Rise Analysis – Gamereactor

Should you blend Diablo with Minecraft, you’ll get something along the lines of V Rising. Something that can be characterized as an isometric action RPG with survival elements. A fun combat system mixed with a deep building system, covered with gothic vampire mythology, makes for a rather solid game that stands out from the crowd, but also tends to feel slow and at times reminiscent of slightly annoying mobile game mechanics. After two years in Early Access, we got access to the game’s beta before the full version release.

Waking up from a 100-year hibernation as a vampire, you must rebuild your kingdom and spread your dark wings across the land. Apart from a short introduction sequence, the game kicks off hard and fast. You start by smashing some skeletons with your claws, picking up their bones, and crafting your first sword from bone fragments. It’s at this point that it becomes clear that, while it may seem like a game like Diablo, there’s something entirely different at the core of V Rising. There’s no loot, no dungeon runs to find better gear. Instead, your vampire is a craftsman who can build an entire castle with their anemic hands.

V Rising


Thus, there’s no grand story presented. Mainly because the game is intended to be played on servers with up to 40 other players who can work together or fight against each other. There’s a series of bosses placed around the map, organized into an act structure, act 1, 2, and 3, which might take the form of a narrative. Essentially, it’s a ranking of their level and difficulty, but it would have been nice to have them presented with a bit more context. Moreover, all these bosses respawn after a while, so if other players have already defeated them, that doesn’t mean they’re gone.

Playing in beta, we didn’t experience how all of this feels on a full server, and to maximize my immersion in the game’s quite extensive building system, I chose to play solo most of the time to avoid being attacked by more experienced vampire lords who want to raid and burn down my small castle.

I struggled a bit to describe the game as a building/survival simulator with action RPG elements or an action RPG with elements of a building/survival simulator. When you’re hunting monsters or seeking a victim to suck blood from, it’s mostly an engaging action RPG, but soon you’ll find yourself more of a deep Dracula artisan in resource management. The two distinct core elements of the game are both to your advantage and disadvantage.

V Rising


The resource and building system is very well-crafted, surprisingly flexible and deep. The RPG elements may seem a bit thinner, but the battles themselves are frantic and enjoyable. It’s the transition between the two that often can work against each other in terms of fun factor. Perhaps you’ve just entered an adrenaline-pumping fight with a boss you can’t defeat, so you go back to your ever-growing castle to upgrade your sword, only to find out you can’t because you’re lacking refined copper. Okay, so you have to make some refined copper, but before doing that, you obviously need some copper, and you also need some wood that needs to be sanded into boards, etc. It’s not that it’s bad per se, but you may not be able to play Bob the Builder when you’re busy trying to slay the monster in the forest.

There’s a rather unique synergy between the two main elements of the game. Instead of collecting experience points to get stronger, you need to gather resources to expand your castle – later perhaps an entire kingdom – and acquire better equipment. Your level against the bosses should be primarily seen in the context of your equipment level. This doesn’t mean you can’t build your character, but instead of experience points, this is done by drinking the blood of other creatures. You can drink the blood of anything from a small rat to a large monster, and depending on what you last drained, you receive bonuses. If you defeat a boss and drink its blood, you may gain new magical abilities that are permanent.

The interaction of building your kingdom and venturing out for fresh, better blood works very well. The core systems seem solid and well thought out but can also be quite intricate. Putting resources into a machine to make something that you have to put into another machine to finally build what you want requires you to take your time. V Rising isn’t a game where you just hop in for 15 minutes and hack and slash some monsters. I was getting tired of being constantly killed because my gear wasn’t strong enough, just as I was going to find the resources to upgrade that same gear. Additionally, everything you have on you when you die – except your weapons – is left at the crime scene, so you have to trek back to retrieve everything you just spent time collecting. It’s not that it’s bad; it’s just very heavy and often takes away from an otherwise good combat system. I’m not sure how else the balance could have been struck or if it should be different, but this is a game with more hammers and hits than stab and slash.

V Rising

However, it must be said that you can tailor your gaming session as you want, almost in all parameters. You can set how much you can carry, how many resources you harvest from things, and how much damage you give and take by setting a multiplier. You can also set how many other players can be on the server and if they can attack each other. Hence, there are plenty of opportunities to adjust your experience. The issue is it may feel a bit like cheat codes and distort the level of difficulty that the game is clearly meant to have. As I mentioned, I played mostly solo in this beta, but V Rising is designed from the ground up to be played with others, both as friends and foes, and I can easily envision that building your castle and defeating enemies is fun – and a bit easier – if you have a few friends around. The amount of options on how you can build is quite vast. The style is, of course, the classic gothic horror style, but you can build your castle with multiple floors, decorate it, and you can seduce villagers and make them your servants. The possibilities are endless, and if you gather one or two friends, you’re in for a great experience – if armed with a bit of patience.

Lastly, it’s worth mentioning – keeping in mind that I didn’t test how the large multiplayer servers work – the game is in excellent technical condition. I played on a Steam Deck at the highest graphics settings at 45 fps, and despite many small and slightly intricate menus, the game is well adapted to the device.

I can easily recommend V Rising. It’s well-built and designed, but you have to go in knowing what the game is and what it isn’t. While the combat is fun, it’s not fun enough to prevent you from getting bored if you’re not interested in building and managing your castle. But if you want a Diablo-style action RPG where you can become the lord of darkness and build your own kingdom, V Rising is the obvious choice.

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Asraful Shohag

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