The city lies down to sleep while somewhere in the middle of an old dockyard a man’s life fades away. The most skilled vampire hunter is dead. The night is damp and chilly as the investigation begins. The main character in this tale is an adventurer who has been living in the company of the undead for years. The story starts to unfold as a mysterious murder, apparently without a motive, takes place on one of the dockyard’s piers. None of the Nosferatu clans claims responsibility for the attack and what are even worse, strange things start to happen.
The storyline of Vampire Hunters will take the player to ten different locations: Old Harbor, Loading platform, Fisherman guild district, Central part with Information department and Repair shop, Workers village, abandoned dockyard, lighthouse district, Wreck yard and guard tower, old factory and a merchant ship. The locations are entwined and together they create an integral complex. The player can therefore move smoothly in the environment without any distractions in the form of changing locations. The graphics is stylized in such a way that the player will be engulfed in a dark yet rich atmosphere.
- Catchy storyline underlined by a thrilling dark atmosphere. The overall impression is augmented by an original game soundtrack creating a slightly horror mood.
- Advancement of the main character including level-ups, enhancements of skills and abilities.
- The possibility to create your own spells using the rune system
- ATBS (active time battle system, commonly used in many Asian RPG games including Final Fantasy series) adding dynamics to turn based combat as well as the possibility to use a lot of hits, blows, weapons and special combos
- A lot of adventure-like items and non-linear dialogue branching
- With a starting price of 16.99 USD the game offers an outstanding price / quality ratio
- Basic view is a full 3D display with the camera placed behind the character.
- The player controls one character whose basic activities include: exploring the game world, collecting items, interacting with other characters, combat, character development and solving logical puzzles.
- Exploring the game world is mentioned among the basic activities not because of the game’s focus on this activity but because the diversity of the surroundings livens up the other activities and provides a fitting atmosphere.
- Collecting items and especially searching for clues delivers a popular “investigation” concept known from the very first adventure games. As popular as this concept might be, its use must be well-balanced. If the items are too easy to find, it spoils the enjoyment from searching. On the other hand if they are too well hidden, the search becomes “pixel hunting” and the player is frustrated and discouraged. This problem was central in the development of the Vampire Hunters script, resulting in an interesting and balanced adventure/RPG system.
- Dialogues with other characters were balanced as well. The aim was to create a communication model that would not be time-consuming but rather interesting, able to move the game’s storyline forward and to be mysterious at the same time. Dialogue branching is non-linear and the player can always chose from among numerous answers. According to these answers the game itself creates new branches of storyline.
- Combat is the key part of the game. Focus was placed especially on tactics and the diversity of options. The number of unique combat actions and combos increases in accordance with the character’s improvement of his skills. In this way, more options become available in the course of time. Another improvement is the use of inventory, adding to the complexity of options. The spell casting system consists of a custom-based rune system, allowing the player to create his own spells. Combat is technically based on a modernized semi-turn-based ATBS (Active Time Battle System) successfully implemented in many classic RPG games. The most frequent problem with the ATBS system on the PC is the inconvenient console-style game controls. Because of this, emphasis was placed on improving the quality of controls.
- Improving the main character is generally a favorite RPG activity. Vampire Hunters offers the basic abilities of: Strength, Dexterity, Endurance, Intelligence and Perception and a variety of special skills divided into combat skills (unarmed combat, sharp weapons, blunt weapons, ranged weapons) and magical skills (elemental magic, blood magic, moon magic). Another form of character improvement is the buying and collecting of weapons, various parts of clothing and amulets.
- The solving of logical puzzles is more complex, consisting in the use of found items, searching for the right way to lead the investigation but also the need to think when choosing the correct answer during conversations.
- PC with 1.3 GHz processor
- Graphics card for modern games with 256 MB ram (preferably 512 MB ram)
- 1.7 GB of free hard drive space during installation
- Microsoft Windows operating system (preferably Windows 7, Windows Vista, Windows XP)
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