Our hands off impressions of Dotonod’s next big game.
There’s something eerie within the world of Vampyr, and the developers at Dontnod Entertainment are out to make sure it’s filled with surprises and interesting choices from beginning to end. This third person action-adventure with RPG elements title is a deep, dark, depressing mind trap. The game encourages you to gain strength and power however this is based on your willingness to prey on humans. Based in 1918’s London during the Spanish flu pandemic, the world is twisted and sinister, and it feels hopeless. This is where our hero steps in to right the wrongs and come to terms with his unfortunate condition: living as a vampire.
Vampyr‘s story revolves around a man named Doctor Jonathan Reid, a vampire. Reid has come to terms with his unfortunate condition, and struggles between the choices of staying loyal to the Hippocratic Oath and his raging hunger for blood. The oath states that he must never harm anyone. So how can he suck blood of humans if he is not allowed to harm anyone? It’s decisions like these that ultimately determine your path throughout Vampyr and how London’s ultimate fate lies solely in your hands. Be careful what you do, who you talk to and how you choose to live by either the oath or the blood.
"London is dark and grimy in the year of 1918. With the Spanish flu going around, death is everywhere. London is a marvel to look at from a graphical standpoint, and it has several districts to visit as well."
Reid’s ability to level up is not just given to you like in a standard action-RPG game. In order to gain strength and increase Reid’s level you must feed off of the blood of the innocent and guilty. Feeding will help revitalize you and make you a better, more powerful vampire; and the more you feed the easier the game becomes. But there are consequences for your actions in Vampyr. Feeding on their blood diminishes the population of London and lowers their overall well-being; it will also leave the city in turmoil by the game’s end. However, if you decide to take the oath, and decide to not to take the lives of anyone good or bad, you can make your way through the entire experience and save London from this death. But there’s a consequence in doing so as well. Reid’s power is based on feeding, so if you decide to not feed that’s just fine. But you will have to fight your way through the entire game as a minimalist without the amenities of all the perks you get by going in bad. But London will be saved by the end. The developers don’t believe this will be an easy route to follow. It may just be for the hardcore players who want a difficult challenge.
London is dark and grimy in the year of 1918. With the Spanish flu going around, death is everywhere. London is a marvel to look at from a graphical standpoint, and it has several districts to visit, as well. Its depressing stone streets are littered in the wake of death. Alleyways are mute of safety, and you never know what sort of life is crawling down them. The towering structures of London are magnificent to behold, as well. Gothic architecture emphasizes the fears and morale of the townsfolk. There’s evil walking these streets, but the people who are forced to walk the streets to find food and work to survive have no idea who’s out to kill them. And it might just be you.
"Reid will be able to go around and spy on the citizens to gain knowledge and information about their situations or what the goings-downs are in the city."
Vampyr is a game filled with interactive A.I. and missions. It’s interesting to interact with the citizens around London. Each one has a piece of the story to tell you along with their struggles of living in a dying city. Their weak demeanor and sad lifestyles look like they’re trapped in this hellish nightmare without any hope on the horizon. Missions within Vampyr are the usual. You won’t find much variation from fetch quests, and running back and forth between areas. But we have learned that many of the missions are action-oriented. Reid will be able to go around and spy on the citizens to gain knowledge and information about their situations or what the goings-downs are in the city. There is little information so far, but we will also be interacting with different factions within the game, as well.
Combat within Vampyr is a little more primitive than you’d find in a standard game. Remember, this is 1918 and you were once just a regular doctor within the city. As a vampire, there isn’t need for many weapons. Reid has vampire strength, so he will be melee ready when walking the streets. But that’s not all. There will also be mid-range guns as well. There hasn’t been a lot to go off of what exact weapons are in the game, but we do know some things. There are a lot of weapons in the game: a huge variety of melee weapons; one-ended weapons that can be combine together; ranged weapons; small firearms and crossbows, and more.
The dark ambiance of Vampyr is often disturbing yet so smooth in appearance. Its concept of a man going from human to vampire, and his struggle therein to maintain any semblance of humanity is awesome. I can’t wait to see more on this and hopefully play it soon. There are very few games with this type of architecture and ambiance as there is in Vampyr. There are still some big questions, however. How does combat work? How is the character design in heavy action parts? These questions will hopefully soon to be answered. But until then we’ll have to wait and see.