The Good Kind Of Suck – Vampyr Review

The Good Kind Of Suck – Vampyr Review

Lately I’ve been trying to do things like play Monster Hunter World, and watching anime for the season. Instead, I’ve been watching The Office and playing Vampyr, pronounced “vam·pir.” In fact as I write this up, I’m playing The Office in the background and all I can think about is delving back into 1918 England as a hunter in the night. Being rather surprised at how good this game was, I found out that the game was made by many of the people who made Life is Strange. Turns out that this game is a great spiritual successor to Vampire: The Masquerade – Bloodlines as it has an amazing bit of world building, character development, and interesting combat mechanics. Beyond that, let’s take a look at some of the things that have got me hooked.

Vampyr Pembroke.jpg

We are dropped into the game roaming through a pile of dead, awakening and finding ourselves in our vampire vision mode, where things are black and white and fuzzy, except for blood. Finding the first thing living near by you drink, and drink deep, draining your sister Mary. Running off from mysterious and well armed individuals, you flee for your life and try to find who did this to you and by extension your sister. Our character, Dr. Jonathan E. Reid, is a great individual and they build him out except for the fact that he blames his sire for his killing of Mary. He goes on to try and track him down, finding himself in the service of Dr. Swansea, Head Administrator of Pembroke Hospital and hired as the Head Surgeon to conduct his experiments as (here’s the cheesy but funny moment) the world’s premier blood transfusion expert. All of this occurring with the backdrop of the Spanish Flu outbreak combines for an interesting take in an interesting scenario.

Vampyr Guard of Priwen

The world is built out at this point by taking a large amount of historical medical knowledge circa 1918. You roam around meeting citizens and resolving their side quests as well as healing their issues with 1918 medicine made of rock salt mixed with codine and opium. By doing this, you invest time and energy in the citizens of London, and the worst part is how you can then feed upon these individuals, killing them and potentially destroying other story lines. However by fattening up the cattle, you also gain massive amounts of experience (1,000-6,000 depending, and it takes like 3 hours of questing to get 3-4,000) at the cost of your humanity and ergo, your happy ending of the game.

Vampyr Combat

Your main antagonists for the beginning of the game are the Guard of Priwen, a paramilitary organization of vampire hunters who are all moderately-extremely well armed with anything ranging from torches, shotguns, Webleys and machetes, to flamethrowers and mustard gas grenades. In addition to them you also encounter feral Skals, who are similar to ghouls of traditional vampire lore, and are a pestilence upon London. In my game play I’ve also started to encounter upper class vampires by the name of the Ascalon Club, who seem to come across as a bunch of pretentious asshole vampires.

Vampyr Preacher

Overall I’ve found the game to be enthralling and engaging, with the combat being twitchy at times but highly rewarding when you get the hang of it. The leveling system is very reminiscent of Assassin’s Creed Origin, with non-scaling enemies and regions. In the beginning I ended up forgoing the main story and ended up in areas I wasn’t supposed to for some time. I learned how to dodge very quickly, because being hit by these guys was very lethal. After some hours of trial and error with the dodge and parry/stun mechanic I found myself transforming from some stumbling new blood Ekon, to an efficient killing machine; vanishing, countering, and devouring his opponents with amazingly fun lethality. Beyond this are the powers that you have, ranging from your generic abilities such as transforming and “teleporting” (which the game comically explains as moving too fast for the human eye to process) to more violent abilities, such as sending spears of blood to pierce the enemy or explosions of shadow to eviscerate them. The “ultimate” moves are also quite interesting as they do things such as unleashing your beast to auto slice and dice, creating back breaking tentacles of shadow, or just exploding the blood cells of your target.

Vampyr Bite.jpg

Beyond your typical skill tree and leveling system, I’ve found myself playing one specific way as a trial, so that I can later go for a true proper run through, followed by one where I’ll be a psycho that just eats people. The replayability of this game is just fantastic and I can see myself dumping dozens and dozens of hours where I build up and turn pillars of the community, and other play through where I treat the game like my own personal all you can eat buffet. I can’t recommend this game enough for people who like history, vampires, action RPGs, medicine, or some combination of the above. Let me know what you think of the game if you’ve tried it, if I’ve convinced you to try it, or just want to talk in general!

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