Vampyr was released on Xbox One, PlayStation 4, and Microsoft Windows on June 5th, 2018. Developed by Dontnod Entertainment and produced by Focus Home Interactive, this title provides another action role-playing experience. The setting takes place in 1918 London during the Spanish Flu Pandemic. Aside from people becoming deathly ill, they are also in the midst of being torn apart by vampires in the streets. The story focuses on the character Jonathan Reid, a renowned surgeon, who has become a vampire. Unfortunately, he has no memory of how or when he was attacked to become a vampire and awakes in a pile of corpses. Shortly after coming to, he murders his sister Mary and then vows to find the vampire who did this to them and get revenge. Would have been cool to consider that before killing his sister but who I am I say? Throughout the story, Jonathan encounters innocent civilians who contribute to gathering clues in order to unlock the mystery of underlying issues that are taking place in London.
As mentioned previously, this is an action role-playing game in the third party setting. Being a vampire, the main character is compelled to drink blood but you can decide who, if any of the characters you encounter, you want to kill. Killing more NPCs and draining their blood will result in receiving a significant boost to experience and hence unlocking skills at a much faster rate. However, there are consequences to every action you take and killing innocent civilians will alter the ending you receive. Similar to most role-playing games, you are given a skill tree and can determine exactly how you want your character to develop and what skill sets he should have.
The difficulty is going to directly correlate with how many civilians you decide to kill. Personally, I have decided not to kill any, if I can help it, and strictly level by killing enemies which have made the game a more difficult experience. If you decide you want to kill every human you run into, more than likely the game is going to be very easy for you. Interactions with NPCs follow an interaction map that is similar to games like Dragon Age or Mass Effect. However, the game adds a few unique experiences by providing additional dialogue options if you can find clues about particular characters through side quests or exploring all the dialogue options of other NPCs.
There are plenty of weapons to choose from between clubs, knives, guns, or even a hacksaw. Each weapon can be upgraded into different tiers. Each tier for the weapon unlocks new abilities you can choose from as well that usually relate to stamina consumption or damage output. Overall, there are many unique ways to turn Jonathan into a machine…as long as he doesn’t go in the sunlight. There is a wide variety of monster you will encounter through the game ranging from vampire hunters to other mythological beasts related to vampire lore. Most of the enemy encounters in the game can be avoided however boss fights are mandatory.
The third party view and combat coincide smoothly. I have found that the locking system for enemies is very helpful. Speed is Jonathan’s best friend, similar to most Dark Souls games, so dodging as often as you can while making sure you have enough stamina to act is key. I felt that the game did not explain some of the mechanics very well but you will pick it up after the first fight or two. You’re not likely to see the dreaded “You Died” as often as you did in other challenging games but the game does provide its unique challenges. How you manage blood is extremely vital as well. Most of your abilities all require blood to pull off. You can extract blood from enemies or devour a rat to replenish some of your blood and you can adjust skills to increase the amount of blood you can consume per enemy as well. Providing a “free choice” system greatly enhances your ability to create the type of vampire you want. You can decide to be the ultimate nightmare of London or the savior of the people.
Vampyr adopts similar gameplay mechanics but puts a unique spin on them. The storyline is very intriguing and the game provides quite a deal of replay value. Based on the fact that your actions dictate how the story will progress and the ending you will receive, there are multiple reasons to play through the game additional times to explore those avenues. If you enjoy dialogue options in games that are similar to Mass Effect and a fighting system that resembles the Dark Souls games, this game might be a great pickup for you. The difficulty is nowhere near what Dark Souls is even if you don’t kill civilians. Having the option to create a character that you want to see played out is a lot of fun. Vampyr definitely creates a creepy and fun atmosphere that most will enjoy. Overall, I would give this game an 8 out of 10.
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