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Game Profile
Vivendi Games
GENRE: Action
May 07, 2004
Van Helsing

Van Helsing

 Written by Alex Fitzgerald  on February 24, 2004

First Impressions: Damnit Van, now what did the Wolfman ever do to you?

It takes a lot these days to truly come up with a creative new action hero. Through so many years of cinema it seems we have tapped into every idea that could possibly be associated with the genre. We have our suave British types (Bond), our aggressive muscular types (Stallone and Arnie), and even our loud mouth meets quiet guy ethnic mismatch comedy/action stars (Shanghai Noon, Rush Hour). So, with that knowledge, it's cool to see a studio actually taking a chance with a movie like Van Helsing, which instead of attempting to imitate old ideas, strikes out with its own story. As a bonus, Vivendi Universal and developer Saffire have hooked up in order to make a game based on the upcoming film.

As you would imagine, the Van Helsing game shares a lot of main plot points with the movie. In both you follow Dr. Abraham Van Helsing, the character from the classic horror novel Dracula. Though many of the movie's exact story elements are being shrouded in secrecy (and therefore many of the games are as well) some details have come out. Van Helsing travels to a small town in Eastern Europe where strange things have been brewing. There you must take down some monster representatives of evil such as Frankenstein, Dracula, and the Wolfman?.among others.

You will take down these evil specimens with third person shooting throughout the game's 13 levels. Though the adventure takes place in the 19th century, some creative license has been taken, and your weapons are now as powerful as you would see in other games. Among your armaments will be dual pistols (of course), a crossbow, and hand blades. Weapons like the hand blades will be used for melee attacks, while the crossbow and pistols will be used for your more traditional shooting.

According to people that have seen the game in action, Van Helsing's graphics so far are looking decent. While the frame rate and camera are still being worked on, the indoor and outdoor environments are looking nice and eerie. Van Helsing himself is looking pretty good, sporting quite a bit of detail in his character model.

Final Thoughts
At this point in the development cycle Van Helsing looks like it will be a decent entry into the Third Person Shooter genre -- if the development team keeps going in the right direction. Currently, Van Helsing is scheduled to come out this May.

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