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Van Helsing Review

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Hastily stitched together swashbuckling combat movie tie-in.

★★★★★

Much like the clumsy creature created by Victor Frankenstein in Stephen Sommers’ monster mashing movie, the Van Helsing game is hastily stitched together from the best parts of other action-packed console quests.

The swashbuckling combat owes its existence to Capcom’s Devil May Cry, with the titular vampire hunter using an outrageous arsenal
of guns and melee weapons to carve-up the hordes of hell, and an acrobatic assortment of rolls, cartwheels and other nimble moves to dodge attacks and move around the moody levels.

The game’s most versatile weapon — the grappling hook — is clearly copied from Midway’s Mortal Kombat series, allowing Helsing to snag distant monsters and haul them in for a pummelling from his whirling hand blades. The hook can also be used to swing to higher levels and hidden platforms, a device used to great effect in the Nintendo 64 classic, The Legend Of Zelda: Ocarina Of Time.

Fans of the Hugh Jackman blockbuster will quickly buy into the game as it weaves in and out of the movie narrative and fleshes out story elements touched on in the film, but seasoned players will feel as if they’ve seen it all before.