Vampire Survivors releases on Steam on October 20, 2022. I don’t hear about the game until November 10th, 2022. The game comes to PC Game Pass, where I first hear of it as I see it in Recently Released. My first thought is “this looks lame.” The game slowly makes its way down the Recently Released category in PC Game Pass and I forget all about it.
After a week or two goes by, a friend mentions the game in our Discord channel. He says that the game is a lot of fun and highly addictive. I’m like, really? He says yes and that I need to give the game a try. I abide.
I have to admit, Vampire Survivors sounds appetizing based on the summary description alone. I love rogue-lite games and I love games where you simply mow down a bunch of monsters. The Diablo series comes to mind as well as several other Hack-and-Slash games.
The game menu has a bit going on and I’m slightly confused at first. I’m not exactly sure what I am supposed to do at first or what my goals are. However, I’m okay with that. I pick a character and jump right in.
Visuals & Audio
The pixel art graphics look fantastic. The images are sharp and easy to make out what I’m looking at. The animations are smooth in the realm of pixel art. The colors appear to look good but I am colorblind so I can’t comment too much on that. I will say that my colorblindness did make it hard for me to see some details when the screen got busy. However, this wasn’t a game-breaking issue by any means. I survived (pun intended).
The soundtrack is amazing. The music is a combination of retro bit beats with a modern orchestra layered on top. Each stage has its own soundtrack and sets the atmosphere just right. The beginning of the soundtrack in the first stage grabbed me right away. It’s a fun track.
Wow! This game starts off slow but picks up rather quickly. You have to survive for 30 minutes while a ton of monsters try to kill you. What I find quite unique about this game is that you can pretty much play the game with one hand. All you do is control your character and pick a few options here and there. Everything else is automated. That may sound like a drag at first but it works. Seriously, it really does work and it’s fun.
Every character starts with their own unique weapon. As you kill monsters, they drop gems that level up your character. Every time you level up, you are presented with a few options. You can gain a new weapon or support item, or you can upgrade one that you already have. At some point, you can max out a weapon and then combine weapons with support items to gain a specialized weapon (a process called evolutions). You can do this up to a max of six weapons. Once you get a few weapons upgraded, your screen can get quite busy with projectiles and melee attacks. I find it fun to watch.
The monsters start off in low numbers at the beginning of a stage. However, as time progresses, more monsters appear. At certain intervals, a monster with a blue outline will appear. These monsters are harder but hold upgrades so you should do your best to take them down. Your screen can get busy with monsters but it’s fun to watch them get mowed down by your character.
Here is a spoiler-free clip of my gameplay:
Vampire Survivors is $4.99 when not on sale. The price is a steal. If you have PC Game Pass, then you already have the game. Regardless, get the game. You can get hours of fun out of it.
There are a ton of things to unlock. There are characters, weapons, support items, evolutions, arcana, stages, and more to unlock. This is where I find addiction to the game. Unlocking stuff feels very rewarding and the game makes you feel awesome for gaining an unlock.
I believe that Vampire Survivors is the first game that I have completed all of the achievements for on PC Game Pass. I don’t know the exact number but I put in somewhere around 35 hours of gameplay and I loved every minute of it.
As I See It
Vampire Survivors is a no-brainer if you are a fan of Hack-and-Slash and Rogue-lite video games. My initial thoughts of something so simple cannot be all that fun were immediately put to rest once I started the first stage. The fun factor is extremely high and so is the replay value. You get way more than your money’s worth.