Great moments in PC gaming: Reaching the DPS singularity in Vampire Survivors

Great moments in PC gaming are bite-sized celebrations of some of our favorite gaming memories.

Vampire Survivors

(Image credit: Poncle)

Developer: Poncle
Year: 2022

For most of a run in Vampire Survivors, you’re scrambling. Grabbing XP gems wherever you can, praying for the weapons you need, ducking and weaving around just-slightly-too-big-to-handle hordes. A lot of runs never escape this phase, especially early on in your time with Vampire Survivors—you struggle to keep your head above water, only to drown in a tide of monsters before your build ever really clicks. 

But when you do reach escape velocity, it is glorious.

That moment, when your build tips over the edge into synergised harmony and suddenly you’re an unstoppable whirlwind of destruction? It’s sublime. A hundred particle effects firing off at once, absurd waves of projectiles flying out of you, overpowered combinations firing off to keep you perpetually healed, freeze your enemies in place, or simply eradicate everything in sight. One minute, you’re fleeing the latest onslaught of foes; the next, you’re realising you can simply stand still and let them come to you without any fear at all.

In a normal RPG, you can spend tens or even hundreds of hours chasing your perfect build—and there’s often much less light at the end of that tunnel than you expect, giving you nothing to really throw your theory-crafted attacks at once your character finally comes together two hours before the end. Vampire Survivors not only distils that experience down to 30 minutes or less, it makes sure that there’s a thrilling reward for reaching that DPS singularity: you become the baddest mother in the room. 

Wiping out anything that even looks at you funny is never going to stay exciting for long—ultimately it’s the point where you stop really needing to give the game any input. But Vampire Survivors gives you just enough time to luxuriate in your feeling of superiority, making sure to wildly escalate the assaults against you in the last 5–10 minutes of a run to give you plenty of targets for your overwhelming new power. It’s a high that’s both delicious enough and short enough to get you jonesing to feel it again as soon as possible. 

And then, like a fighter pilot breaking the sound barrier, you eventually discover that’s not even the true climax. Learn the tricks and put in the work and you can make a character so god-like you can even break the game’s inherent 30-minute time limit and wage war against the once seemingly invincible Grim Reaper that arrives to slay you at the end of every run. It’s an endgame for the endgame, and a wonderful celebration of the pleasure of being ridiculously, stupidly, joyously overpowered. 

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