V Rising logo during opening cinematic.
Screenshot by GameSkinny

V Rising 1.0 Review: A Bloody Good Survival Game

V Rising shines in the moonlit landscape of survival games with an expansive world and RPG elements.

V Rising is an open-world survival crafting game that puts you in a vampire’s coffin. It pits you against the sun, as well as bosses descended from Dracula’s blood. Featuring castle building, vampire hunters, different quests, and an expansive map to explore, V Rising is a standout survival title with more potential waiting to be developed.

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V Rising 1.0 Full Launch Review

Much has changed since we first got our hands on the vampire-themed survival title by Stunlock Games. V Rising Early Access released on May 17, 2022, and the game has had various improvements implemented over the last two years. These include a complete overhaul to castle building and a map expansion to the new area of Gloomrot.

Character at 100% creature Blood type in V Rising.
Screenshot by GameSkinny

Along with the 1.0 launch comes the Castlevania crossover and the Ruins of Mortium content. The new location introduces multiple bosses, over 10 new enemies, and multiple new mechanics, including a world event. The region leans into the vampire lore, expanding on the Dracula elements in the title.

After spending most of my time exploring, draining enemies, and transforming into different shapes, I can conclusively say that V Rising is a comprehensive survival game with RPG elements that any fan of the genre can sink their teeth into. There are easily over 50 hours of content that can be experienced solo or with friends.

Unique Survival Post-Dracula

V Rising character standing near a gem pillar and Fire Blossom.
Screenshot by GameSkinny

Like most entries in the survival genre, there’s a heavy focus on resource harvesting, base building, and crafting. However, unlike other titles, you don’t unlock recipes or plans when you first acquire an item. You also don’t learn most plans upon building a new crafter.

Instead, you’re charged with tracking down and feeding on V Blood carriers, bosses with unique blood that imparts pieces of Dracula’s wisdom. Once defeated, corresponding recipes are unlocked, allowing you to progress your base and build.

Along with learning plans via bosses, you acquire knowledge by finishing quests. These range from building a roof for the first time to upgrading your castle’s heart a certain number of times. These impart the RPG feel the game has while still retaining the core survival mechanics.

V Rising character seeing Tristian the Vampire Hunter V Blood Boss.
Screenshot by GameSkinny

Castle Building Is a Highlight

One of the things I really enjoyed in V Rising was building up my castle. Typically, I could care less about building a nice base as long as I have all the crafters I need constructed. Not only are there interesting decorative pieces you can build, including various topiaries, but the storage units are designed like shelves or desks.

The main thing that makes base building stand out here is the bonuses crafting machines get. Reduced material cost and crafting time are awarded depending on whether the machine is in an enclosed room or specific flooring is present. It fancies your castle and provides an incentive all at once.

V Rising character's castle throne room.
Screenshot by GameSkinny

An Expansive World Limited by Fast Travel

There are multiple regions in V Rising, each with its own distinct resources, adversaries, and environment. Starting out in the Farbane Woods, you can continue to explore Dunley Farmlands, Hallowed Mountains, Silverlight Hills, Ruins of Mortium, Gloomrot, and The Cursed Forest.

Traversing these areas can be easy, especially in Wolf form, unless it’s daylight. The sun inflicts massive amounts of damage after being exposed for a few seconds. Resistance potions can increase the exposure time, but it still affects how long it takes to get to your destination.

Waypoints littered around the region allow you to jump from one area to the next in the blink of an eye. These teleporters make it easy to travel, but they come with a large restriction. Certain items being in your backpack block you from being able to use the waypoints.

This may not seem like a big issue at first. The items that cause this, however, are often important ones. Skill books, gems, cloth, leather, and more crafting resources are the issue. It’s a huge bother to go out of your castle to loot resources on the other side of the map and then have to run all the way back because those materials override fast travel.

V Rising Review — The Bottom Line

Pros

  • Gameplay loop variety
  • Creative recipe unlocking
  • Detailed castle building mechanics

Cons

  • Teleportation restrictions

Stunlock Studios has created a smash hit in V Rising. Not only is it a solid survival game, but it introduces creative mechanics to the genre that often depends on tried and true practices. The narrative is primed with areas the dev team can expand into, which I’m really looking forward to.

9
V Rising 1.0 Review: A Bloody Good Survival Game
V Rising shines in the moonlit landscape of survival games with an expansive world and RPG elements.

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Author
Ashley Erickson
Ashley, otherwise known as Glitchiee, is an avid gamer of RPGs, TTRPGS, farming sims, and survival crafting games. Playing since she can remember, she started on the SNES, GameBoy Color, and collection 1st gen Pokemon cards. Using her passion for gaming, she's written about games for a combined total of 2 years.