Fury Of Dracula PS4 Review: Power In Numbers

Based on the 1987 classic board game, Fury of Dracula has you play as a group of hunters or the toothy one himself as they battle it across Europe before the end of days.

Fury of Dracula Digital Edition from Nomad Games and Dovetail Games is a gothic horror adaptation of the classic Games Workshop board game from the late 80s. As you may have read in the Gloomhaven review, I know nothing of board games other than the likes of Mouse Trap and Hero Quest, but I do have a penchant for vampires. Nothing weird about that.

The game is set in 19th century Europe where you play one of four vampire hunters on the pursuit of the big D. Steady. However, an update to the earlier news piece: you can also play as Dracula, and despite the odds, playing as either side is surprisingly well-balanced. 

Dracula has too much influence, and the hunters, Lord Arthur Godalming, Dr John Seward, Mina Harker and Dr Abraham Van Helsing, team up to destroy him before he gains too much influence. As hunters, your strength is in numbers and the fact you can move during the day, where the Count has to remain hidden.

Whether the transition from board game to videogame is accurate, I don’t know, but what I can say is Fury of Dracula is an immersive game. As a novice board gamer, one area that puts me off is the excessive rules. Games are only fun when there are rules, and everyone understands them (to break them!), but reading through manuals and calculating moves tests my patience levels, which is pretty high. In Fury of Dracula’s case, the tutorials are comprehensive but concise.

Fury of Dracula on consoles
Source: Steam

Europe is divided into numerous regions (like IRL!), and assuming you’re taking control of the hunters; you strategically place your team to counter the movements of Dracula. Only, you have no idea where he is as he’ll remain hidden. To find him, you follow leads such as hideouts that give away his current position. Beware: Dracula can leave traps at these hideouts to slow you down.

These traps have two effects: an immediate one causing harm, perhaps through combat, and one that matures over time, increasing his influence. It’s key to remove these threats for obvious reasons, but should Dracula gain an influence of 13 (represented in a gauge on screen), it’s game over. The only way to beat him is through combat.

The key to success is playing the right cards. Hunters have a punch, dodge and escape card – all self-explanatory, where Dracula has many attacks that damage hunters, reduce their attack power and more. As a hunter, you can’t play the same card in a row, so you must pre-empt what Dracula will play and counter it. This is reflected in icons displayed on the cards. Fury of Dracula is intuitive, and the tutorials genuinely help, but you’ll need to memorise the cards so you can predict what Dracula will play and counter it. 

Ideally, you want to get all the hunters to coordinate their attack simultaneously as there are only six rounds per battle. However, the Prince of Darkness will do everything to delay them through his deck, including roadblocks, storms and spawning new vampires. The game is won if you a) destroy Dracula, b) Dracula becomes an influencer. “Hey guys, welcome to my channel… like and subscribe…”.

Fury of Dracula Review - Dig in
Dig in! Source: PR

The presentation was excellent, and the illustrations respect the source material. Combat Dracula looks like Christiano Ronaldo, while his card counterpart looks like a mash-up of Bela Lugosi and Christopher Lee. I can’t fault the soundtrack – it was perfect for the game’s tone.

Fury of Dracula is a slow-burner but never drags. Combat as a hunter feels hard going as the enemy seems invincible, but on the other hand, playing as Dracs was superb, though I wish hunters died after battle rather than heading to the hospital. 

Note that I played exclusively in solo mode. An online version is available, and naturally, it’s better with friends, but my family were too young for this, and my gaming friends weren’t interested in board games or vampires. They’re missing out on both accounts. As a vampire aficionado with zero clout in the world of board games, Fury of Dracula gets an endorsement from me. 

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