WTMG Opinion Piece

Hungering for Vampyr

Eagerly awaiting Vampyr can be quite draining.

Vampyr is an upcoming action RPG by Dontnod Entertainment, best known for their poignant episodic tale, Life is Strange. If you’re looking for a slow touching story about love and hardship, maybe steer clear of this title because Vampyr looks to be anything but. If you’re interested in a blood soaked horror adventure game about a newly created vampire learning about his powers on the dark streets of war torn England (like I am), then get pumped because Vampyr looks to be right up your alley.

Vampyr is set in London in the early 1900’s during the epidemic of the Spanish Flu. This seems like it will create the perfect atmosphere for a vampire game. It will present that true gothic feel as well as a somewhat believable explanation for how vampires can be created without too much notice. Since so many are already dying from the Spanish flu, the symptoms of a new vampire as well as the fresh crop of dead bodies wouldn’t really attract too much attention. I love this take on the genre.

Vampyr 2
You can feel the despair in these dark alleys.

You’ll play as protagonist Johnathan Reid, who was a surgeon before being turned. This comes into play with Vampyr offering you morality choices throughout the game. Do you feed on as many innocents as you desire to sate your hunger and grow stronger, or cling to your humanity and save as many people as you can? Personally, I love games that add this dynamic. It’s a great way to offer incentive for multiple playthroughs and deliver a much richer story. I’ve played games in the Fable and Infamous franchises multiple times each, just so I could experience everything the game had to offer. Vampyr will be no different.

Not only will the ending change depending on your choices, but the entire feel of the game will drastically alter as well. You can feed on as many people as you want and become incredibly powerful, but this comes at a huge cost. Apparently, NPCs won’t respawn in Vampyr and there are a finite number of them. If you rampage through the foggy streets of London, you’ll suddenly find the environment around you more dilapidated and empty. Alternatively, you can opt to beat the game without killing anyone, however since feeding is how you’ll level up, you might find yourself grossly underpowered during boss fights and struggle (I experienced this scenario during my pacifist run in Undertale). It’s worth noting too, that certain missions can only be gained by talking to people throughout the streets of London, so killing some of them will result in some missions no longer being available to you. Choose wisely.

Vampyr 1
Unleashing a shadow strike.

You will have to battle internal conflicts in Vampyr, as well as many external threats. There is a secret society of vampire hunters as well as several different types of vampires to take on as well. There are fast and feral sewer dwelling vampires, big hulking vampires that I thought were werewolves at first, aristrocratic vampires (like yourself), as well as vampires that solely hunt other vampires. Not to mention the numerous bosses you’ll encounter. Bring it on!

Vampyr will feature strong otherworldly powers as well as hand to hand combat with a variety of weapons that you can utilize. Being a former surgeon, Dr. Reid will start off with weapons like knives and saws, but you will encounter others like machetes, torches, and stakes. As you fight and kill enemies, you can take their weapons or scavenge new ones found in the streets. You will be able to equip a main hand weapon and an off hand weapon, or a large two handed weapon. However, It does seem like the main focus in the combat system is with your newly gained vampire powers and moves. This is one area where I’m a little nervous, because from what I’ve seen in trailers so far, the combat can at times look a little jolting and clunky. Perhaps things flow more smoothly when you unlock more abilities with more devastating force.

I’m excited to play around with all the new vampiric abilities that Vampyr has to offer. Some of them include invisibility, invincibility for a short time, manipulating the shadows, super speed, and enhanced agility. I can’t wait to discover what else you can do. Vampyr also includes some traditional vampire rules like light sensitivity and only being able to enter a person’s home if they invite you in first. I guess it’s time to grab a delivery man outfit.

So far Vampyr is shaping up to be a fantastic take on the vampire genre offering up a unique spin to the 1918-1920 flu epidemic that claimed 50 million lives. Using this setting as a cover for vampire activity is brilliant and I can’t wait to satisfy my craving for it. Vampyr releases on June 5, 2018 and stay tuned for WTMG’s for our review and video coverage.

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As an avid gamer from childhood, I've come to love and appreciate games from all genres and I work hard finding time to play all of them between work and my two children. Some of my favorite games are: The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time, Dragon Age: Origins, The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt, Bioshock, Street Fighter 2 and Super Mario Land 2.

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