V Rising Review (PS5) - A Fun Game That Cannot Be Thoroughly Enjoyed Without Friends  - PlayStation Universe (2024)

V Rising Review (PS5) - A Fun Game That Cannot Be Thoroughly Enjoyed Without Friends - PlayStation Universe (1)

V Rising Review (PS5) – Isometric games are a some a dozen now, with all kinds of different variants available. However, V Rising pops in with a new one: a vampire-themed PvP builder. With friends, this concept is a blast.

Without friends, though, you might see the game in an entirely different light.

V Rising Review (PS5) – A Fun Game That Cannot Be Thoroughly Enjoyed Without Friends

Mold Your Own Experience

V Rising Review (PS5) - A Fun Game That Cannot Be Thoroughly Enjoyed Without Friends - PlayStation Universe (2)

Apart from a few lines of dialogue along the way, V Rising doesn’t offer much in terms of a traditional narrative. Instead, it puts in front of you a world to explore with plenty of things around you to find, fight, and collect to mold your own experience.

Sunlight in V Rising plays into gameplay like no other game before it. As to be expected, you are a vampire, and according to lore, you burn in sunlight. That holds true in-game.

Now, this is still a game, and the dev team takes that into consideration. Instead of immediately burning, the game grants you a little buffer period before you start taking damage.

Even better still, a beam of sunlight slowly shines down onto you the longer you stand in the light. Naturally, once it reaches you, you take damage. To make things even more convenient for the player, if you stand on even a little bit of shadow and don’t get completely concealed, you still do not burn. Since the Sun moves naturally and shifts the shadows, this extra degree of freedom goes a long way to your survival chances.

To avoid this, you slink in the shadows of trees, rocks, or other objects to stay out of the light. The longer I played, the more I enjoyed this side of the game. Unlike most games like Diablo, I rarely, if ever, need to care about the map outside of where to go, what to hit, and what to pick up.

In V Rising, I need to care about where everything is while running around in the daytime or I cook. That need to care about the overall experience like this makes the core gameplay feel more involved, much unlike the standard mindless dungeon crawler affair in many other games like it.

With that said, I feel that the looming danger of the Sun is a bit wasted in V Rising. I say this only because the gameplay loop follows the same repetitive path found in other games like it. Gather materials, craft gear and structures, kill enemies, repeat. This setting can also be turned off by the server host.

By no means does this point make the game bad. In fact, there are stretches of the game where I get deep into what I’m doing and what to do next. The gameplay loop of gathering and building has its own appeal. Hell, I dive deep into every Monster Hunter game I play for that very reason.

Fighting The Camera

V Rising Review (PS5) - A Fun Game That Cannot Be Thoroughly Enjoyed Without Friends - PlayStation Universe (3)

In contrast, the gameplay in Monster Hunter is something that I don’t just enjoy but I live and breathe it. Anyone who knows the Monster Hunter franchise knows that it can be oversimplified into an endless grind of fighting monsters in order to make better gear and weapons so you can fight stronger monsters.

V Rising follows a similar (albeit less action-y) pattern, with the difference being that you also need to gather tons of resources from structures and flora on the map in order to do so.

This part of the game made me stumble the most. I tend to avoid early access or betas simply because my brain tells me I did this already, despite any changes, and I don’t stick with it for long after that. I did the same thing with V Rising.

My impressions of the game were that V Rising is a dungeon crawler-like isometric game (which I compared to my nostalgic memories of Baldur’s Gate 2: Dark Alliance) with some additional gathering and building tidbits sprinkled here and there. I was very wrong.

Combat ended up playing much more differently than I anticipated. Naturally, you run with the Left Joystick, and you aim your skill shots with the Right Joystick. If you want to rotate the camera, you need to hold L2 and then use the Right Joystick. The closest comparisons that I can use based on experience to describe combat are League of Legends and Smite.

