PAX Prime: The Incredible Adventures of Van Helsing 2 & Death Trap Hands-On Preview

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The Incredible Adventures of Van Helsing 2 is the next game by Neocore Games, a Hungary based developer who released its first Van Helsing title earlier this year. While Van Helsing 2 hasn't been given a release window, or even a trailer, the game is already in playable form.

Van Helsing 2 takes place directly after the previous title, and allows players to import their characters—similar to the Mass Effect series. This time around, the game gives the player the option to choose one of three distinct classes, the standard Hunter familiar to those who played the first game, as well as the magically-gifted Thaumaturge and Arcane Mechanic who focuses on the use of gadgets and machinery to fight back.

Starting up the demo as a Thaumaturge, I was directed to all of the special meters at the bottom of the screen and how to manipulate them to be a force to be reckoned with in combat. I was a bit unsure how I would fare running around in a sequel while getting a crash course in the games history. Thankfully, Van Helsing 2 is welcoming and uses a very simple control scheme that gives you a great deal of control without being overwhelming.

One of the main powers that the Thaumaturge had was his ability to paint the ground with fire, by simply dragging the mouse cursor around. This ability was a staple of my toolkit, as I could maneuver myself around while keeping a powerful line of offense up, slowing down enemies to create a gap of space where I could summon my more powerful, but slow casting spell.

Fans of the first Van Helsing will be happy to hear that the quirky throwbacks to pop-culture will be making a return, as even during my demo, a giant monster guarding a bridge told me that I couldn't pass. Obviously being a subtle nod to The Lord of the Rings and Gandolf, and myself being a huge fan of the trilogy, I immediately had a giant smile on my face. There is also the return of Lady Katarina, the companion that assists you on your journey by running to the shop for you to bring you potions or even just to kick butt. Also, the witty dialog between characters will be making a return.

Also, while getting a hands-on preview for Van Helsing 2, Neocore Games were nice enough to set up a demonstration specifically for us to get a look at an upcoming stand-alone tower defense title under the same Van Helsing franchise called Death Trap.

Playing through an early build, the game used the Arcane Mechanic class to set up a number of towers with various abilities to stop the impending onslaught of enemies. The towers, while only few in number at the moment, had several major mechanics covered, like blowing dangerous fire or freezing anything that walked by. The addition of teleporters immediately communicated to me that I would have to be doing a lot of leg work, too.

After dropping the towers and clicking the start button, the waves starting to shuffle down and I ran around with a flamethrower stopping what I could, all while jumping in-between teleporters and putting up defenses.

Given the early stages of the build, the game ran very well and seemed to be pretty fleshed with plenty of entertainment value. As details regarding the game are still very thin, we will have to wait and see what else Neocore has up their sleeves.

The Incredible Adventures of Van Helsing 2 and Death Trap will be available for PC in the not too distant future.