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Vampyr

Developer: DON'T NOD Publisher: Focus Entertainment
05 June 2018
Vampyr - cover art
Glitchwave rating
2.76 / 5.0
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143 Ratings / 4 Reviews
#3,136 All-time
#149 for 2018
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2018 DON'T NOD Focus  
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RU 3 512899 119789 CUSA 03468
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XNA 8 54952 00374 5 CUSA-03293
2019 DON'T NOD Saber  
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Title
Being a Doctor allows me to care for the characters, physically and mentally, and as a Vampire allows me to reap the blood of my stalked prey.

But since it's a game, I'm also a Psycho Killer every time I leave the safe burrows for the pocket change of XP, a Snoop reading every letter and diary I come by, a Thief stealing from the poor, hospital, friends houses and to make medicine, a Bum checking every trashcan for scraps, an Euthanizer since they are 'definitely gonna die anyway, I might as well eat them'... and worst of all, British asking condescending stiff questions to people I just met.
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IanCandido 2021-12-30T01:33:29Z
2021-12-30T01:33:29Z
4.0
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Title
Great setting and characters, a poor gaming experience
With such a great and underused setting as Victorian London (chronologically end of WWI, but aesthetically and socially very much fin de siècle times), interesting characters voiced by a talented VO team, and a complex intertwined mystery stories in the supernatural and the social worlds, Vampyr has a lot going for it. However, unfortunately as a gaming experience it does everything in its power to undermine itself.

You can take your pick between extremely rudimentary and boring combat and RPG systems, lack of any real impact of your choices on the world (despite the game repeatedly hammering you with prompts about the consequences of your actions), lack of fast travel that keeps you bogged down in tedious, repetetive random encounters for 10-15 minutes for every trip between locations, the simplistic "investigations" that require no input from you whatsoever and railroad you into the correct solution from the onset.

The game would have been so much better as a pure exploration and investigation game. Resources spent on designing the combat, magic and levelling system could have been utilized for more VO, more detailed and interactable world, ultimately to make interactions with the characters and the environment more varied and actually bring some weight to the player's choices. The developer is even mostly known for Graphic adventure stuff, so I have no idea why they decided to take a dip into action, but it definitely didn't pay off.

Still, the setting and the story/characters are definitely good enough to explore them even in this scaled down version and annoying combat always in the way.
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ac_church 2021-11-28T22:57:17Z
2021-11-28T22:57:17Z
3.0
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Title
Dr Jonathan Reid wakes up in a pit of dead bodies. He stumbles with hazed vision and embraces a woman that appears to know him. His new, natural instincts cause him to bite into her neck. Now revitalised, he realises it is his sister, but has no time to mourn since vampire hunters give chase. After a failed suicide attempt (he is immortal), he is determined to track down the Vampire who “turned him” to learn more about his new form and hopefully undo it. He soon teams up with Edgar Swansea who runs Pembroke Hospital and has a keen interest in vampires.

Dr Reid makes an interesting character because he has a clash between his urge to kill, and desire to heal. The game is set in London, during the time when the “Spanish Flu” hit. London is ravaged, but Dr Reid suspects it may not just be the Spanish Flu that is causing so many deaths.

I’m not sure what the game’s title is all about because a few hours into the game, you are told your kind are known as Ekon. The vampire hunters seem to refer to you as Leech.

There are many half-vampires known as “Skals” that often roam the streets, along with the increasing presence of vampire hunters, and the odd werewolf.

You gain a decent amount of experience from quests but only a small amount from killing enemies. You get massive boosts by killing normal citizens by “embracing” (biting) them. The game instructs you at the start - that the game will be much harder if you don’t embrace people.

Each citizen is shown in your menu with their associated “blood quality” which is lowered if they are sick. The more you know about them raises their “blood quality”. Maybe it doesn’t make sense, but it works in the game. You can’t actually embrace everyone, or at least, not at the start. You need to make sure your “mesmerise” rating is greater than their willpower, which is raised after completing the key story quests. When you mesmerise them, you escort them into a dark area to bite them. People have a social circle and their death will affect their circle. Close friends will leave London, and their associated side-quests will fail.

This gives you a moral dilemma of sorts. Do you really want to kill the Father that is struggling to feed his kids? Often the morals are quite ambiguous, so someone might be committing crimes because he has fallen on hard times and has no choice. Deaths and illness affects the district - deplete the meter too low and the citizens will die/vacate and enemies will fill the area.

