Neocore Games' The Incredible Adventures of Van Helsing will have a traditional action role-playing skill tree so players can maximize customization and determine their own play style, according to the developers.
Speaking to Polygon, Neocore's Orsolya Toth and Linda Bozoradi said that a big part of the studio's action RPG is its skill tree system, which has its roots in traditional skill trees from games like Diablo 2.
"In Van Helsing, you have the freedom to choose any direction you want on the skill tree," Toth said. "In a game like Diablo 3, you unlocked the skills and you couldn't choose which path to take — you would reach a level and a skill would be unlocked, and you didn't have a choice. While we're huge fans of both Diablo 2 and Diablo 3, we definitely drew more inspiration from Diablo 2."
In Van Helsing, players will have access to two separate skill trees: the melee skill tree and the ranged skill tree. According to Toth, both skill trees can be combined, and players can strategically choose paths so that their skills from both trees complement each other.
"So say you're building a melee character, you can use the spells of the ranged skill tree with a melee weapon," she said. "So there are many different ways you can advance your character."
Toth told Polygon that players will not be able to unlock every skill in a single playthrough, so they will be forced to choose a path. Their choices will then be reflected in their character. The game doesn't have character classes, but the skill trees allow players to customize Van Helsing and his companion, Lady Katarina, in such a way that one player may have a ranged character while another has a melee character and another has a magic-focused character.
Beyond the skill trees, the game also has tricks and auras, which players can learn from NPCs. Players can learn up to eight auras and tricks, but only two can be active at the same time. When used, tricks and auras only last for a limited time and have a cool-down time. They include skills like stopping time, haste, drawing a magical shield around yourself and more.
The Incredible Adventures of Van Helsing is in development by Neocore Games for Windows PC, Xbox Live Arcade, and Mac. A trailer for the game's skill customization can be viewed above.