V Rising Review (PS5) - A Fun Game That Cannot Be Thoroughly Enjoyed Without Friends - PlayStation Universe (4)

Now, let me be clear in saying that these are loose comparisons. Specifically, it’s in the use of the Right Joystick to aim skill shots while moving. This works well enough for me in either game, since the camera angle is locked in League of Legends and the camera automatically follows behind you in Smite. Holding L2 grants you a playstyle closer to Smite, and playing with just the Right Joystick plays closer to League of Legends.

This is important for me to describe for one reason: I would enjoy this game so much more if I could toggle the camera options without having to hold a button to do so. Writing this out almost feels petty.

At the same time, if V Rising depended entirely on a fixed camera angle, then the world would likely be laid out so that everything can be seen without issue. As it stands now, tall trees, big rocks, and large formations often get in the way of the camera if you do not change the angle.

Unless you enjoy the building and creating gameplay loop for itself, the only other major reason to deeply dedicate your time to this game is in the game’s PvP.

Apart from a couple end game bosses and the aforementioned crafting loop, there isn’t much more to surmount. First and foremost, though, PvP combat feels quite intriguing, mimicking something like League of Legends in how you utilize the map and strategize your attacks.

It Takes A Vampire Village To Maintain Servers

V Rising Review (PS5) - A Fun Game That Cannot Be Thoroughly Enjoyed Without Friends - PlayStation Universe (5)

To make things more interesting, the game provides you with several different ways to play your character. These different specs come with their own abilities and play styles, offering five different ways to engage in combat.

To boot, you also change your blood type, by feeding on enemies and creatures, in order to receive different stat boosts. Combining these two systems adds some nice customization to your fighting style.

With that said, the PvP aspect of the game puts me off for a couple personal reasons. First, the game provides dedicated servers to both PvE and PvP, but these servers reset after 6 months.

To be fair, that provides a lot of time for players to do a great deal of development. However, instead of expanding on end game, V Rising makes you restart. I tend to dip in and out of games like this, and knowing my progress may not be there by the time I get back to it makes me not want to come back at all.

Now, for the sake of preservation, I do love that the game allows you to make your own servers. This means you can play both offline and online with people you know.

Plus, it also leaves the window open for random people to join your world. At the same time, if you join someone else’s world, you’re at their mercy to maintain the server’s uptime. This potential catch-22 creates problems for anyone who doesn’t reliably have friends to play with.

V Rising Review (PS5) - A Fun Game That Cannot Be Thoroughly Enjoyed Without Friends - PlayStation Universe (6)

A great deal of this game leans on your ability to not only build but also maintain your base or bases. Depending on the type of server you plan on, you could have to defend your bases against other players.

I haven’t tested it, but in theory you could go through the entire game without building or crafting anything. Considering you craft gear from buildings you construct, not building anything would drastically slow down an already slow growth and development process.

In terms of actually doing the building, the controls are surprisingly intuitive, considering it started on PC. The entire map sits on a grid, but the grid isn’t that obvious until you start building structures.

The foliage, trees, rocks, formations, etc. cleverly disguise the gridded foundation to the map. When building, the object appears where you want it, and you then just move the pending object around based on the tiled foundation.

There’s very little need to snap things into place, since the grid allocates for that function more naturally than, say, how building in Genshin’s Teapot lets you just snap two things side by side automatically. You can also build some extravagant bases the longer you play and dig into the building system.

It’s The Vampire Friends We Make Along The Way

V Rising Review (PS5) - A Fun Game That Cannot Be Thoroughly Enjoyed Without Friends - PlayStation Universe (7)

In all honesty, if I had been playing the game just to play the game, I wouldn’t have pushed through it. It’s just not my cup of tea with my limited social group that also wants to play games like this (basically zero).

There’s a lot of potential enjoyment here for people who find groups to play with and enjoy the grind of gathering resources to build bigger and better things. Niche games are great to have in this industry to keep things varied and open for growth.

Just don’t be surprised if V Rising doesn’t end up feeling the same as it looks in trailers and videos.

V Rising is now available on PS5.

Review code kindly provided by publisher.

V Rising Review (PS5) - A Fun Game That Cannot Be Thoroughly Enjoyed Without Friends  - PlayStation Universe (2024)

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