Vampyr is a game where you play as Dr. Jonathan Reed who is back from war and a recently turned Vampire. After making a couple of horrible choices after becoming a Vampire, Jonathan decides to use his powers to help people and in general stop London from turning into a disease-ridden hell hole. The story has branching elements and it is really damn good.
Visually, it nails it. With great atmosphere and lighting bundled with the weather system it really sets the tone and mood which is dark and gritty and somewhat scary. It does a fantastic job recreating London during WW1 and the Spanish Flu that plagues the city. Besides overall visuals the player and NPC animation in combat is good and at times excellent. It uses particle effects system really well on shadows while dodging and on the fire and blood that you encounter while in combat. I did face an issue where sometimes the facial textures for NPCs wouldn’t load completely. In general PC performance is quite solid with a few drops here and there on a GTX 970 and Ryzen 1600 but the base consoles do suffer from a bit of stutter and sometimes random loading.
The music is very interesting and is quite different from what you hear when you play games with a similar setting or atmosphere. The usage of the instruments and the timing of when it kicks in along with the overall garish and somewhat depressing tone of it fit the visual atmosphere that has been set so well. The sound work has been excellent too with great sound sampling along with fantastic separation that instead of making the environmental noises sound like white noise, adds to that atmosphere. Hearing the rain patter down with variety on what surface they’re hitting or the whooshing of your character as you dodge is satisfying to hear. The only problem was the way outside sound was handled when you went indoors. The sound would just cut off instead of slowly mixing or even having a mixture of outside and indoor sound. Voicing is at times great while at times it is terrible especially when you compare to what you’ve been used to in the game itself.
The social RPG element is really good. Most of the NPCs have their own stories and relations to other people of the town. The more quests you do for them and the more you talk to them, the more you get to know about them. But here’s where an even interesting mechanic of the game comes in. The blood of people contains their essence and their last memory which basically means that the more you complete their quests, the more experience you’ll gain if you decide to suck on their blood. Yes, you can suck on people’s blood which kills them. Once the NPC dies, their quests go away too but what impressed me more was that their last memory tends to resonate at times with you. The side-missions aren’t boring fetch-quests either as they help with the lore and world building and feel like a part of the main story at times.
Something that I absolutely loved about his game is that the world reacts to everything that you do. Kill too many people and they’ll start getting hostile. The more a district falls into disarray, you’ll see it get worse and then empty if people evacuate. Kill too many people and hostile military shows up but if you don’t kill anyone, you wont have enough experience which will make combat tough. It’s great to see the world change around your actions for once while leaving behind information about what had happened there.
In combat you have your vampire powers, melee and ranged attacks, all doing their own kind of damage while some weapons can stun and bleed. Enemies have resistances and weakness of their own and some of your weapons do have combos. While some people feel the combat system is monotonous or boring, it personally felt mechanically sound and made combat fun rather than tedious. Especially with the ability to dodge, stun enemies and then suck their blood to gain power which allows you to unleash a supernatural move on them. The more you level up, the more skills you can unlock. Theses upgrades felt paced well enough and helped show your character’s progression as he slowly starts to get used to his vampire powers.
The game is really fun with a great social element with a world that reacts to what you do. It has its own share of issues like some choices that can infuriate you because you didn’t expect the outcome. There’s a few glitches and bugs overall that don’t really hinder your experience besides the few moments of stuttering and loading on base consoles. This game does a lot of things that are different and is something that you might have not played yet and I highly recommend this game even at full price.
Vampyr is an action role-playing video game developed by Dontnod Entertainment and published by Focus Home Interactive. It is out now for Microsoft Windows, PlayStation 4, and Xbox One for Rs 1,999 or 45 USD.