After the success of Life is Strange, DONTNOD Entertainment has something different up their sleeve with their latest game Vampyr. Set in 1918 London the game tasks you to survive as a newly transformed Vampire all while testing your morals and choices you make throughout the story. Does Vamypre live up to the hype? Time to dig deeper into the grave and find out in our review of Vampyr!
Vampyr seeks to make its mark in video games by telling a story we may not have heard before. You are newly turned and confused and angry trying to find out what you are, who you are now that you’ve been given this gift and curse. While that does sound like a song and dance we’ve heard before in other games, DONTNOD put their own spin on things to try to make you feel not only for the main character but also for those around him who are ultimately affected by the choices you make. You decide how far you’re willing to go to gain power and, in the process, perhaps damn parts of London to darkness while ripping the people who live there away from their lives.
You can talk to people and learn more about them, their hidden motives and decide to take them and feed upon them to make yourself more powerful, but in doing so you take them from the community and they may be missed causing a chain reaction of consequences all from that one choice. While this is a game about Vampires and monsters and those who hunt them, it also about the normal everyday people who live beside them. In a popost-war London with a possible plague running loose people are scared and unsure. You are more than what your blood makes you if you choose to be. You are a Doctor as well (a blood specialist) which adds to the story and gives it that interesting perspective which at times is the man of science trying to figure out this disease and other times a man consumed by rage for what was done to him and taken from him. While there have been several video games about being vampire over the years, not all are made equal in regards to their story. Vampyr stands above most with its storytelling.
Yes, the story is great, but the combat is where you’ll be spending a good amount of time in as well as there is quite a bit of it. TO start off with there is no difficulty slider in Vampyr. The game is as easy or as hard as you make it to be because of one simple choice. Feeding. You can gain some experience by fighting and some from doing quests and discovering things, but the best and fastest route to it is by drinking the blood of the NPCs in the game. But do so and there may well be consequences. First, there is the fact that when you meet someone perhaps their blood is worth 500 xp. But talk to them, learn their secrets and now they are worth 1000 xp, it’s almost like fattening up the turkey before Thanksgiving dinner.
But by talking to them, you learn more about who they are and who they’re connected to. Taking that person not only effects those connected to them but that particular area they are associated with. If you chose to, you could go on a feeding frenzy and still complete the main story of the game. But in doing so the ending will reflect the darkness of your London, kill more and more people and chaos will encroach and more creatures of the dark will inhabit the area. It’s all about picking the “right” people to feed on to survive, even if the better people are the ones who will make the city crumble.
So, you’ve decided to kill or not as you see fit and still work on leveling. It can be hard at times running into higher level hunters or creatures, but if you can get the basics of combat down, you can fight off several enemies at once. You have a main hand weapon and an offhand weapon. The offhand will consist of a pistol or something like a stake doing different types of damage. During combat, if you’re using something that causes stun damage, you can bite them when they are stunned, damaging them and gaining blood points that allow you to use various skills.
The skills in Vampyr fit the theme perfectly and add to the way you decide to approach combat. Want to be in the face of your enemies? Pick up the claw skill to rake at them with high damage. Perhaps you prefer to sneak in the shadows, then disappear from sight to attack unawares. There are even some shadow and blood spells that made me think of Vampire the Masquerade. While the controls with mouse and keyboard could be flightily at first, adjusting mouse speed helped, but you can also you controller with the game as well.
NOTE: A Steam key was given to us by PR for review purposes.