Vampire Hunters Preview
I got the chance to play Vampire Hunters early, a “roguelite Survivors FPS” developed by Gamecraft Studios. Initially released on Steam Early Access on the 26th of July 2023, it asks and answers one simple question: What if Vampire Survivors was more like QUAKE orDoom?
You know, the title of the game is kinda… blatant, but… ah, I don't even have a joke for this. It is quite literally wearing its inspirations on its face and then some. For example, the goal of the game is flat out exactly like Vampire Survivors: survive against hundreds or thousands of enemies by levelling up and obtaining different and more powerful weapons and relics to kill anything in your way. And let me tell you: there is no such thing as “enough” weapons.
Do you like guns but hate needing to equip only one at a time, maybe two on a good day? Well, Vampire Hunters has you covered by letting you equip 10 guns at once, plus two secondary weapons, and two passive weapons. Is your dinky little machine gun not enough to deal with the hordes? Well, slap on a minigun, a grenade launcher, a laser, a holy water hose, a guided missile launcher, a second machine gun, a pulse rifle, and a sniper rifle! That should help you last at least five more minutes. The game, by default, auto-fires for you. As long as you have your crosshairs over anything that can be shot, it will shoot it with freakish accuracy. Like, literally, you could snipe a monster from across the map without even touching your controller. There is an option to fire manually, but why would you when you’re just gonna hold it down constantly?
And sweet, holy hell, there are so many enemies on the screen at once that I lose track of bosses. However, just because you're facing an overwhelming force doesn't mean you are totally screwed. Spawns are set in such a way that you always have an out should things get a little too hairy. You'll only get cornered if you let yourself be. You do have a panic button in the form of your Blood Skill, which will grant infinite ammo and more damage for a few seconds, which really helps against bullet sponges, clearing the hordes, or by melting bosses. Oh, I nearly forgot to mention, there are freaking boss fights.
And inevitably, you’re going to get yourself killed somehow, and it’s unlikely you’ll hit the time limit on your first try. But that’s why there are unlockables and upgrades to obtain. By just playing the game, you’ll be unlocking more items through achievements and gaining skills points for meta upgrades through just levelling up. There is definitely some natural progression, but there are some achievements that will be difficult to get. How the heck will I get 25 headshots in a row…?
If you’re getting tired of the usual challenges, though, you can select a few Constellations before starting your next run, which are modifiers that can severely affect how you play. Some make the game easier or harder, like allowing a free revive, restricting you to only your starting weapon or just flipping your screen upside down because why not?
And that's basically Vampire Hunters. I went into this game almost completely blind, just thinking how much it kind of looked like Doom, and came out of it with a new game I look forward to for its full release.