Oddly enough, the first time I heard about this game was through a Facebook advertisement. Ever since, this title has been something I have been very looking forward to and following very closely! I can say hand on heart that this game was definitely worth the wait. Throughout this article, we will take a look into Vampyr, the modern vampire game.
Graphically speaking, this game is beautiful! From having an ability to sense enemies while hunting them, to being shown their veins and blood flow, to the dank, dark, and eerie streets of 1918 London. This game is narrative-heavy and grants the player a lot of optional decisions, lengthy cutscenes, mixed in with a pretty strong amount of combat.
The game is based after The Great War[World War One] in the Victorian Streets of London, as the country is struggling to be rebuilt with death occurring daily because of the Spanish Flu. In this historical fiction setting, supernatural forces and ancient vampire societies have the heaviest influence within the London society (this kind of helps when they’re a people that have to eat other people). The game has you battling it out against vampire-hunters, scholars, and medical professionals for dominance.
You play as Dr. Jonathan Reid, an esteemed military doctor and the developer of blood transfusion (apparently he used casualty of war patients as victims for trial and error, sounds like a fun lifestyle, right?) who is now a full-time vampire.
The gameplay itself is fantastic, offering plenty to do in the way of a storyline! There are areas that you can take your time to explore and hunt for collectibles, in-game currency, weapon upgrades, and plenty of ammo to keep ranged attacks viable. A unique aspect of this title is how gameplay alters throughout the game. Two different players experiencing the single-player story will each have respective and unique outcomes. This is enhanced by how the majority of your actions in-game can develop into positive or negative outcomes leading to either the eventual rise or fall of your society. Throughout the game, you are given options on whether to selflessly heal patients or take the selfish approach and feed on them until they’re lifeless for your own sustainability, which coincidentally leads to havoc within the city. Finding dead bodies with a couple of holes in their neck is pretty alarming!
The game offers a diverse skill tree system which is uniquely designed to take preference to most other games’ skill systems. You earn experience points in a very similar way to other RPG styled-games, from combat to completing quests and finding hidden collectibles, but its unlock system mechanics sets this title apart. It has a press-and-hold type system, so no accidentally selecting the wrong skills if your hand slips and you highlight something else. It is a small safety feature to ensure you get what you want. Alongside this, there is a unique weapon upgrades system, where you collect small parts such as weapon handles to upgrade your weapons throughout the game which gives your arsenal new attributes such as higher damage, or more accurate shots.
Since in-game you do play as a vampire, let’s talk about the vampire-elements (which is the most fun aspect of the game). You have the ability to stun enemies during combat, giving you the opportunity to bite them for an increased amount of damage. Two of my favourite abilities by far are what can be described as “shadow moves,” the first being your combat dodge, (it just looks badass and flawless) as you take a sidestep to avoid damage, then disappear into a cloud of thick black smoke only to reappear into the same smoke-effect a couple of steps around your enemy. This is a helpful tool, and fun to spam repeatedly, especially whilst shouting about how amazing you are because your enemy can’t hit you. The other ability I enjoy using is a teleportation tool used to reach locations that are otherwise out of reach using the same effect. This skill is great because you can use this to access top-level railings in warehouses or travel across from one pier to another, giving you the perfect element of surprise to hunt from the shadows and show the humans who the real dominant predator is!
When playing Vampyr, you have to be cautious with the combat system, mainly because you need to be conscious of your stamina. If you lose all your stamina, you are left vulnerable with no way of defending yourself, which happened (yes this happens to me EVERY single time). When swinging away, it’s easy to lose your stamina and become vulnerable to enemies. So just a tip, if any of you guys pick this game up or have it, don’t neglect your stamina!
Another strange feature in the game is the way the developers handled health in-game. You can activate your vampire senses to find food to bring up your health, and, in 90% of the cases, you are eating rats to gain health. These creatures have been wading through dirty streets and unsanitary sewers (and you put them IN YOUR MOUTH. Gross). I also love the fact that the developers, “Dontnod Entertainment” put the time and effort into harnessing the vampire mythology and transferring it into the game in ways such as obviously the bloodlust, the unmatched speed, the short distance teleports, shadow hunting, the sun damage!
Vampyr is simply beautiful, it is eloquent, flawless, and mechanically beautiful. It has had me hooked from day one! Even now as I write this, I have the game up on my second monitor playing little bits and pieces. One of the primary features that make this game so addictive and hard to put down is the way in which the difficulty is set. It’s not just a case of easy, medium, or hard — everything works relative to your actions to determine the difficulty of your game as you progress through your storyline, as you would expect, the more you feed, the stronger you become as a vampire, therefore, reducing the difficulty of your playthrough. Subsequently, the less you feed on the living, the more strenuous it becomes as you are a lot weaker in-game. This has left me with a HUGE dilemma, obviously, I want my game to be difficult, but come on! I’m a vampire, I want to bite anything that moves. It is fantastic to see developers putting this level of creativity and work into a game that can provide many gamers with endless entertainment. The replayability of this game is solid, with ever-changing choices and outcomes offering this game one hell of a lifespan as a single player campaign game. Let’s hope Dontnod can keep up the good work with future releases like this!
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