Part action, part adventure, and part RPG, Vampire’s Fall: Origin, from indie developer Early Morning Studio, has successfully combined elements from classic RPG titles to create an original and exciting role-playing adventure game. Everything from the storyline to the tactical sword slashing gameplay is both fun and captivating.
The story, while old-school, isn’t too overly complex. You play as a recruit who has been tasked to defend a village from the threat of a Witchmaster and his legions of goons. Vampire’s Fall mixes traditional role-playing elements like building your character’s attributes to interacting with townsfolks with unconventional turn-based 2D combat. The variety between exploring the open area world and the turn-based mechanics keeps the game fresh and fun throughout the adventure. Controlling your character is effortless as you slay enemies, look for lost treasure, and battle tougher bosses the deeper you get into the game. The only repetitiveness here is that you often have to fight the same looking type of enemies over and over again.
From a graphical standpoint, Vampire’s look burst onto the screen with a simple but stylish hand-drawn retro look which feels like it was directly taken from Ultima VII. Each area is huge in scope and features hidden items, coins, loot, and obligatory treasure chests. The vibrant levels and unique characters showcase the game’s classic heroics. While the graphics may grab your eyes, the soundtrack and sound effects really take the immersion factor up a notch. Not only are the dialogues well done, but they also add personality to the characters you interact with. Some of the conversations, however, can get repetitive and long-winded. Thankfully, you can bypass it quickly with a simple mouse click.
On the downside, your character only has the animation to run from place to place. There are no additional actions for jumping or climbing which is unfortunate since that would have added more to the immersion factor. As it is now, your character can oftentimes get stuck between two rocks because the AI simply cannot contemplate a way to navigate around or over those obstacles. The only remedy is to manually run around it.
Overall, Vampire’s Fall: Origin shows good potential in mixing genres in a way that will appeal to a wider range of players. If the development team can work out some unclear missions and add more robust features that will differentiate this version from its mobile port, they might gain more traction enticing the diehard PC fans to cross over. Despite my nitpicking, the game is a solid title that should hold you over until the real Vampire (Vampire: Masquerade – Bloodlines 2, that is) hits the market sometime this year.
– Large World to Explore
– Retro Old-School Graphics
– Responsive Controls
– Good entry price point
– Players might be turned off by its mobile origins
– Pathfinding issues
– A few unclear missions / quests
If you’re looking to immerse yourself in a good role-playing game without breaking the bank, this might be the one to sink your teeth on.