Dontnod has proven to be masters of their craft once again.
With Vampyr, the devs have created a truly unique experience that blends captivating themes across a somber, bloody stage interspersed with real human stories. There's something for everyone here--action combat for Soulsborne fanatics, skills and level-ups for RPG fans, a winding, deep story built for gamers who want to feel something, and finally a choice-driven district system that allows you to play god.
Vampyr gave me a sense of agency in a dark industrial world torn by death and mayhem. I felt like my choices mattered and that's not something that every game sets out to do.
While I didn't have fun at the start, the game redeemed itself step-by-step with its winding story and rather enjoyable social mechanics. The combat is also fun and challenging at the same time, and takes some adapting...but once you do gothic 1918 London is at your fingertips.
Vampyr has macabre style, a deft, almost feline grace, and is structured to tap the rich vein of bloody vampire lore from classic films and literature. But make no mistake: Vampyr leaves its mark on the mythos rather than wholly deriving from it.
Unique things I saw or did in Vampyr:
- Came across a zombie priest who ate human flesh
- Slain or embraced denizens appear as gravestones in the cemetery
- Explored an underground city of undead that reminded me of Nightbreed
- Uncovered a massacre plot of fire and brimstone
- Doomed Whitechapel with a poor decision
- Encountered a real vampire hunter
- Found a copy of Bram Stoker's Dracula in Lady Ashbury's mansion with a surprising autograph note
+ Atmospheric visuals instill a sense of dread and desperation
+ Challenging combat system
+ RPG progression and skills
+ Deep, winding story arc
+ Strong emphasis on choices and consequences
+ Unique, thought-provoking horror themes
+ Dynamic NPC social system that fuels gameplay
+ Great and memorable characters
+ Solid frame rates and performance
- Combat can be finicky
- Lock-on targeting is wonky at times
- Is meant for longer-term investment
Last updated: Sep 25, 2019 at 12:25 am CDT
The Bottom Line: Vampyr is a refreshingly rare game with a clever story and amazing in-depth social mechanics, but doesn't offer much long-term replayability.
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