V Rising is a survival game where you're a vampire

Vampires are always thirsty and they have an antagonistic relationship with trees—well, wooden stakes—which makes them perfect protagonists for a survival game. Hell, one of the first things the gameplay trailer for vampire survival game V Rising shows is an angry dracula going to town on a tree with an axe, it's like the the opening minutes of a new game of Don't Starve only even more goth.

From there it gets a little more interesting, showing that you'll be able to craft your own castle, ride a horse, and build a crew of horse-riding buds, all while dodging daylight. (Although some of the action takes place in the daytime as well, apparently you can craft gear to lessen the hated daystar's effects.) 

Of interest to those familiar with Stunlock Studios' previous game Battlerite is the combat, which definitely seems to have some of the same spinny arena-brawler DNA. Lots of dashing, whirling, skillshots, and leaping up for slamdowns, combined with trad vamp moves like turning invisible or being a bat for a bit.

According to the press release, "To survive as a vampire, you need to hunt for blood in nearby settlements, hide from the scorching sun and avoid stepping into garlic fields." Something about the image of a vampire accidentally stepping into a field of garlic and wailing in agony cracks me up, but carry on. "Build your castle and invite blood-thirsty friends to join as you explore a gothic open-world, pillage villages, raid bandits, and wander into the territories of supernatural beasts."

There's a multiplayer component, with co-op and PvP. According to a blog post, the aim is to have "room for at least 50 castles per server". If you want to play solo or with select friends on a private server that'll apparently be an option, for that Valheim-with-friends feel. Fun fact: Stunlock are based in the Swedish town of Skövde, just like Valheim developers Iron Gate.

V Rising is coming out on Steam, and will have a beta later this year you can sign up for now. 

Jody Macgregor
Weekend/AU Editor

Jody's first computer was a Commodore 64, so he remembers having to use a code wheel to play Pool of Radiance. A former music journalist who interviewed everyone from Giorgio Moroder to Trent Reznor, Jody also co-hosted Australia's first radio show about videogames, Zed Games. He's written for Rock Paper Shotgun, The Big Issue, GamesRadar, Zam, Glixel, Five Out of Ten Magazine, and Playboy.com, whose cheques with the bunny logo made for fun conversations at the bank. Jody's first article for PC Gamer was about the audio of Alien Isolation, published in 2015, and since then he's written about why Silent Hill belongs on PC, why Recettear: An Item Shop's Tale is the best fantasy shopkeeper tycoon game, and how weird Lost Ark can get. Jody edited PC Gamer Indie from 2017 to 2018, and he eventually lived up to his promise to play every Warhammer videogame.