For #9 we have another surprise title: An ARPG developed by a studio known for City builders.
Victor Vran had a lot riding against it: The first time attempt by a studio into the ARPG genre, competing with the likes of Diablo 3 and Grim Dawn and having a very generic hero. Yet it managed to work, thanks to a fresh take on the genre with a different sense of design.
Featuring a more action take on the ARPG, Victor Vran provided a design usually seen in action games on the consoles. Having each weapon type be a class in of itself was inspired, along with challenges on every level for the completist out there. Instead of trying to directly compete with the other ARPGs on the market, Haemimont Games made Victor Vran as a game similar in the genre, but different enough to stand alone. Despite its originality, Victor Vran did lack the long-term play of hits like Diablo 3, but it was still enough to get a mention on this list.
It also stands as a good example of letting developers branch out into other genres and not be tied to just one; as again, a game of this kind could only come from someone from outside of the genre. At this point, it’s unsure if they will return to the world of Victor Vran in a sequel or if the expansion DLC will be it, but this does show that Haemimont has more up their sleeves than just making city builders.
Up next for #8, the last surprise for me of 2015, a genre that I’m not usually a fan of coming from a first time studio.