About V Rising
V Rising - This Time, Sunscreen Can't Protect You
A Newly Awakened Vampire's Quest to Survive and Harness Unholy Powers
A New Game Lurking in the Shadows
V Rising gives Valheim vibes... with vampires, but it is so much more than a shadow of the hit Norse-inspired indie survival game. V Rising is a new horror survival game that gives players the chance to experience life as a vampire, stalking the night and creeping in the darkest shadows. Developed and published by Stunlock Studios, the immersive game is available only for PC through Early Access on Steam.
While V Rising certainly isn't the first vampire game to be released, most of its predecessors have been centered around hunting and killing the unholy creatures. This game, though, approaches things quite a bit differently.
Living as a Vampire
In V Rising, you play as a newly awakened vampire who has become weak from centuries of slumber. The game takes place in the dark mythical world of Vardoran, where threats, resources, and a variety of landscapes and environments are abundant. Your goal is to regain your strength, build up an army of loyal servants, and create a vampire empire.
V Rising is playable in a third-person perspective, and although the primary focus is keeping your character alive, there are also quite a few RPG elements as well. You'll have the opportunity to improve your vampire's abilities, build a fortress, and even team up with friends online to take on the game's most difficult challenges.
Concept Rating: 5/5
The Right Amount of Darkness
Generally speaking, when you're playing a survival horror game—and especially one centered around vampires—you want the game to have a dark feel. V Rising delivers on that, but it doesn't overdo it.
There are foreboding caves, dark crypts, and gothic castles, but there are also snowy forests, open stretches of countryside, and sunny clearings; of course, your character will die if you walk out into one of those sunny clearings, but that's beside the point.
"Travel through lush forests, open countryside, and dark caverns to discover valuable resources, meeting friends and foes alike along the way."
The game's animation is somewhat stylized but not in a distracting way, and the environmental graphics are excellent. The detail and variety of the different areas make V Rising's open world feel life-like and diverse. And when the setting is dark, it gives the game the perfect atmosphere to match the nature of the gameplay.
V Rising has a mournful, spooky soundtrack that's right in line with what you'd think of as "vampire music." It's pretty subtle, and you'll most likely forget that it's there at times, but it's an appropriate accompaniment to the prowling of your vampire.
Graphics & Audio Rating: 4/5
Surviving a Perilous World
First and foremost, V Rising's gameplay is about surviving. In addition to the holy soldiers and other fearsome enemies you'll have to fight off, your character's most threatening foe is perhaps the sun itself.
As a vampire, you must quench your thirst for blood while planning your strategies around the day and nighttime.
To rebuild your strength, you must regularly hunt down the blood you need for sustenance. But to do so, you have to be careful to avoid the sunlight; otherwise, your vampire will turn to ashes before your eyes. A big part of what makes the game challenging is you're limited to either creeping through the night or, should you emerge during the daytime, sticking to the dark shadows.
Raise Your Unholy Fortress
One unique aspect of V Rising that you may not see in other survival games is the fortress-building element. As you play, your journey through the mythical world will see you gathering valuable resources and acquiring dark knowledge. These discoveries will allow you to build your custom castle, which you can continue to improve as you advance in the game.
You can use your fortress to store the loot and spoils of war you've collected, grow your army, and even build coffins for your servants and online friends. And, of course, since you'll be keeping your treasure there, you'll need to strengthen your castle and transform it into an impenetrable fortress.
V Rising also allows you to unlock several cool items for your castle, both cosmetic and functional. Be aware that to keep your gothic stronghold running, you'll need to consistently feed it with blood essence, which you can acquire from the enemies you vanquish.
Grow Your Power and Expand Your Abilities
The combat in V Rising is based around using various weapons and unholy abilities to destroy your foes. Because there are many different powers that you can unlock, you have a lot of freedom to decide what direction you want to go with your vampire. This freedom also encourages strategy as well, as you can deliberately pair weapons and abilities that complement each other.
Learn and master an arsenal of deadly weapons and unholy abilities.
The battles and combat system are areas where V Rising shines, with the flashy, powerful abilities and skill-based fighting creating a very engaging experience. You use WASD controls and cursor-based aiming to shoot off your weapons and powers at enemies and dodge oncoming projectiles. So, it's very satisfying when you successfully land a difficult blow or avoid a powerful blast at the last second.
Wreak Havoc With Friends
While there's plenty of spooky fun to be had exploring the world of V Rising on your own, you can often accomplish even more playing cooperatively with friends. After all, three vampires are better than one, right?
Traveling in a frightening group, you and your fellow creatures of the night can work together to raid other players' castles for treasure, take down menacing bosses, or just enjoy some good old-fashioned blood hunting.
Speaking of bosses, they're another major highlight of the game. Whether you're battling the Alpha Wolf, a vicious vampire hunter, a shadow priestess, a necromancer, or any of the other unique bosses in the world of Vardoran, you'll have an intense, engaging experience. No two bosses feel alike, and each encounter is well-designed and challenging.
Gameplay Rating: 5/5
How You Can Enter Vardoran
The early access version of V Rising launched on May 17th, 2022, and there may be more content added or changes made before the complete version comes out. You can currently purchase the game on Steam for $19.99, which is an entirely reasonable price for the amount of content it offers. Don't be fooled; although the present version of V Rising may not be its final form, you'll quickly forget that it's incomplete once you're playing it.
Unique, Rewarding, and Challenging
V Rising is a diverse survival game that blends several genres and is extremely easy to get lost in. With so many elements to explore—hunting, battling, collecting resources, building your fortress and mastering abilities, just to name a few—playing the game seldom becomes tedious.
The frequent threat of being burnt to a crisp by the sun is a unique mechanic that adds a fun challenge to keep your character alive, and the RPG aspects allow you to feel like you're constantly progressing in the game. V Rising also has an immersive open-world, an awesome combat system, and just the right amount of darkness for the genre and content.
Replay Value Rating: 4/5
- Unique survival elements
- Diverse gameplay
- Fantastic mythical setting
- Engaging and rewarding combat
- Character models could be more realistic
- Relatively slow resource gathering
- Could use a few QoL improvements for the full version
V Rising seamlessly blends the survival and RPG genres and puts a unique spin on vampire games.