Vampyr Game Review – Almost a Perfect Vampire Narrative, Bogged Down by Boring Combat

Today we’re going to meet a special kind of night prowler in this Vampyr game review, a game that could have been an incredibly philosophical narrative experience if it only abandoned its very tedious action RPG elements.

What is Vampyr about?

Vampyr is a video game where we play as a British surgeon that gets transformed into a vampire.

Who made Vampyr?

Vampyr was developed by DONTNOD Entertainment and published by Focus Entertainment.

When did Vampyr come out?

Vampyr came out on June 5, 2018.

How long does it take for me to beat Vampyr?

You will need anywhere from 15 to 18 hours to beat Vampyr.

When is Vampyr set?

Vampyr is set in 1918, London.

How much does Vampyr cost?

You can buy Vampyr for 39,99€.

Where can I find a cheap Vampyr key?

You can find a cheap Vampyr key on HRK Game.

Vampyr game review
Image credit: DONTNOD Entertainment

Jonathan Reid, a vampire and a doctor

Jonathan Reid is a special kind of doctor. His passion and expertise lie in the study of blood. It’s pretty funny that he became a vampire. But, Jonathan still wants to help the sick and the weak. However, he’s also a sinister night stalker who needs to feed on blood. Quite a sticky situation our good doctor found himself in. And one condition that Vampyr as a game should have focused on.

Do you murder an innocent person in exchange for a huge XP boost and a generous quantity of delectable, high-quality blood? Or do you resist the urge, grabbing filthy rats off the cobblestone streets to temporarily quench your unholy thirst? It’s a difficult decision because the people whose arteries you can suck aren’t just faceless NPCs. They have personalities, hopes, dreams, and voice actors. Some disagreeable people deserve to become vampire food, making your life a little simpler. But can you bring yourself to slurp from an innocent, hardworking nurse’s veins? I did, but I played this title for the Vampyr game review, so I had to explore all the options hehe.

Vampyr game review
Image credit: DONTNOD Entertainment

Vampyr has a very philosophical story

Vampyr has a lot of layers that you need to peel back. Some people aren’t as innocent as you think they are. This is where the game’s investigation element shines. See, Jonathan has to learn more about all the people he meets on the streets, in the pubs, and even in the slums, their lives, and what kind of people they are. Those sorts of things.

Vampyr takes place in 1918, right when the people had to deal with the First World War AND a terrible Spanish flu epidemic. Yeah, things are looking pretty grim for London, and add vampire attacks in the mix, and you can only imagine how miserable the people were back then.

Reid needs to get to know his victims

Reid’s primary goal is to discover who transformed him into a vampire. He ends up working the nightshift at a hospital, utilizing it as a base of operations to conduct experiments and wander into the city to pursue any leads he has. Along the way, you’ll pick up numerous side objectives and gradually build a mental picture of the individuals who live in your district: possible allies or, perhaps, victims. As you explore London’s abandoned flats, docks, and warehouses, you’ll find materials that may be fashioned into valuable tools and medications and hidden safe houses where you can rest and gain new abilities.

Vampyr game review
Image credit: DONTNOD Entertainment

Reid, as a vampire, can charm someone better if he knows more about them. That’s why learning about the people and their intriguing lives is so important. It makes it easier for you to lure them into the dark and suck their life out with your fangs. Is it sadistic? Getting to know someone only so you can drain the life out of them? A bit, yes, but that’s exactly what vampires are supposed to do. Oh, we also get XP points when we feast, which helps us unlock more skills.

Make sure your food is healthy

Another bizarre mechanism in Vampyr is treating sick civilians with medicine made from scavenged objects to improve their health, making them a more nutritious meal if you want to consume them. Killing someone is horrible enough, but bringing them back to health is even worse. That is simply nasty. Reid, on the other hand, never finds pleasure in this. He’s a ‘newborn’ vampire, still clinging to his humanity, and much of the story’s drama stems from how he finds his newfound desire to consume blood horrifying.

Vampyr game review
Image credit: DONTNOD Entertainment

As I constantly repeat in this Vampyr game review, Jonathan is a doctor. Because of his profession, he can significantly improve the situation of the district he operates in. When you cure illnesses, you improve a district’s overall health. Killing its residents, on the other hand, lowers its overall health. Any place with a low health amount will have more trouble with diseases and higher prices. A cool thing in Vampyr is that you can completely lose a district. Just lower its health enough, and it’s gone. The game’s story continues regardless, but you will carry the weight of your actions.

When we get to the combat, Vampyr becomes very boring

I adore Vampyr’s simulation aspect: learning to live with the curse, fitting in, deciding when to feed and who to spare. But it’s the bits in between that let you down. There’s an endless parade of vampire hunters and feral vampires to murder in tedious, repetitive battle sequences for every fleshed-out NPC. You cut through so many of these individuals that it diminishes Reid’s other battles with violence. And the fighting seems weightless, twitchy, and unsatisfying, with the floaty, annoying third-person camera getting caught in corners and on bits of landscape, obscuring the action.

Vampyr game review
Image credit: DONTNOD Entertainment

In its favor, there’s a wide range of combat options, from basic weapons and guns to more unusual vampire-related abilities like flinging blood spears at opponents and mercilessly clawing them to bits. However, these game elements are rarely more than passable, and their presence really works against the game as a whole, acting as a tiresome distraction. I can’t help but think that Vampyr would have been far superior if the story and simulation aspects had been let to stand on their own—which I believe they easily could have done.

Vampyr and its gameplay should have focused on the story and the characters

Vampyr game review
Image credit: DONTNOD Entertainment

If Vampyr had focused more on its story and the complex themes of being a doctor and a hungry vampire, it would have been a legendary game. Unfortunately, boring combat and bland RPG elements drag the experience down. Still, the game’s atmospheric setting, the oppressive decisions you must make, and insanely gripping dialogue-driven storytelling make it a worthy vampire experience. Also, Reid isn’t all that mysterious and charming for a vampire.

Conclusion

Still, Vampyr is one title that you should check out.

If you read the entirety of this Vampyr game review and liked what you see, why not go over to HRK Game? We offer the best discounts on games, be they old or new, and we have cheap Vampyr game keys as well!

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