Van Helsing Review


Games licensed from summer movies tend to be pretty awful, so when you play one that isnít it is always a nice surprise. Not that Van Helsing is a great game as it certainly has some issues and shortcomings, but if you enjoyed the movie and want to make a quick romp through its storyline Van Helsing will fit the bill.

Van Helsing the game follows the general storyline of Van Helsing the movie. Some obstacles and additional nasties have been added to create the puzzles, fighting, and boss battles you expect from an action game like this, but overall the game is pretty true to the movie. If you havenít seen the movie I donít want to ruin anything for you, so suffice it to say that Van Helsing is a hitman for the Vatican who is called upon to eliminate supernatural evil threats to humanity. You may want to check out the movie before playing anyway, as it will spoil some of the plot points for you while simultaneously leaving you confused as to why you are doing something at others.

Screenshots
Van Helsing faces some evil attackers.

Van Helsing is a third person action game that arms you with a melee weapon and a gun and then throws countless skeletons, spirits, and the like at you. The attacks with these weapons can be combined with other button and stick presses to unleash a myriad of combo attacks. Some of these attacks are more effective than others and you can certainly do well enough in the game sticking to the basic attack, but all of the combos available certainly make things more fun to watch.

The guns in the game are fired with another button, but are just about useless unless you also press the target lock button as well - the shots would be very difficult to line up without the auto-targeting feature thanks to the gameís camera angles. Weapons have unlimited ammo, but some weapons have a more powerful secondary attack that does require ammunition. To add a touch of strategy to the game, some enemies are more vulnerable to some weapons than to others.

The last tool of your trade is a grappling gun that serves two purposes. The first is as a means to pull yourself up to heights or to swing across chasms. Youíll only be able to do this at designated spots, though, so donít expect to go Spider-Man on downtown Transylvania. The second purpose is to grapple enemies to bring them up close for a beating. The grapple hook and weapons are easy to use thanks to the gameís intuitive and responsive control scheme, but it would have been nice if the grapple hook was utilized more outside of a few puzzles.