By Michael "Magic Mike" Dumee on June 5, 2018
When I was a teenager, I was what people called a Gothic. I loved my black clothes which, incidentally, had kind of a vampire-ish look. Plus, I'm more of a night person anyway, so who of the Dumeegamer.com crew would have been the best choice to review Dontnod's latest game, Vampyr? I'll tell you who; Me, me, me!
It's 1918 and dark times have descended upon London. You take the role of Dr. Jonathan Reid, a specialist in blood transfusion, who he wakes up in a mass grave. Now that's not the most happy place to wake up, right? Jonathan wakes up with a strange thirst that's unlike anything he felt in his entire life, and before you know it, you suck the life out of your sister! You're totally confused and don't know where to go, but luckily you meet Dr. Edgar Swansea. He takes you to his hospital, where it quickly becomes apparent you both need each other. Dr. Edgar needs your knowledge of blood transfusion and Jonathan needs a safe place to stay so he can figure out what exactly happened to him exactly and who turned him into a vampire.
The game is called Vampyr, but there is more to it than just a simple blood sucking fest. This action RPG offers you extensive combat, a lot of talking to NPC's and, of course, the unraveling of a mystery. The city of London has different areas, each of which contains numerous civilians. In the menu, you can check on their status and, of course, their blood quality. The blood quality tells you how much XP you will gain if you decide to suck an NPC's blood. The blood quality of the characters can deteriorate because of their worries, a sickness or even a simple head ache. You can suck the blood out of these characters right away or make an effort to improve their blood quality first. Try to figure out why they are feeling not so well and what you can do, if possible, to help the character in question feel better.
By talking to people, you can gather clues. During conversations, you'll get several options. Talking to people can also unlock investigation events and if you complete them you'll be also rewarded with XP. But don't you even think about trying all the options you're given, because sometimes you can offend people, which makes conversation a bit hard. Always remember, if they don't want to talk to you anymore, they just won't. It's not like you can wait for five minutes to try again. So, if they had information or a specific hint, tough luck!
Do you have a crafting table at home? I certainly think everyone should have one, especially when you are a vampire. You can, for example, craft potions at this table with the materials you have gathered during your travels. You need potions to help and cure people and you can also make serums for yourself to recover health, stamina and your own blood quality (mana).
During your travels through London, you will cross paths with Vampire Hunters. Vampire Hunters will always give you a warning to get the hell out of there. If you hesitate too long or simply decide to stay, they will attack. You'll need weapons to fight them, which can be found throughout London. These weapons can be upgraded at your crafting tables, giving you the edge you're definitely going to need! However, you'll need materials to do so, so make sure to search for these items diligently. Weapons will do a certain amount of damage, but will also use stamina. So always keep an eye on the stats of your weapons and create a balanced load out.
Of course, being a classic vampire, you can only go out at night, so the entire game will take place at night time. But even a vampire needs its beauty sleep, so by spending your XP in the skill menu and upgrading Jonathan, you enter sleepy time. After you're done resting, the next night will start. Vampyr does not have a day and night cycle, so you don't have to worry about checking the time and making sure you're back in your coffin before the sun comes out, which is a good thing because it would be an needless difficulty that would only exacerbate things, right? Sure, it would provide an extra challenge but I, for one, am very glad the developers did not incorporate this challenge into the game. Even without it, Vampyr is challenging enough already. challenging and awesome!
Vampyr's London looks great; both the graphics and the design are nothing less than awesome. There are so many options that, even now, I'm not sure I told you all there is to tell. But then I would "suck" the fun out of your gaming experience, right? (See what I did there?) So, in the end, I have only one advice for you; Do yourself a favor, get your hands on this game and release your inner vampire!