Vampire hunting at night in a village

PREVIEW / V Rising (PC)

Stunlock Studios has released Early Access of V Rising, a vampire, open-world survival game. I remember the vampire craze back in the early 2000s so it’s no surprise that almost 15 years later there’s a new game on the rise that follows these blood-sucking monsters. Personally, I’m a fan of vampires, but I wanted to see what makes these particular vampires special or if the experience would simply recycle the usual tropes found in the world of vampires.



I was excited to jump into the game when I realized I first had to create my vampire. Character customization, in my opinion, makes a game more personal and adds depth to the story, but the design currently looks very basic. While there is room to expand, I wish that V Rising included something a little more advanced such as attributes, skills, clothing, etc. There is room for improvement but I feel like the gothic vibe is half-hearted with the bare-bones appearance of the models, making it hard to be fully immersed in the setting. Even though I’m not entirely convinced the vampires are gothic, I am hopeful that the developers will build out this feature.


Female vampire stands at the bottom of stone stairs


After a slightly disappointing prelude, my expectations for the gameplay were low, but upon seeing my vampire, Drusilla, arise from her slumber, my excitement grew. I was immediately captivated by the detail of my surroundings and the desolate biome exuded the gothic mood I was seeking. Navigating the world is incredibly easy and I was impressed with the game mechanics, which are already fairly polished. The top left corner of the screen displays current objectives as well as the number of items needed before you unlock a crafting ability to upgrade your character. While V Rising is described as an open-world game, there are elements that make it feel rather linear, making it hard to deviate from current objectives unless you want to waste time wandering aimlessly.


Female vampire is in combat with rotting ghoul


Gathering items for crafting is a simple task but there are dozens of enemies I encountered along the way. Thankfully, combat in V Rising is straightforward and once you know how different creatures attack, it’s easy to time your own attacks. Perhaps the best part about enemies is that many of them provide resources once they’re slain so it doesn’t take long to unlock crafting recipes. My favorite creatures to kill were the rats. There’s really nothing menacing about them but there’s something satisfying about having such a normal animal to attack amongst the ghouls and golems of Vardoran.


V Rising customization of vampire female


I know I’ve barely touched the surface of what this game offers, but I don’t want to spoil too much. Sure, you’ll find the full vampire experience as you hide from the sun, hunt for blood, and live in your castle, but there’s so much more to explore and build that extends outside of those vampire tropes. The game is available now on Steam and has already gained momentum. I think Early Access has the potential to turn into something really unique and fresh, whether you’re a fan of these cold-blooded monsters or are looking for a new fantasy survival game.



This preview is based on an early access copy of the game provided by the publisher.