Vampyr – A Bram Stoker-esque game

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By: Corey Lack

vampyr

Vampyr was a video game that was released back in 2018. It featured the player controlling Doctor Jonathan Reid during the Spanish Flu epidemic after he returns from serving in the Great War. Soon after seeking to help those afflicted with the disease, he is attacked by a vampire and wakes up in a mass grave, only to be attacked by men and be overwhelmed by new bloodlust. He now seeks to find a cure for his new affliction while trying to deal with his division between his new thirst for blood and his desire to follow the Hippocratic Oath.

 

In terms of plot, the game was “okay.” I enjoyed going through the story to watch as Reid tried to find the reason behind his attack while working on finding a cure for both his vampirism and the Flu. That said, there seemed to be a great deal going on throughout the story. So much so, that there seemed to be too much going on and I occasionally felt pulled in too many directions at once. There was Reid having to find out who turned him, there was him having to deal with vampire slayers, there was him trying to find a cure for his new affliction, there was Reid trying to help the people suffering in the city, and there was him trying to find his place in this new world he found himself in.

 

With the gameplay, it was very decent as the combat flowed fluidly and had enough different methods of combat that the players could try their own strategies. Additionally, there were enough different types of enemies that the player had to adapt their strategy to deal with each one.

 

Finally, there’s the core mechanic that made up the game: the feeding/leveling system. The player can decide to feed on the noncombatant NPCs that they interact with and gain huge amounts of experience to level up their character. However, the districts and Reid’s humanity will suffer as the result of each person’s death. Additionally, the player can interact with the player more, understanding them better, which, in turn, allows them to gain more experience when feeding upon them. So, the player has to go through this sort-of slight morality system and decide to sacrifice Reid’s humanity, making him betray his Oath in exchange for power, or stick to his desire as a doctor and frequently fight underleveled.

 

The game is certainly well-done and the developers clearly put a lot of work in this between the realistic recreation of London during that time and the creation of the characters and their backstories. The combat was passable, but nothing to really stand out among other games. The only major flaw was the plot. I’d give the game seven drained corpses out of ten.

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