Action RPGs aren’t my favorite genre, but the premise of Vampyr intrigued me so I had to give a shot. You play the role of Jonathan Reid, a renowned blood transfusion specialist, recently-turned vampire. Hmm? You basically take it upon yourself to find the source of your blood-sucking disease and set out on your quest.
From the moment you take control of Reid and see your surroundings, you can’t help but appreciate the look at 1918 London, England. It’s a beautiful backdrop for such a game, and despite the fact that most of the game is set at night, it’s really quite stunning. There are a few framerate drops that I experienced, along with some pop-in and clipping issues, but nothing that I’d call game-breaking so I can overlook it. Character models are equally impressive as well, at least for main characters. I did find some of the random NPCs to look a little blander, along with some of the interior buildings. But most of your time is spent on the streets.
When it comes to the gameplay, I’m not as impressed. It’s pretty basic with a Dark Souls-esque sort of feel. Toss in a little Life is Strange with decision-making, and that’s about all it offers. You also have the ability to craft medicines to help out some citizens you meet, but it’s not really some huge part of the gameplay. That brings me to the moral aspect of the game – as Reid, you choose to heal or hurt those you encounter – whether it be random enemies, shopkeepers, or quest-giving NPCs. Succumbing to your bloodlust will net you more experience and make you stronger, but it will also have rather negative effects on the district you’re in and will make your overall progression more difficult. It’s not as morally-conflicting as other choose your own adventure games we’ve played (Detroit, Life is Strange), but it sometimes makes you ponder which way you want to go.
When it comes to the soundtrack, that’s another area where DONTNOD nailed it. Gothic London isn’t all about the look and feel. Forbidding background tracks along with the baleful sound effects of the environment really instill feeling of darkness in your mind as you traverse old London.
Is Vampyr a great game? No. However, it’s not a bad game either, a tad boring if I were to be honest, but I like that DONTNOD has tried to do something different, and with a little more effort in the story and some extra time spent on fleshing out the gameplay, they could really have a hit on their hands. I think they have a solid game regardless here, but it’s not a AAA title worthy of the launch price-tag, but it offers more than your run-of-the-mill bargain bin title.
Stunning backdrops of 1918 London, beautiful character models and really nice lighting effects.
An excellent score compliments the gothic feeling of the game, and the voice-acting is quite well-done for the time.
|8.0 (Average)||Final Score|