Vampyr Review: Bloody Rare
Developer: Dontnod Entertainment
Publisher: Focus Home Interactive
Platform: PC (Reviewed), PS4, Xbox One
Release Date: June 5, 2018
Genre: RPG, Action
Vampyr is a very interesting game, but I must admit when I first played it I hated it. The combat was finicky, the NPCs just didn't catch my fancy, and the world seemed bunched up and confusing. But I stuck with it because despite my frustrations there was something there, something dark and mysterious, something that kept pulling me back in.
I'm very glad I didn't give up because Vampyr has become one of my new favorite games of 2018. How did this switch happen? Not fast, but gradually: slowly over time the game opened up to me and ultimately changed my perspective.
As I played I learned the ins and outs and combat tricks like exploiting the biting animation that makes you invincible, or how important stamina really is. I learned how to navigate London's dark, foggy streets and properly maintain the districts I really cared about.
It opened up so much that I found myself caring about the people of early 1900's London and wanting to help them...until I got too hungry, that is.
Let's get one thing out of the way upfront: I love horror. I like the idea of exploring original themes in horror-based games, and it's a kind of window into someone's dark imagination. The more I played and experienced and saw, the more I realized just how perfectly Vampyr appeals to my appetite for the strange and unusual.
Dontnod's thriller takes place in 1918 London during a time where death and pestilence reign supreme and so much blood covers the cobblestones the rain can't wash it away.
It's a time of sheer desperation and suffering: still riven by the effects of the Great War, London is fractured by the Spanish Flu epidemic. Townspeople are dying from sickness and being maimed by strange shadowy monstrosities that roam the streets. People are scared, weary, and ultimately terrorized on all fronts--but they still maintain their humanity and a tenuous grasp on reality.
In Vampyr you play as Jonathan Reid, a doctor-turned-vampire during mysterious consequences. Trained to always search for answers, Reid will take players on a chase that uncovers some intriguing takes on historical fact while offering some substantial freedom to either save or doom London.
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