Vampire Survivors Game Review

32 thousand reviews, 99% of which are positive. Stolen art from Bayonetta 2 in a picture representing the product. All this is Vampire Survivors – an unexpected hit that conquered Steam.

Vampire Survivors can hardly even be called a game in the full sense. All the player needs to do is walk around the arena, collect experience crystals from enemies killed by automatic combat and level up. There is no depth in this, but the project gets bored after half an hour of familiarization – there is simply nothing to do in it.

The game reminds of its cheapness from the first seconds, already in the main menu. The player-greeting art features boldly redrawn Dracula and Richter Belmont from Castlevania, as well as a magician in the pose of Bayonetta – straight out of the box for WiiU or Nintendo Switch. The project is launched in a small window, and when you try to stretch it to full screen, there is a big chance to stop seeing anything at all – your eyes flow out of the poor graphic performance instantly.

Vampire Survivors is made with pixel art, and its quality is so low that the developer would be advised to never try to draw at all again. Moreover, the creator of the project generally decided not to be shy and seemed to take the models of enemies, heroes and weapons from the old Castlevania and slightly redrawn them. Bats, zombies, even one of the main characters is almost one to one licked from Alucard from Symphony of the Night.

Appearance – it’s half the trouble. With what passes for gameplay here, it’s even worse. As mentioned above, all the player can do is move the dummy around the screen. During this, dozens, and then hundreds of enemies fly into him, their hero attacks automatically. By killing the undead and gaining experience, the vampire fighter can be upgraded – choose new weapons for him, improve the old ones, and also receive items to increase the characteristics of the protagonist.

But the diversity here is deceptive. If in the same Loop Hero the success of his campaign depended only on the player, and he had to think strategically – how best to build the path of the main character. Here, the waves of enemies are always the same, weapons are always collected only the most practical, and pumping goes along the same path.

After practicing on the first map and coming to the second level, I managed to pass it the first time – simply because I already knew that the “whip-book-garlic-axes” combination works always and everywhere. Having pumped the area of ​​affection and damage, I removed my hand from the keyboard and just looked at the screen, sometimes clicking the “Space” button to select new items for the received level. And then all the enemies disappeared at once, the boss “Death” flew in and killed the hero with one blow – the game issued the victorious “Stage Complete”.

Around the middle of the second level, the sound design began to hurt my ears and my head so much that I had to turn off any sounds from the game. Each pickup of an experience crystal, a blow to an enemy, and terrible music are played constantly and non-stop, literally killing the love for everything beautiful in the player’s soul and causing physical pain.

The presented opponents at the two levels are different, but there are too few of them. The longer the player survives, the stronger the developer’s fantasy ends – the same undead appears, but healthier and more painfully biting, in large quantities. Then waves of mini-bosses come into play.

For each attempt, the player is rewarded with gold, with which you can open new characters and permanent passive abilities – an increase in the collected gold, an increase in damage, or the ability to resurrect after a defeat. Is it helpful? Yes, in part. Does it increase engagement in the process? No.

But the game doesn’t end there. With the gold earned, the player buys upgrades for heroes or increases the difficulty level. Then the strength and number of monsters will increase. Bored of completing levels the usual way? Speed up the timer twice or set the mode to “hyper”. Turn on tarot cards that give bonuses. You can endlessly improve weapons, which will make the dummy omnipotent.

After all, even The Binding of Isaac borrowed from Catlevania and The Legend of Zelda. The main thing is how Vampire Survivors uses the stolen models. Although a horde of monsters is rushing towards the player, you don’t get lost in the chaos – the same arrow pointing to the chest is visible even if the screen is filled with enemies.

Weapons also participate in the chaos – with each level, the effects become brighter and larger. Over time, the screen will be covered with lightning, glowing puddles, axes, and rainbow projectiles.

Too bright effects give out chests. When you open them, everything sparkles, crystals and money fly out. It seems to be a hidden gem that is hard to find.

Arenas do not indulge in sophisticated designs. Walls, floor and some interior items. Some have interactive items, like carts that knock down monsters. Or the windows in the temple – if they are broken, then the sunlight will destroy the next creatures of the night.

But the composers did not guess with music. This cacophony is more distracting than immersing in the game. The squeaking sound when picking up crystals or killing enemies hits hard on the ears, and over time, this causes a headache. It is better to turn off all audio in the game, and put your own music, stream or video in the background.

Vampire Survivors is a versatile game. It is suitable for those who want to turn off the brain and enjoy pure gameplay. Lovers will like to find secrets in unexpected places. It’s easy to feel almighty here by collecting and upgrading artifacts. The diversity of characters, both standard and playful, is also pleasing – like a skeleton, a dog, or even a tree.

Hardcore fans may not like the game – it’s too easy to upgrade the hero. Even if you buy difficulty levels to increase the number of monsters and make them stronger, it will not become more difficult.