Review — V Rising

V Rising — Key Art

We sit down and review V Rising. A new survival game where we take on the role of a vampire building up to kill Dracula. Here is our review of V Rising

It feels like we have been waiting oceans of time to get a full version of V Rising out there, and we finally have that. Not just for the PC but also the PS5 after Stunlock Studios has been able to make it out of the Early Access and give us all the ability to play as a new vampire out there. All with a new way to survive a medieval and fantasy world in the mix. Along with some of the fun cameos from other IPs too. All of which begs the question, “Is V Rising worth the time and money?” That is where we are stepping in for our readers to let you know with our review of this version of the game. Grab your blood bags and get ready to see if we have what it takes to bring down Dracula a few pegs or if it is something that should be buried twelve feet down.


Night has fallen on Vardoran and the evil creatures of the night are back from the grave again. Along with many other evils that are stalking the lands as Dracula made the world open to all of that. Thankfully, humans have opted to not go quietly into the night and taken up arms and honed their skills at ending these creatures, Unthankfully, we happen to be one of these newly risen vampires in the world and are not really keen on dying. Now we need to set out to rebuild our own little segment of the land so we can thrive and defend ourselves from these humans. All so we can try to take on bigger tasks out there…

V Rising — Review

V Rising — Review


I am going to need to start off with an issue I ran into that feels like it is mainly a PS5 thing for V Rising and that has to come down to the UI. That is always an issue when getting games like this to port over well, and for the most part, it did, but you can see where some of it did not translate well. Like the need to use the right stick to aim instead of just rotating the camera. To rotate you need to hold the left trigger and the right stick. Then there is the use of magic and vampire skills in V Rising that also have a few clunky UI bits that would fit well on a PC where you can make shortcuts, but only led to me firing off the wrong thing at the wrong times. This never led to any issues with things being too broken in the game, but there was a lot of frustration or just opting to hold down triggers instead of using the system by default. By the time you are reading this, it might have been patched out, but it was a pain during my gameplay and was something I needed to bring up.

After getting used to the UI on the console, I was hoping that the rest of V Rising would flow nicely and we would get to be the vampire we always wanted to be. You can, but there is a lot of grinding that has to be done, and a lot of it feels unnecessary beyond forcing the game to be longer. It is an open and active world, but no matter the level of skill one might have, you will need to chop down too many trees and grind up too many piles of stone to get there. I understand having a progression system, but when moving on in V Rising is based on building certain things in our castle and we cannot get them unless we hunt down a specific hunter, let us make those mistakes or leaps forward. There was a hunter I needed to kill in the game to get a recipe, but they were 10 levels higher so the game would not let me take them on even though personal skill would have allowed for it. Instead, I had to keep hunting down lower-level and boring things just to move on. Let me make those mistakes or reap the rewards for my skill, please.

Lastly, and it is a bit of a mix of the above, in V Rising we need to build up weapons and armor in the game. Using many of the plethora of resources in the world while also going through pages of UI to make sure we have those things. All while hoping our rank is built up enough that we can target the specific hunters in our hunts. All of which was mostly made more of a grind by allowing for using range and enemies in the world to do our dirty work. What is the point of having the power creep and grind on our end when the game can be made easy by using some basic tactics? Since the world is always living on the server, creatures and animals will spawn in and target each other for no real reason. In fact, during my first hunt that was made a big deal, I barely got to participate as a bear wandered in and handled it. All to boil down to, if I can be smart in the game, why do we need to grind? Why not open that up and remove the need for weapons and other things to pad the UI more with when they do not fully matter? A long way of saying, items and armor felt like another way to punish players for being smart in the game.

V Rising — Review

V Rising — Review


Once I was able to move on from the UI and basic grind of V Rising, I was able to start to enjoy many of the other things going on in the world. Like the fact it is living and could offer up so much, that became my focus and what I started to love about the game. The layout of towns, mines, and camps all made sense out there, and felt like they were more than just locations for us to slaughter in. Almost as if there was a bit of environmental storytelling going on to give us clues as to what or why certain things were placed out there. It did not always make sense, but most of the time it just leaned into other aspects of V Rising for us to explore. That was a true highlight of my time, to see how the world was laid out and what was where. Also to see all of the different character and creature types that had taken up residence in some places. Did it lead to me getting killed a few times? Sure. But I always wanted to see the world and how we were changing it along the way. A solid break from the grind of it all.

Even though it was a bit of an issue to get to some of the recipes in V Rising, once I did, finding and harvesting some of the resources became a bit more of the fun out there. Making sure I was hitting a sulfur deposit instead of a copper one. Or finding pieces of paper from random bandits so I could unlock more. It was a bit of a grind but once I was able to find the goal and set it, I could get further lost in the world to make a straight line to the deposits or enemies that held them. Even if some of the things in V Rising felt like they were truly unneeded, I still put more time into finding them all and then going through all of the processes to build them all up. All so I could get a better castle and keep out of the sun for as long as I could. Almost like I do in real life, so maybe that is a good hint as to why this aspect was a fun thing for me to go through. Even if some of the recipes did not make perfect sense from the start and had a lot more trial and error, I still enjoyed unlocking them as I did.

Lastly, and a bit more of the touch from above, I rather did enjoy that V Rising would allow you to play smart and use the world to your advantage. In some instances. For instance, in my main castle, I was able to find a location that had some powerful creatures that would spawn in the area just in front of it. Far enough away that they would not attack my castle but in a place where enemies would need to run through them to get to me. This kind of planning and persistence throughout the run of the game not only made things easier, but also let me learn about how to use it in other ways in the game. Not everything needed to be brawn when you can run bigger enemies into others and then loot the corpses. I had a blast doing that even though it was not the best reward to it all or was something that could be used on all things in the game. If I was able to kite a whole lot of enemies into a town, vanish, and then slaughter the remainders after, it would have been a short game, sure, but it would have been a way I would have liked to play the whole game as an option. It was that much fun when the game would allow it to work as intended.

V Rising — Review

V Rising — Review


If there is one thing you might have seen from all of this in V Rising, is that there is a whole lot of grinding that goes on. If that is not something that sounds fun to you, then this might not be the game for you. The UI issues and power-creep issues can be fixed, but were still there as well. So maybe play it on the PC if that sounded as if it was going to be of concern for you. That said, I did have fun while playing V Rising and put quite a few hours into it all. I was not always able to do it my way and had to go about it in ways that did not make the best sense, but fun was had. If you enjoy dark survival games where you need to build bases, then this is going to be one you will want to check out. Just, again, more likely on the PC instead of the console if that is an option for you.

I give V Rising 87% Rouge Blood Supply on the Rouge Blood Supply scale.

V Rising — Hades Plays: Full Steam Run [PS5 Gameplay]

V Rising was developed and published by Stunlock Studios for the PS5 with the full release on June 11th, 2024. A PlayStation copy of the game was provided by the publisher for reviewing purposes.

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