To prevent illness, you need to craft medicine and give it to the citizens. Initially, I felt the medicine cost far too much to craft, but after around the midpoint in the game, I was finding a lot more ingredients, and then had no problems dishing out the medicine. I think a key tip early on in the game is: only craft medicine when you need it, rather than crafting in advance. I’d also be careful with the weapon upgrades, but definitely work towards upgrading your favourite weapon because the increases in damage can be very large.

The game features loads of talking. This is done via a dialogue tree, and it is mainly a case of exhausting all the options. It feels like a system seen in point-and-click adventure since some options are locked until you gain knowledge. It’s like you are a detective so need to talk to people in their social circle to get information, find notes, or witness them being “up to no good”. Then new dialogue options open up with your new knowledge. As a vampire, you have some kind of persuasive ability, so people are always willing to divulge information to you when you challenge them on it.

You equip a main weapon and an off-hand weapon, or a two-handed weapon on its own. You have 2 sets that you can switch between by pressing left/right on the D-Pad. Off-hand weapons have a special trait like draining blood, stunning, then you also have ranged weapons like guns. If you upgrade your main weapons, then you have an optional bonus for each weapon level which can increase damage, reduce stamina cost, add stun damage or blood drain.

Attacking and dodging deplete your stamina, and it drains quickly, so the combat often involves taking a swipe or two then retreating. The stamina cost differs based on your weapon. If you stun enemies, you can bite them which does a small amount of damage but is mainly used for replenishing your blood meter in combat (this doesn’t give you XP like the out-of-battle embracing mechanic). There are abilities that use blood, like the attack “blood spear”, but the most important one is your healing ability. Therefore it is always a good idea to work towards stunning enemies to ensure you have the ability to heal. Alternatively, you could rely on a weapon that drains blood. As a vampire, you are weak to fire, intense light and holy weapons. These are fairly rare, but some specialist enemies can use these attacks. Enemies have different resistances which are shown on a pop-up box. The enemy’s “level” is also shown, and I found enemies that were more than a few levels above were very tough.

The graphics are decent enough, although the game always takes place at night, and you are either roaming the streets, taking brief stints in buildings, or in the sewers; so there isn’t that much environment variety. The cello soundtrack is quite nice.

There didn’t seem to be enough justification to kill the most influential people in the story, but choosing not to kill them seemed to bring the region closer to chaos. There was one region I lost this way, so I lost out on loads of XP and couldn’t complete sidequests that I wanted to do. It’s possible the region went into chaos for other reasons like too many people were ill, or I didn’t complete enough side-quests. I did want to play as much as I could without embracing people, although I did always plan on embracing a few; but wanted to choose people who wanted to die, or people that had a severely low standard of ethics. However, I found the game to be really difficult so there was one section where I did embrace a few people in order to boost my health and stamina which were way too low.

Even after boosting those, I still felt the game was really hard. I do wonder if the skills are imbalanced because I’ve seen some reviewers claim the game is way too easy even when you don’t embrace anyone; which I find a ridiculous claim. To me, this game was Dark Souls level of difficulty.

I often found the enemies level were at least 2 above mine. Some sections of the game had enemies 8 levels above me.

There was one point in the game where I wanted to do some side-quests to get more experience because the mainline story was too difficult. So I went to this warehouse, and outside was a hunter that I was confident in killing, but then there was a tougher guy with a flamethrower who took me down in seconds if he connected. If you get in close, then he can melee you which staggers you. There’s also a soldier with a rifle lingering in the background whose shots were doing 50% of my health. After finally defeating them with 20% health remaining, I then go into the warehouse to be greeted by a werewolf - who was first introduced as a story boss just a few hours earlier. After leaving that quest until later, when I came back to re-attempt, there’s actually a second, stronger werewolf battle straight after. I would have had no chance the first time around.

Much of the game is like this where the enemies are pretty tough, but because they come in groups - it is extremely hard. Sometimes you end up dodging one attack, to then have to dodge another enemy. Then you find your stamina is drained, and one enemy then pulls off their special attack for 70% damage. The actual boss characters love pulling off moves like that, or have triple-combo moves where it is 30% damage per hit. So if you don’t dodge the first, then it’s basically game-over. Most bosses took me several attempts to beat. I was worried the final boss would be impossible, but I found it to be the easiest boss fight in the game. In fact, some standard enemies were more difficult!

When you die, you do respawn at a checkpoint, but you lose any bullets, syringes (health/stamina restoration), and your blood level will be reset to 10%. It’s not a huge penalty but can be frustrating if you feel the bullets were necessary to take the boss down.

