Platforms: PC/PlayStation 4 (Reviewed)/Xbox One
Genre: Action RPG
Players: Single Player
Developer: Dontnod Entertainment
Publisher: Focus Home Interactive
Release Date: Out Now!
Around in the gaming scene, we do tend to get a lot of RPG games, however, not many that are vampire related. A lot of vampire games tend to die quickly without much thought and forgotten about, but a fair few do shine through and have somewhat of a cult following. You have the Legacy of Kain series, a massive series, and a fan favourite for sure. Me being one of those fanboys, will be biased saying these are the best vampire games, however, a lot will say you have Vampire: The Masquerade Bloodlines. A lot of back and forth but you get the idea of how there aren’t many vampire games out there that shine through. Now we have Vampyr, a new take on a vampire game on modern consoles with up to scratch graphics.
The first time I had seen Vampyr was actually on a Facebook advert and this is where I see a lot of other games that tend to go under the radar but actually have a lot of potential. One look at the trailer for Vampyr and I was sold, so I followed it all the way up to release hoping, maybe getting my hopes up, about Vampyr.
Vampyr is set during the first World War in London. Everything is doom and gloom. Big smokey area’s caused by factories creating armouries and other things. Not long after the industrial revolution where everything was pretty much cast iron and looks extremely heavy. Think of a dark Assassin’s Creed: Syndicate and you pretty much have an idea what this game looks like.
Firstly, I’m gonna jump in on the soundtrack. It definitely sets the tone. It creates an atmosphere that is quite thick and sad. It sets the tone for the people and even area’s you visit around you. It gives you the feeling something bad has already happened and everyone is tense, giving off a vibe they already know what has happened but don’t want to talk about it. Stay indoors everyone! This is all from a soundtrack before you even get to understand the story.
Obviously, the main focus are vampires, we all know this, it’s in the god damn title. But nothing sets the tone of a vampire unless it’s all dense around you. You can tell the team sat down and said that this is one of the main key area’s that needed to be nailed to help set the tone and in all honesty, they nailed it. Alongside great tones you have to have great characters that help set the atmosphere and, while they pull this off well, there was something about character design that did seem a little bit forced, a little bit off and slightly fake that kind of lost immersive-ness of being an RPG. Nonetheless, the atmosphere is well done, it helps gives you the originality of what we all know about vampires.
You play as Dr. Jonathan Reid. Reid is a physician that has been turned into a vampire. There is a conflict that Reid is going through with once being a normal human and now unable to step into the light. The character design and story of Reid is really well done but that’s really the only character that actually stood out for me compared to everyone else in the story.
Of course being an RPG you’re going to have your side quests in and around London. You, being the great vampire, you can help or take one step further and kill them. It all comes down to you and your decisions. Same goes for your chat dialogue. If you get into a chat there are dialog trees you can go through and isn’t just a simple story being told with a few side stories. Picture a light version of Fallout 3’s dialogue options.
While the gameplay is fun and quite refreshing having to level up a vampire and not your traditional warrior. The vampire in this is no different from any other vampire lore that you’re used to so no over extravagant ideas, here’s looking at you Twilight. You’re on a rampage for blood. Gaining that new found craving causes issues with you being a modern day doctor. You do have your skill tree, I fully recommend killing people to level up cause if you don’t you will struggle in some fights. However, you can complete the game without killing anyone. Any death can cause a domino effect around London so pick your targets smartly…or not. You can turn others into vampires also. The world is a semi-open world and you can gain access to houses but you will require an invitation to do so. I mean, you’re a vampire after all.
The story is actually quite simple but complicated with side stories and over complicating the main story due to too much speech and too little direction. It did get confusing at one point with the story.
The story begins with You accidentally killing your sister who is looking for you. When this starts you begin to hide from vampire hunters that are around town. But you’re not just up against vampire hunters. You come across something called Skals. These are corrupt vampires, so is the story of uncovering the Skal epidemic and it’s your job to do so. With a lot of twists and turns in the story, it is good but over complicated. I’m happy that they did keep to the original origin of vampires we all know and love today. And this may be why I think highly of Vampyr.
Vampyr is legit a vampire simulator. It’s a game about living life as a vampire fighting in a war of 2 worlds. You manage your blood levels, your stamina and others to become the ultimate vampire really. While on paper, Vampyr is an RPG vampire game, it’s literally just that but a good one. A lot of vampire games lose this and create their own originally, but let’s be honest, we’ve waited a long time for a great vampire game and we finally have one. No over dramatics, no new origins stories. Everything we know and love as a kid of having a fear of vampires is here and you can play it. Vampyr could actually be the best vampire game out there. There, I said it.