Game Review - Vampyr on PC

Written by Zraitor on March 22, 2020 @ 9:46 am

--Graphics and Sound--

Vampyr looks great, and the city of London is amazing. It just captures the feel and look it is going for completely.

The sound is also completely nailed... The music in the background sets a dark mood which is fitting of the themes. All the guns and vampire powers sound great. Only one bad thing, the enemies have limited dialogue. You'll hear "Die leech!" so many times...

--Gameplay--

Most of the game is running around the map, which while small has so many twists and turns and backtracking that it feels larger than it is... and that is not a good thing. There is simply too much running back and forth and getting into battles with the same three enemy encounters over and over again... Very tiresome. At the end of the game, I just ran through because I was so sick of it.

The combat is fun at first, tedious by the end. There are a variety of weapons but there is little reason to not use a two-handed weapon you acquire in the game's second mission. There are guns as well, but I saw little use for them besides blasting a couple of bosses that were annoying to fight in melee range. Reid, of course, has vampire powers he can spend XP to gain, but leveling stamina and health and just hitting with the Barbed Cudgel and dodging is the most effective thing to do, and XP is scarce in a no embrace play through. This just adds to the tedium. Typical combat is hitting them, draining them to restore your blood, and healing if needed while dodging attacks. Again, you'll really tire of it by games end, if not far before that...

Outside of combat, Reid can talk to the inhabitants of London. Lots of them. There's so much dialogue I mentally checked out and gave up and just started skipping. STOP TALKING GAME. You talk to them to gain hints, which are so easy to fail it is frustrating. There is only one autosave in Vampyr, no manual and you have to start over if you don't like a choice. Another way to gain hints is to eavesdrop, using your vampire sense, and it is horrible and boring. I needed a guide to complete the hints, and I still messed up and failed plenty.

The NPCs also give you the game's side quests, called Investigations. They are many and feature a lot of backtracking and running around. Gaining all hints increases an NPC's blood XP, so when you embrace them you can more XP for the kill. Yes, you can kill all the game's NPCs if you like, but it increases the epidemic in the city, weakening each district an NPC makes up and causes the other characters to be sick. You have to balance how you want to do this, or not eat any of them and do a no-kill run. In other words... I suggest you use a guide to play this game to avoid too much agony...

Since the main character is a doctor, he can also administer medicine that he can craft to the many NPCs who do get sick. This gives XP and keeps a district healthy. If a district is completely cured it becomes 'sanitized' and no more enemies spawn in it. Of course, whenever you want to spend XP to level up, you must rest, and that causes a day to pass which can make uncured characters even sicker, or one's to die that need to be rescued. And remember, only one save, if you mess up, too bad. Frustrating.

--Story--

Waking up a newborn vampire, Dr. Jonathan Reid must learn why he was turned and find the source of a new epidemic laying waste to London in 1918. The main story is great, with very well done voice acting. The side quests and NPCs are just filler and pad out the game making it seem like it is a hundred times longer than it is...

--Summary--

Great story, voice acting, and atmosphere. Incredibly tedious combat system, with a leveling system that is too simple and pointless at times. Far too much running around and backtracking, the main game isn't that long but it's padded out by too many enemy encounters and dialogue. One save makes you feel punished for doing or trying anything in a game with so many chances to fail at quests and hints. There is a great game in here if you can endure the many flaws. Should they work on these, this can become an amazing series. This was a tough one to rate, as much as it frustrated to me no end, I also greatly enjoyed it and had to beat the game.

Gameplay Rating: 6
Story Rating: 8
Graphics & Visuals Rating: 9
Sound Rating: 8
Overall Rating: 7

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Game Information

Platform
PC
Developer(s)
Dontnod Entertainment
Publisher(s)
Focus Home Interactive
Genre(s)
Action, RPG
NA Release Date
June 5, 2018
EUR Release Date
June 5, 2018
AUS Release Date
June 5, 2018
ESRB Rating
M
PEGI Rating
18+
ACB Rating
MA 15+
MVGL User Score
6.9
Composer
Olivier Deriviere
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