Seeing an early build of a game is a tricky thing. You’ve got to peel back the rough outer skin, brush off the construction dust and allow your imagination to do its thing. As I peered into the soul of The Incredible Adventures of Van Helsing from Neocore Games, it was easy to see the wit and charm that pervades the title.

The studio, based in Budapest, is hard at work on the new, gothic action RPG. The title features the sun of Abraham Van Helsing summoned back to his home of Borgovia by Count Vlados, a powerful vampire. A new evil has emerged, and the young Van Helsing must use sword and gun to take down an assortment of wonderfully designed baddies.

The art style is extremely impressive, and members of the team shared that the inspiration is 19th century Budapest. Architectural elements of the developers’ home has been woven into their created land, but it has become infested by werewolves, monsters and mutants… all of whom need to be put down.

Currently, the game is controlled using a combination of keyboard for movement and special powers and the mouse for attacks. It balks the click-and-move tradition of the genre and may change prior to the game’s release late this year. It was certainly the roughest area of the game, as there were no hotkeys for switching between melee and ranged, also. If controls are refined and the sense of humor and art style pervades, it should shape up to be a great experience.

We spoke about the single player game, with Van Helsing joined by an AI companion, the ghost of Lady Katarina, a sarcastic spirit with her own tricks (which weren’t revealed to me just yet). The monsters all appear to be very distinctive, so even if you’ve fought werewolves and creatures that look like the Frankenstein Monster’s ugly step-brother, the art style keeps things fresh. We still have a lot to see from Neocore, and I’m keeping my eye on what could be a great addition to one of my favorite genres.