Vampyr Review (PS4)
Yes. It's better than Twilight.
Vampyr is an action rpg developed by DontNodEntertainment and published by Focus Home Interactive. Take on the role of a doctor turned vampire and try to figure out the mystery of London and discover what it is that plagues the city so much. Do you have what it takes to search for the secrets of the night or will you succumb to sunlight?
In the story of Vampyr you take the role of a doctor who has for some unknown reason,become a vampire himself. Waking up to the realization of what he has become after a traumatic experience, you must now travel the streets of a plague and sickness stricken London in order to find out just what in the hell is going and how to stop it.
Although the game is listed as an action game,It actually doubles as a detective game due to the way the story is written and the way game it is structured overall. In between fighting other monsters or people who have turned into vampires themselves, you will be obligated to fulfill certain objectives that do not involve fighting at all. There is a sickness,a plague and something sinister that has taken place in London,something which has costed many many lives. Due to the traumatic events you yourself witnessed and endured you now need to find out why it has happened and who is involved.
Throughout the game you will meet various different people,all of which have their own information to share with you or hide from you. When speaking to another civilian,all selections of speech will be presented in a dialogue tree and this is where you'll pick which branch of conversation you wish to engage them with. Everyone reacts a bit differently,some people react well to intimidation,whereas others won't take it kindly and they will completely shut themselves down to you,keeping vital information locked away from you.
After talking to people for awhile, you will come to an end of a conversation with them and in some cases for specific people you will notice a branch of the dialogue tree that has a lock logo next to it. This means they're still hiding something from you,something major that will lead you to another clue,but to figure this out, you must fulfill certain requirements before they open up to you. You can find ways to get them to open them up by either talking to someone they're close with or get hints for anyone near by that might know them. This will in turn earn their trust and allow you to get the vital information you need and possibly your next big hint on where to go next.
But getting formation out of them isn't their only use,nope it isn't, for you see all these civilians that you interact with and gather info from also act as your potential food supply. You gotta remember, you're a vampire,you can only go so long without having a bite to eat and what's easier than feasting on someone you just recently befriended? Sounds like easy street right? Well, don't get excited yet, there's a catch to it that doesn't allow you to just have a blood buffet on any whim you might have. Bloody hell!
You see,while yes you can just eat someone and be done with it, but if you do this you will risk missing out on information that you need in order find out certain parts of the mystery. This directly alters the story because every action you take in this game,good and bad, will have an effect on how future stuff plays out,how fast you can figure out the mystery,who will befriend you and who will be your enemy. Choose wisely and make sure your decision doesn't come back to BITE you... hahaha! yeah....
However, I know you reader,yes you,put down your cheetos. I know you're still going to ignore what I said and you are going to eat these poor people anyways,that's just how you are. Well if you decide you're going to take this route, then you might as well know the best way to pick which civilians are ripe for the picking and you can do this by pressing the controllers touchpad to open up the Citizen Menu. This is the menu you will go to in order to see each characters health,what they're suffering from(fatigue,etc),how to treat them and their blood quality. The tastiest civilians have the higher quality blood and in order to raise their quality of blood before consumption,you must befriend them and gain their trust. Then you may go Kiefer Sutherland Lost Boys on them to take them out. Sorry though, you won't be falling through the sky off a bridge and wake up in your bed this time if you do that.
Now when you're actually on a mission or objective, this is where the melee combat of the game comes into play. You will be confronted by other monsters and vampires that have been taken over by the plague and they're all hostile. You are able to defend and attack using many various weapons such as fists,machete,firearms,stakes, scythes,etc. You attack your opponent by pressing square to do normal melee and then if you have your stake equipped to your off hand slot, you will perform a quick jab with it,which will stun your opponent. This is important because once your opponent is stunned, you can then feed on them momentarily and gain more ''power'' through their blood.
With the power you gain from their blood, an abilities meter will slowly raise over time. With this meter it allows you to do secondary attacks using your vampire skill set,secondary attacks, such as draining your own blood to heal or bringing out your vampire claws for a quick and instant slash. Careful when using these techniques though,it will drain your ability meter and you won't be able to use it again until you successfully stun your opponent and re-feed on them once again. Being in vampire mode also lets you to dodge easier by using a dark black mist dodge to confuse your opponent. This can be helpful with getting around someone in order to gain an advantage so try mixing teleporting and melee attacks a bit to create some cool combos!
So you're probably wondering, hey you, yeah you,ugly person behind the screen typing the review! I thought you said this was an RPG too. Well first off that isn't nice, so put your garlic down and let me get to that part. Yes the game Vampyr also works as an RPG because it has its own leveling system,one in which the more you level up, the more abilities you'll be able to acquire and use throughout the game. Leveling is pretty easy though, its just the matter of killing people,completing objectives,feeding and so on. Basically just keep playing the game and you'll be able to unlock whatever you want without having to think too hard on it.
Every time you level up,it's because you got a specific amount of exp for completing what you set out to do(obviously). Upon leveling up you'll be able to raise your own personal health or other moves to add to your move set such as faster regeneration after biting someone and faster and more aggressive claw attacks. I know it seems like a cop out,but I don't really want to give them all away because it ruins the fun of seeing them for the first time. Some of them are pretty damn good in my opinion.
If I'm not mistaken,this is my third game I've reviewed by the publisher Focus Home Interactive and I have noticed they all have the same distinct look to the games they're involved in and I really like this. All games I've played by Focus Home thus far, like The Council,Space Hawk and now Vampyr, are extremely polished and very gritty looking. The lighting and the atmosphere with whatever engine they use for the games they publish is superb. It helps create a great atmosphere due to level design,attention to detail,lightning and you really feel apart of and engulfed in the world they want you to be immersed in. You really have to give a lot of credit to DontNod Entertainment as well as the developer themselves, my first go around with this developer was the amazing game Life Is Strange and seeing what they achieved in that and now to this? it's just awesome. I've become a big fan of their work over the last few years.
Before I end the review, I just want to focus on some other things I forgot to mention before in regards to stuff to do other than the main storyline. It has to do with collectibles. Collectibles in this game are acquired by doing investigative work,talking to people,searching every drawer,every desk,anything, in order to find clues and items. You may collect stuff in categories such as legendary vampires,origin of vampires,weaknesses of vampires and many others. There are a total of 10 categories of collectibles to sort through. So if collecting every bit of data is your fancy, then you're going to have quite the adventure on your hands.
After playing Vampyr quite a bit, it brings my appreciation for DontNod and Focus Home higher than it previously was due to the attention to detail and the way they choose to tell a story to the player. When playing this game you're immediately engaged in this vampire plague ridden world,the mystery behind it and the means to want to use your detective skill to find out just who started this all. Mixed in with some cool vampire skills and RPG skill trees, the games only real flaw to me is at times its clunkyness with the melee fighting. It gets wonky at times.
So if you're feeling thirsty,then I suggest biting right in and letting this game suck you right into its atmosphere,because to me this game is a bloody good time. Even Blade himself would let it live,as long as it didn't try to evade taxes.
Vampyr is out now on Playstation 4,Xbox One and Steam/PC.
*Review code provided by Focus Home Interactive