Vampire Hunters – Preview
Follow Genre: FPS, Rogue-lite
Developer: Gamecraft Studios
Publisher: Gamecraft Studios
Platform: PC
Tested on: PC

Vampire Hunters – Preview

Good: A highly enjyoable rogue-lite, Run and gun, retro visuals and music
Bad: Only four maps in two enviroments
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Video games involving vampires typically let you either play as a vampire or a vampire hunter. While we definitely enjoy the former, as evidenced by our appreciation for V Rising, there is something to be said for the latter. The aptly-titled Vampire Hunters lets you do just that. The game is currently in Early Access and already has a significant amount of content to offer, with developer Gamecraft Studios also having made the promise to at least double and potentially triple this by the time the game fully releases. Of course, we didn’t want to wait that long, so we grabbed a bunch of garlic and our trusty wooden stakes to see what Vampire Hunters had to offer at this stage.

Upon booting up the game, you’re greeted with a sparse menu that only offers a single option: to play the tutorial. Fortunately, our fears that this is all that Vampire Hunters had to offer were quickly quelled, as the main game automatically unlocked once we were taught the essentials. All we had to do was pick a hunter and select a level to tackle, and we were free to banish vampires and their thralls from the surrounding lands. The current version of Vampire Hunters offers four playable levels: two base levels, and two variants. Each of these is bookended by a boss fight. If this makes it seem like there isn’t a whole lot of content yet, rest assured that the levels themselves are on the larger side, taking quite a bit of time to complete. In order to unlock a new level, you’ll need to defeat a boss too, which isn’t an easy task. 

Things get gradually easier as you revisit levels. Vampire Hunters is a rogue-lite title first and foremost, and your characters will earn gold, both by just playing, but also by completing achievements. Any earnings can then be invested in upgrades of your weapons arsenal, so there is a distinct sense of progress to your characters. Initially, you have a selection of three hunters at your disposal, and each hunter has his or her own unique weapons and stats.

When it comes to actual gameplay, Vampire Hunters stands out through a rather unusual blend of mechanics, incorporating elements from both boomer shooters and on-rail shooters mixed with rogue-lite gameplay. A device pushes you forward through each level with no way to backtrack. This adds some challenging aspects to navigating the stages, as your hunter will take damage when pushed into a wall, for example, but it also means that any loot you don’t snag is lost. The continuous push forward prevents any stealth gameplay, so your best bet is to tackle the action head-on and go in guns blazing. 

It’s through those guns that Vampire Hunters truly stands out. You have a main weapon, of course, but you’re able to attach additional weapons to that main weapon, turning it into a serious meat grinder. As if that wasn’t enough, you’ll be able to buy a rare perk that increases the odds of getting a weapon on your left arm as well. This means that you can wield up to ten guns at once, turning you into a nigh-unstoppable force. On top of that, you’ll also have access to two passive and active skills that further buff your hunter. Passive skills buff your character in helpful ways, or will automatically deal damage at specific intervals. Meanwhile, active skills are activated manually and can really get you out of a pinch. 

Whenever you start a new run of a level, you only have your main weapon at your disposal, and you’ll need to collect the souls of enemies to level up your hunter as well as unlock upgrades and more weapons. Sometimes you’ll need to choose between acquiring a new weapon or upgrading an existing one. This approach adds some variety to Vampire Hunters, although the on-rails levels themselves are designed in such a way that enemies will always spawn in the same way. The upside to this is that you can optimize your runs by memorizing enemy spawn points of course. You’ll be playing the levels over and over again plenty of times anyway, as no matter how powerful your character becomes, enemies are relentless and it’s easy to become overwhelmed, and that’s even without keeping any bosses in mind. Mastering weapons and skills truly is essential to success here. 

From a visual standpoint, Vampire Hunters isn’t quite there just yet. The retro-inspired pixel visuals are reminiscent of old-school shooters and there is plenty of detail in the in-game assets such as weapons, so a lot of effort was put into bringing to life what’s already here. However, most enemies are simply recolours of existing ones and the map variants only slightly change up the lighting. Hopefully, more visual variety will be added when Vampire Hunters expands. Fortunately, there is more variety when it comes to the game’s audio, with an extensive selection of tracks. You even can select your favorite tune before choosing a stage, allowing you to listen to it as you blast your way through a horde of enemies.


Even at this stage of development, it’s easy to recognize Vampire Hunters for the truly fun rogue-lite experience that it is. Hoarding weapons and growing stronger as you mow through endless waves of monsters and collect their souls is a blast. The different hunters add some much-needed variety to playing through the limited number of stages, as they ensure that each run still feels somewhat unique. The retro visuals are adequate but could use more variety, but the kick-ass OST more than makes up for this. Vampire Hunters feels relatively limited right now, but the promise of new maps, weapons, and enemies is enough to have us keep an eye on it for the future.


VN:R_U [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: 0.0/10 (0 votes cast)
VN:R_U [1.9.22_1171]
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Never give up on a dream. It might be a long nightmare, but one day it will change into a beautiful reality - MC_JP 2014

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