Vampyr is an action role-playing video game developed by Dontnod Entertainment and published by Focus Home Interactive. It was released for Microsoft Windows, PlayStation 4, and Xbox One on 5 June 2018, and for Nintendo Switch on 29 October 2019. The plot relates to how Jonathan Reid, a doctor who has turned into a vampire, comes to terms with his undead condition as he is torn between the Hippocratic Oath and his newfound bloodthirsty nature.

Plot

Doctor Jonathan Reid, returning to London from the Great War in 1918, awakes in a mass grave as a vampire. Overwhelmed with bloodlust, he causes the death of his sister Mary, who was searching for his body nearby. Reid takes shelter from vampire hunters in an abandoned house and starts hearing the disembodied voice of his maker, a typical feature in the progeny of vampires. Realising London is profuse with corpses, he follows a blood trail to a bar. The bartender points Reid to William Bishop, a suspicious patron. Bishop is caught feeding on a man named Sean Hampton and is killed by the vampire Lady Ashbury. Doctor Edgar Swansea rescues Hampton and hires Reid to practice medicine at Pembroke Hospital. The rest is up for you to discover.

Gameplay 

Vampyr’s map is separated in four parts: The Docks, West End, Pembroke Hospital and Whitechapel. There is also an underground sewer system connecting these areas. Although every district has it’s own unique storyline, you will have to re-visit some areas during your playthrough. Make sure you memorize the way though, because the in-game map is not very helpful. In addition, every area of London has it’s own community of people and a status bar that shows how healthy this district is. You can chat with all these citizens, cure their diseases, learn their secrets and in the end decide if you want to drain them to death in order to increase your exp. If many people are sick, die or go missing in a certain community, the status bar will change. If it drops below Critical, everything will be hostile and the number of enemies will multiply.

The campaign consists of 6 chapters but there are also side missions in every shelter or community you will find. It is very important to talk to all the NPCs because they can provide you valuable information about your friends or foes. Your main enemies in the game will be other vampires and the Priween Guard. Vampires can vary from mindless skals to highly trained assassins. The Priween Guard is a group of obsessed vampire-hunters destroying everything in their wake in order to eliminate their target. Both these factions have lieutenants or bosses that you will have to kill in order to finish the game. Keep in mind that the amount of enemies you will encounter on a certain district depends on the status bar as mentioned above.

Combat is very basic and sometimes buggy with your only options being an auto-attack, a dodge button and 2-3 spells. Bosses also have simple tactics that you can understand and abuse easily. If you find a really hard enemy, it’s mainly because you are under-leveled and not because of the strategy and mechanics required for the fight. During your playthrough you can find or craft different weapons until the auto-attack animation suits you best, but that’s the only character customization that you are going to get. Spells on the other hand have a greater variety and are bought with the experience you collected by killing enemies or embracing citizens.

Graphics / Sound

The Dark atmosphere and extreme detail of London makes Vampyr’s graphics superb. According to the developers, they researched the setting by traveling to London and consulting history books and documentaries so you can only expect a fantastic result. The game is also infused with industrial music, a perfect fit for the occasion. Finally, every character in-game has a voice actor and the movement/combat effects are satisfying.

Unique Features

While some boss battles are mandatory, most combat can be avoided, and the player is under no obligation to kill innocents to finish the game. Several times you will have to decide between an ethical and pacifist approach to the game or a more bloodthirsty approach that will make you stronger in return.

Replayability

The main story takes around 16 hours to complete, the main+extra 28 hours and the completionist 43 hours. The game offers no replayability, but depending on your actions, it has 4 alternate endings.

Pros

  • Very detailed graphics and superb sound
  • Interesting plot
  • Countless dialogue and decision making options

Cons

  • Very basic combat system
  • Few option for character customization
  • No replayability

Rating (7.3/10)

  • Plot: 8.5/10
  • Gameplay: 6/10
  • Graphics: 8/10
  • Sound: 8/10
  • Uniqueness: 8.5/10
  • Replayability: 5/10

Primary Version Tested: PC

Foivos Karkanis

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