Vampyr starts out in the early 20th century with a freshly bitten doctor Jonathan E. Reid arriving home from the front line into first world war London where the Spanish flu epidemic tares threw the streets, people are dying and hope is running thin.
The first thing you notice on firing Vapyr up is how truly stunning it is graphically – admittedly I’m playing on ultra – the mist and lighting combined with the depth of colour combine wonderfully. It’s truly engulfing as you step into this dark and dreary world. The sound is rich and atmospheric and contributes nicely to the overall atmosphere of the game. The controls initially feel very intuitive and were simple enough to pick up through the early quests.
As you first arrive you speak to a couple of characters before moving on to the hospital which will become your base of operations. From here you can craft various medicines, weapons and other such goodies. Resources are scattered around in drawers, cases and cabinets as you would expect.
Initially you go around and get to know your colleagues, pick up side missions or go off and start killing people, it’s up to you although I would advise against the latter. Completion of each mission leads to XP which can be spent on various vampirish abilities and killing off the wrong character too early in the game could really mess things up later on.
It becomes interesting when you realise that, in order for you to feed you must kill, the question the becomes whom. Each character has an impact to the story and to the overall area in which they reside.
Vampyrs story keeps you hooked as your character struggles with the conflict between who he is and what he has become and it’s only gradually that he comes to accept his fate. Much of the beginning of the game is based around basic quests that teach you how to use your powers such as resolving local disputes. One point of note here is that the graphics and models of the bus characters were a little poor with bad lip sync.
The map is fairly large and in the 20 hours I played I had not been anywhere near around all of it. London is filled with deep alleyways, sewers, dark passages and hidden corners in which bad things happen. Best to be well tooled up and there are an array of weapons on offer suitable for an affluent doctor roaming London late at night other than his newfound vampirism.
As I progressed further and further into the game though I did have more and more of an issue with the combat system. Initially, it was alright however as you got more powers and wanted to use them you needed more blood which comes from the people you’re fighting. It was here I encountered the issue. When fighting you can’t bite the victims quickly enough to stop yourself from getting messed up as a consequence.
This leads me to my second issue with the control system, as a pc gamer I like to use the keyboard and mouse allot of the time, in fact, it’s my preference and it’s why I game on the PC. Using the mouse in this game was an awful experience, the acceleration is all wrong and no matter how much I messed around with the control I just couldn’t get it right. Eventually, I game up and streamed the game to the big screen in the living room and used a controller. This actually turned out to be a good thing as the game is rather detailed with many conversations and actions leading to other parts of the story which gradually unlock and you track down leads. This is all quite time-consuming but is really a big reason we all love role-playing games, it’s the emersion into the world and this is something that Vampyr has is bags.
As a prefix to the conclusion, I always like to ask the question: Is it a good game and is it worth spending my money on?
In this respect Vampyr delivers a good bang for your buck, it creates a truly immersive world, rich in its gloominess and desperation. The characters are complex and the story unfolds well at a leisurely pace, I have not played it all the way through yet, however, I am going to enjoy seeing where DONTNOD have taken this epic adventure. Graphically the game is glorious and pushes most modern graphics cards which leads me to mention the specs for running this game. The recommended requirements are pretty steep, we are talking about an Intel Core i7 3830K 3.2 or an AMD Ryzen 1600 3.2. 16 GB of RAM and a GeForce 970 or a Radeon R9 390 > 4GB. Although if you want to play this is 4K you need a GeForce 1080 ti or better yet two of them!
I hope the controls and combat/feeding issues get addressed as this does draw away from an otherwise incredibly well made and thought out game. Vampyr has given me several hours of quality entertainment so far and I look forward to playing through the rest of the story. With all this considered I am scoring Vampyr an 8. The control issues when fighting/feeling brought away from an otherwise brilliant game which while nothing revolutionary in terms of concept or theme is certainly a well-executed, highly immersive and fun role-playing action adventure game.