The French from the Dontnod studio should be given their due - they do not sit in their comfort zone, but, like a real scientist, experiment with settings and gameplay concepts. It would seem that after the deafening success of the interactive movie about a teenager with paranormal abilities Life is Strange, you can release sequels without any problems, and rest on the French Riviera in between. But this is not Dontnod's way, their choice is to create a role-playing game Vampyr in the setting of dark London, and besides, on a vampire theme.
Well, this approach is commendable. Or not, maybe Dontnod shouldn't have gone off the beaten track and tried a new and challenging genre of role-playing projects? You will learn the answer to this question in our Vampyr review.
Dr. Jonathan, Mr. Vampire
The main protagonist of the game, and at the same time the famous doctor Jonathan Reed, can hardly be called the lucky one in life. Returning from the front of the First World War to the streets of his native London, he becomes a man "snapped up", because the inhabitants of the city in Vampyr suffer from the Spanish flu epidemic, and Reed's medicinal skills come in handy. And as if this were not enough, the famous doctor was turned into a vampire and was forced to suffer from a dilemma for the rest of his life: betray the Hippocratic oath, eating gullible inhabitants or constantly struggle with his animal nature.
The plot of the plot and the script itself as a whole, as in the case of the previous games of the studio, can be called intriguing, even to some extent original. Finding out what kind of evil spawn of the night turned Jonathan into a bloodsucker, and at the same time finding an antidote for vampirism will be a good motivation to complete the passage of Vampyr and spend 40 hours in the inhospitable world. And the developers did not lie when they said that they were preparing an RPG , the development of which is up to you.
No, of course this is not The Witcher 2 and Vampyr does not offer a pair of diametrically opposed plot forks, but the ending of the story will completely depend on your actions. Moreover, if you play the merciless and eternally hungry bloodsucker, the player runs the risk of missing a significant part of the content, additional missions and not revealing the many skeletons that the residents of London keep in their closets.
There is only one important miscalculation in Vampyr for role-playing projects: after taking any action, you cannot go back, since the save system in the game, in addition to autosaves, is completely absent. Of course, this approach forces you to make decisions with all responsibility and live with the consequences, but sometimes it is difficult to calculate where your choice will lead.
Despite the raging Spanish flu epidemic, London cannot be called lifeless and there will be a dozen active citizens in each of the 4 districts. As in some Twin Picks, their fates are closely intertwined, and behind each inhabitant there will be several important stories and secrets. Of course, Jonathan will have to reveal them. In an attempt to find answers to numerous questions, he will have to spin both in bohemian circles and among the poor class.
Each citizen is not only a collection of well-voiced dialogues and a number of quests, but also a valuable barrel of blood that can be spent on pumping Jonathan. This is where one of the main features of the game Vampyr manifests itself: you are free to either help the inhabitants, or, having enlisted their trust, take them to a dark corner and have a hearty lunch. It is warm-blooded Londoners who are the easiest way to make Jonathan stronger, which will come in handy later, as the difficulty of Vampyr progresses in leaps and bounds.
Quite recently, you, with the dexterity of Neo, inserted stakes into the hearts of soulless vampires, and an hour later you should remember the old skills from Dark Souls and cut circles between opponents in kolobok mode.
Only a kind ghoul is faced with such a problem, but what does Vampyr offer the player in return, in addition to complicated battles? Of course, this is a series of quests, but here you can hardly rejoice. Really interesting characters with a rich history can be counted on the fingers of one hand, and additional tasks, for which they give unforgivably little experience, are reduced to primitive "go and fetch". It seems as if Dontnod lived in a bunker in recent years before the release date of Vampyr and did not notice The Witcher 3, which set a new standard for developing side quests.
Another thing to put up with in Vampyr, playing as a benevolent bloodsucker, is the constant bypassing of the sick residents of the city. In this regard, the mechanics of the game evoke memories of the Mor Utopia, since every evening you have a dozen new requests that require immediate response. Someone caught a cold, broke a leg, or just walked into the wrong alley and ran into vampires - the famous London superhero, Dr. Jonathan Reed, has to solve any problem. Didn't you have time, forgot / scored? Then don't be surprised if a resident dies, taking several quests and valuable experience points with him to the grave.
Bloodborne version 0.5
The next thing that I want to criticize when reviewing Vampyr is the combat system. Taking as a basis a mobile combat with strafe and no block from Bloodborne, the developers supplemented it with the ability to use vampire abilities, a camera that lives by its own laws and unresponsive controls. Add twitchy animations to this gentleman's set and you get the canon combat system from B-class projects.
The problem with the combat system would not have been so acute if Vampyr had not forced so much time in battles or offered an alternative as stealth. Each new visit to an already explored location will result in a respawn of all opponents, which, coupled with the need to constantly heal the townspeople, turns the game into a remake of the Buffy the Vampire Slayer series. But instead of various demons, hordes of vampires are waiting for you, which practically differ from each other and are exterminated according to one tactic: strike a stake-sucking blood-strafe - and so on ad infinitum.
The only consolation in this kingdom of despair can be called skirmishes with bosses. But even they, with their unique set of attacks, lose their uniqueness and subsequently turn into standard opponents /
In the final part of the Vampyr review, it is worth saying thank you to Dontnod for how thick the atmosphere they have created in the game, which, together with a stunning soundtrack, makes you feel like London at night. The developers did not fail with the plot and the acting - those aspects that made Life is Strange one of the main hits of 2015. And if Vampyr hadn't been chasing ambitions, but simply stayed within the framework of interactive cinema, the game would have only won. Therefore, we do not recommend downloading Vampyr for your hard earned finances, at least until the first discounts appear.
Vampyr is just one of the few projects scheduled for release this month, so if you don't like the game, you can always check out the other June 2018 games.
The Topic of Article: Vampyr Review - The Vampire Runner or How Ambition Ruined a Good Game.