Vampire survival game's new expansion adds awesome multi-level castles with all the Dracula vibes

Vampire survival game V Rising remains in early access, and is celebrating its first anniversary with the Gloomrot expansion: In which developer Stunlock Studios has basically said sod it, let's add Frankenstein's monster. The studio has now released a trailer for the expansion, which arrives on May 17, but the big takeaway for me is just how awesome the new castles look.

The Gloomrot expansion adds a ton of new stuff to the game, but what has fans most excited is the multi-level building. A big part of V Rising's vampire fantasy is building your own gothic crib from which to terrorise the world, replete with ornate furnishings and all the Dracula trappings one could wish for. There was a bit of an issue though: The castles could only have one floor, which led players to the amusing solution of building their den on slopes to give it the illusion of height.

The trailer opens with some long, lingering shots of a vampire traipsing through their new stately pile and… yes, this is going to make me re-install V Rising. The castle interiors look incredible, the muted candlelight vibes are exquisite, and who doesn't want to sit on a giant throne sipping goblets of blood.

It goes on to highlight the new electricity-based magic that Gloomrot adds, as well as new bosses, locations, and some sort of awesome horse that looks straight out of Tam O' Shanter. Gloomrot's Franken-lands are their own new biome, wracked with electric storms with gothic technology rising above the land it pollutes, and adds new equipment types, weapons, "more V Blood Bosses, a new V Blood tracking system, and more enemy variety."

The only minor bummer is that, in preparation for Gloomrot's launch, Stunlock is going to close V Rising's official servers for five days: Starting at 12 am UTC on Friday May 12, and remaining down until May 17. Do note that player-run servers will not be affected. When the official servers return, players will have to start a new save to enjoy all the Gloomrot goodness, though the studio is going to keep a Steam branch publicly accessible for anyone who wants to keep playing with their old saves.

Rich Stanton

Rich is a games journalist with 15 years' experience, beginning his career on Edge magazine before working for a wide range of outlets, including Ars Technica, Eurogamer, GamesRadar+, Gamespot, the Guardian, IGN, the New Statesman, Polygon, and Vice. He was the editor of Kotaku UK, the UK arm of Kotaku, for three years before joining PC Gamer. He is the author of a Brief History of Video Games, a full history of the medium, which the Midwest Book Review described as "[a] must-read for serious minded game historians and curious video game connoisseurs alike."