I really liked the game’s setting and concepts, and vampires are very under-represented in games. I quite liked the fact the enemies weren’t just cannon fodder and so had to fight them more methodically. However, the game felt unfair at times, and I felt the high quantities of enemy encounters really dragged the game out. It seemed that there were more “Vampire Hunters” than there were citizens.
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CaptainClam 2021-01-13T23:43:08Z
2021-01-13T23:43:08Z
4.0
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This game could be good. The idea, setting and atmosphere are all on point and they make me interested. I also really liked voice acting, especially the actor who plays main character. Unfortunately the longer I played, the more annoyed I've become. Playing this game wasn't a terrible experience, but was rather frustrating.

Interesting story and characters (many people complain about the writing, but I think it is generally good) are important, but the most important thing in the game is gameplay. In this case it is unfortunately the weakest element. Fight system is just...boring. The fights can cause problems (although I have them only in two or three places), but difficulty is not the main issue, it's repetitiveness. After you get a hang of how skills work every fight looks more or less the same, it can only last longer when the opponent have more health. It wouldn't be a problem if fights were rare or easily avoidable, unfortunately, that's not the case. There are many fights you just have to fight.

The game tells the player that choices have consequences. It even enforces that notion by making it impossible to load other save than the latest. I would be OK with that, but my problem is that it is not always clear what exactly you choose, I wasn't certain what exactly will the protagonist do if I chose one of the options. It's bad especially that these choices have big consequences (but, thankfully they are making it harder to achieve good ending but it is still possible).

Characters are interesting, but it's a shame that they are mostly static, only few really react to players actions. It's a shame, because it is potentially a really interesting element of the game. I would prefer more interactions with character than slaughtering millions of enemies.

Vampyr had potential, but it didn't live up to it. Even the way the story ends is a little disappointing (everything is explained in a long expository dialogue). I would recommend this game only to avid vampires fans, the rest can watch the gameplay on youtube. I expected more from this title.
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iamnotabackpacker 2020-07-01T16:01:35Z
2020-07-01T16:01:35Z
2.5
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Catalog

zero_signal Vampyr 2022-09-24T01:17:02Z
2022-09-24T01:17:02Z
In collection Want to buy Used to own  
wishlist
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2.0
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PS4
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SolitaryDoomsdayCultist Vampyr 2022-09-11T12:49:55Z
2022-09-11T12:49:55Z
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WMII Vampyr 2022-09-03T00:48:11Z
2022-09-03T00:48:11Z
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In collection Want to buy Used to own  
Perennial_Quest Vampyr 2022-09-01T22:41:06Z
Windows
2022-09-01T22:41:06Z
In collection Want to buy Used to own  
Epic Games
slepysledz Vampyr 2022-08-31T19:57:50Z
2022-08-31T19:57:50Z
In collection Want to buy Used to own  
epic
guffel Vampyr 2022-08-30T18:22:44Z
Windows
2022-08-30T18:22:44Z
In collection Want to buy Used to own  
Epic Freebie
boolus Vampyr 2022-08-28T12:26:06Z
2022-08-28T12:26:06Z
In collection Want to buy Used to own  
sigurn Vampyr 2022-08-26T10:56:39Z
2022-08-26T10:56:39Z
2.5
In collection Want to buy Used to own  
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  • Previous comments (14) Loading...
  • Gowi 2020-07-02 14:24:02.252139+00
    It's decent tho
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  • iN008 2021-07-12 04:29:42.658047+00
    Weirdly panned here, it's pretty good.
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  • ... 2021-10-19 21:18:07.565268+00
    it's alright, I enjoyed it a lot more once i decided the side quests weren't worth bothering with
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  • ac_church 2021-11-12 20:07:15.400559+00
    yeah, joining the supporters. started really slow and has it's annoying moments, but now i geared up to playing 2-3 hours a day. a great setting and characters do indeed carry it.
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  • ac_church 2021-11-12 20:11:38.839985+00
    also i'm a bit annoyed when games make me choose between being good and having a good time. it's a freaking vampire game, let me do cool vampire shit and bite people without thinking about leaving their children to starve ffs
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  • aminstrel 2021-12-01 05:17:15.250162+00
    it's not a good game at all... but the atmosphere is so compelling that i'm in love
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  • anonagon 2022-04-18 12:15:46.883654+00
    compelling ideas, iffy execution: the game
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