Haemimont Games is best known for its management sims, with Tropico and its four sequels well-regarded by genre fans. Sadly, the last time it strayed elsewhere the result was a mafia-themed title called Omerta... and it didn't do quite so well. This hasn't stopped Haemimont from cooking up Victor Vran, a fantasy action RPG that is distinctly less banana republic (and gangster) flavoured than its previous efforts.
The game is currently in Early Access, but hopes to move to a proper release by "the end of May 2015". At first glance, it looks a little generic, with its biggest draws being its "extensive character development", which relies on total control of your character items, powers and outfits; a tweakable difficulty system that uses cursed items; and co-op and competitive play.
Building your character involves selecting a weapon and developing your abilities on top. The EA version offers four — sword, shotgun, hammer and rapier — though more are promised with the final release.
Upon seeing the artwork and gameplay video for the first time, I couldn't help but be reminded of NeocoreGames' Van Helsing series, which is also a Diablo-style hack'n'slash. Both share a multi-talented, customisable protagonist wearing a broad-rimmed hat, set in a steampunk-ish world filled with inexplicable amounts of undead nasties.
It's good to see the forced-perspective action RPG is alive and well in 2015. In the void between the second and third Diablo games, the genre was sustained by the likes of Titan Quest, Torchlight and Sacred, titles that capitalised on Blizzard's apparent disinterest in its popular franchise to forge their own legacies.
Let's see what Haemimont can do with its take.