sets. You can stand in the shadows of a single branch of a tree and be safe from the sun’s harmful rays.
The particle effects from spells are also very satisfying to indulge in. Magic in the game comes in various colors and forms, often leaving behind a visual spectacle for your foes (or yourself) to avoid. Even standing in the harmful sunlight offers unique details like tiny flames appearing on your person the longer you are exposed.
Sound and atmosphere
The sound design of V Rising is average, and most of the time, you’ll be listening to the same sounds of your axes slashing trees and your mace pummeling rocks. Not much exists in the music department of the game; however, this serves the purpose of keeping the player immersed in a living world versus feeling too ‘gamey.’
Most of the bosses you’ll encounter have unique voice lines, which can be hit or miss, but more importantly, they allow you to know when you’ve been spotted. When in combat, you’ll often hear unique audio cues when different attacks are incoming. This is useful for many of the boss fights and makes learning their moveset relatively easy.
Often while roaming the land, you can hear distant quarreling of the various fauna fighting amongst themselves. The sounds of pickaxes in the copper mines, groans from horrible monstrosities, the growls from wolves hunting deer, and many other audio cues make Vardoran feel like the real world.
Overall, the sound design sets up a world that feels good to explore instead of trudging through what feels like an empty sandbox.
V Rising doesn’t offer much in terms of providing unique gameplay. That’s not to say that the game isn’t enjoyable; it follows a tried and true gameplay loop that many other successful games have done prior. Players are given a wide assortment of powers and abilities to collect, making the loop of gathering, hunting, and building all the more engaging.
One aspect of the game is that, like RUST, the world carries on, even if you are offline. This creates the need to keep your castle safe and stocked with blood essence while you are away. This mechanic brings a lot of tension to PvP, making it even more of an intense and fun experience.
Aside from hunting down various enemies and vampires, you’ll also build a home for yourself and your coven. V Rising allows you to claim territory and build your castle nearly anywhere on the map. The crafting system is as standard as they come, but the customization options for your castle and character are enough to incentivize you to keep collecting materials and recipes.
There are multiple gameplay modes that you can indulge in, depending on what your taste is. Your options are PvE, PvP, or Solo play. The following is a brief description of each game mode and what they offer:
- PvE: This game mode allows you to team up with other vampires and take down bosses together. You won’t be able to harm or destroy other vampires’ structures in this game mode.
- PvP: If you feel like stirring some trouble with other players, this game mode allows you to fight other vampires over territory and loot. You can also team up with like-minded vampires in this mode and take on other vampire covens.
- Solo Play: This game mode is for those who want to play the game at their own pace without worrying about being raided by other vampires.
V Rising is much more fun to play with others and is designed to be played with friends (or foes). Some late-game bosses are difficult to solo, so having a band of vampire buddies backing you up can make the endgame easier to manage.
One downside of V Rising is that you have to start over when you select a new server. Nothing will carry over from other servers, so make sure you are playing on a server with settings that you like before you fully commit to it.
V Rising’s gameplay loop can be a bit grindy and repetitive at times. There are some skippable bosses, but generally, you’ll have to hunt down the same bosses in a semi-loose order. This can lead to subsequent playthroughs becoming boring as the content plays out the same. This game does offer the potential for speedrunning or challenge runs if that’s your cup of tea.
The different game modes offer a certain level of replay value due to the unpredictability of other players. PvP offers ongoing wars with other vampires after you’ve completed the main story, whereas PvE’s fun falls off after defeating the final boss.
Final thoughts on V Rising (Early Access)
V Rising offers hours of content that you will enjoy if you love survival and crafting games. It offers some intense yet rewarding PvP experiences and moments of camaraderie with friends or strangers. The game provides enough content to remain fresh and engaging for several hours and comes with addicting combat mechanics that are hard to put down.
If you are getting the itch to rule a foreign land full of deadly foes and glittering treasure, pick up this game and rise from the shadows. There is a lot to learn about how to survive in Vardoran, so make sure to check out our V Rising Beginner’s Guide or our boss guides for the most accurate information to get a head start on your vampire adventure!