Vampyr – Game Review

Details of Vampyr


Developer: Don’t Nod Entertainment           

Publisher: Focus Home Interactive

Platform: PC, PS4, Xbox One and Nintendo Switch

Release Date: 5th June 2018, 29 October 2019 (Switch)

Age Rating: 18

Image Source: Eurogamer

Story of Vampyr

The story of Vampyr follows Dr Jacob Reid who has just recently returned to London after fighting in WW1. In the war Jacob acted as a combat medic a skill he would later uniquely adapt to his newly acquired way of life. The game opens with Jacob suddenly coming to (not realizing he has been turned into a vampire) unfortunately his first kill is his dear sister Mary. Jacob soon gets introduced to the Dr Swansea. He sets up his home base at Pembroke Hospital and reverts to only traveling at night as the sunlight burns. His mission to find out who turned him into this monster. Yet he finds himself on the path of uncovering the cause of the skal (vampire) outbreak in London. A fellow vampire Lady Ashbury plays the role of your love interest and enlightens you to the world of the Ekon (vampire).

Image Source: PlayStation Country

Outbreak of Vampyr

She acknowledges your high blood line, meaning you must have been sired from someone powerful. After finding out the cause of the outbreak and confronting your ally you finally gain some explanation of your creator. Only to be plunged into a battle with the ever-murderous “mother”, revealing your creator to be the “son”. You win the battle but are informed by the “son” you didn’t even win yet only sedated the mother’s bloodthirst by being brave enough to confront her. Leaving her somewhat entertained and returning to hibernation.

Pros of Vampyr

I loved the ingenuity behind the turning mechanics and the whole district health system. I found it very compelling and did spend several hours tracking down patients and healing them enough so I could consume another NPC for that quick XP boost without plunging the whole district into chaos. Another amazing feature is the story and characters of Vampyr. I found myself engaged with the world that was unravelling before me. The protagonist is the perfect vessel for the audience to learn about the world before them. Us the player learn at the same time as Jacob helping the journey of discovery feel a lot more symbiotic. Jacob’s medic background and specialty in transfusions give the gave a real unique edge. One that I was fascinated with any time I got the littlest of details. I hope they continue to develop the core aspects of Vampyr that do make it so unique!

Image Source: Ars Technica

Cons of Vampyr

I unfortunately did find the combat a bit repetitive, I found myself reverting to the quick method of consuming the populace of districts to level up for the later bosses. I found myself doing this due to the fact it wasn’t fun to grind side quests or even enemies while travelling the game world. In the sequel I hope they put most of their work in reworking the combat, skills, and side quests. The world is so full of lore yet feels so lifeless, which does fit with a supernatural horror game yet doesn’t always make it fun to play. I would have also loved more combat variety or some more abilities. The main reason levelling up got so tedious for me is due to the limited range of attacks, as well as weapons. However I did like how the game didn’t rely so heavy on firearms, well not until the later bosses.

Memorable Moments of Vampyr

Uncovering your sister Mary (your first kill, by accident) actually got turned by you. Which leads to an epic encounter and a somewhat family reunion in a graveyard. Other memorable opponents are the werewolves you encounter occasionally. However, I didn’t notice much lore about them, at least in my playthrough. I particularly enjoyed the eeriness of the citizens you could consume by having them allow you into their home. It made the game feel like a real horror movie. Only one where you saw a good soldier/Dr slowly slip into a monster.

Summary of Vampyr

To summarize Vampyr is a supernatural period supernova that’s story will grip you by the neck in the first few moments. There’s a reason Sony have already picked it up for a TV series. The eerie atmosphere of 1914 London fits the supernatural genre superbly! The music, the shadows, the locations, the characters they all help bring this spooky world together. I can’t wait for a sequel. With an announcement in 2019 that Don’t Nod is working with Focus Home Interactive again might just mean a sequel is quietly under production.

Image Source: Rockpapershotgun

Overall Rating: 8 – 

Platform Played On: PC – Steam      

Game Time At Review: 24 Hours

Recommendation: Yes

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