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V Rising review | PC Gamer

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Need to Know

What is it? A vampire-themed hybrid of action RPG and survival sandbox.
Release date May 8, 2024
Expect to pay $34.99/£29.50
Developer Stunlock Studios
Publisher Stunlock Studios
Reviewed on Ryzen 7 7700X, RTX 4080, 64GB RAM
Steam Deck Playable
Link Official site

I first started playing V Rising almost two years ago now, not long after it  launched into Early Access back in May 2022, and immediately it became an obsession. My friends and I would jump online every week and stay up until the early morning to work on our cute little vampire castle together, like we were playing a macabre version of Animal Crossing.

Eventually we all moved onto different games, but V Rising still frequently crossed my mind. I kept wondering what the full release of the game would look like, considering how feature rich and uncharacteristically bug-free the game already was for an Early Access title. Now 1.0 is here, and mostly it is just a more polished version of that initial launch, though with some very welcome additions—and I’m obsessed all over again.

Fangtasy world 

(Image credit: Stunlock Studios)

V Rising is an action-RPG at its core, but with mechanical layers that make it more of a survival sandbox. You play as a vampire, and every conceivable vampire trope has been tied into some element of the gameplay. Sunlight sets you on fire, garlic and silver will inflict debuffs, and of course you have to drink blood to survive and grow in strength. 

Most of your time is spent hunting down bosses, killing them to steal their powers. If you’re on a PvP server, you’ll also be turning those powers on other bloodsuckers—vampires never do seem to get along, do they?

What brings it all together is the crafting. Upgrading your gear requires you to farm resources, but they have to be refined at your player-built castle. Defeating bosses unlocks different workstations you can build, further expanding your options for what you can make.  

(Image credit: Stunlock Studios)

This gameplay loop is where V Rising really shines. It’s a familiar formula—a little bit Valheim-with-vampires—but it stands out thanks to a progression system that’s wonderfully well-balanced and rewarding. Boss fights feel tough but fair, and each unique enough to make every new encounter fresh and exciting. That’s pretty impressive considering there are 57 of them out there to hunt down. 

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