Vampyr: Could It Be? A Vampire Game That DOESN’T Suck??

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Vampyr

So, anyone who knows me knows I’m not a massive gamer. I do however…dabble.

For the right kind of game.

I’ve got a bit of a thing for zombies, a weakness for The Sims and although I stubbornly refuse to allow myself to become addicted to Fantasy role playing games, I will admit to having played World of Warcraft more than once.

I liked it.

I liked it a lot.

I liked it so much that I refused to allow myself to play it again becausae I could see, literally see, like a mirage laid out before me, the path my life would take if I fell down that particualr rabbit hole.

I like games. I’m just not prepared to take time away from all the other things I like to play them much.

There have been a few exceptions to this. One of them was the Buffy the Vampire Slayer: Chaos Bleeds game that I had on…something. Like I said, not a gamer, so much so I can’t actually recall what console I was playing it on. All I remember is that one summer my then-boyfriend bought it for me along with Pikmin and my plans to get a head start on the reading list for the next semester vanished in a haze of vampire slaying and small aliens with plants growing out of their heads.

So I keep my eyes open. Occasionally something takes my fancy. Over the years I’ve valiantly foreyed into many a vampire game bent (some might say hell bent) on finding another I liked as much as Chaos Bleeds. A seasoned gamer would likely tell me the Buffy game sucks and the ones I repeatedly kicked to the curb were awesome, but for whatever reason no other vampire game has ever tickled my fancy.

Until now.

From the creator of Life Is Strange comes Vampyr, an intriguing tale tale of London, but not as we know it. The city is overcome by disease and warring factions of vampires are thriving as a result.

This one I’m actually looking forward to!

The protagonist is Doctor Jonathan Reid, a freshly turned vampire (of Vampyr if you will), who is convinced that vampirism is a disease. He’s on the hunt for a cure, which requires him to find the origin of the ‘contagion’ (essentially the origin of vampirism) however this isn’t a simple quest. Reid is a vampire, and in order to progress his must do what all good vampires do.

Yep, suck the living %&$* out of people.

The game only progresses as long as you are willing to kill humans in order to further your own ends. As creative director Philippe Moreau says, “Feeding on citizens is the basis of your character progression. The more you kill, the stronger you get. The question is, how far are you willing to go?”

It would appear that Vampire is far more than a blood and guts romp through the world of vampires. With an alternate version of London based on the turn of the 20th century, we have a wealth of amazing settings at our disposal such as Whitechapel and various other districts. Add to this the possibilities for meeting other characters wandering the dark streees and suddenly you don’t know whether you’re going to run into a vampire hunter trying to kill you, or one of the mutant vamps (called skulls), lurking in the underbelly of the city. The skulls are the result of some form of epidemic plaguing London and threatening the human population, who are also on hand for sub-plots, extra questions, and snacks!

What’s interesting is that this doesn’t appear to be as simple as going on a killing spree, gaining as much strength as possible, and finishing your quest. While you must feed on humans in order to progress in the game you also have to maintain a balance – the city is divided into districts that must be explored individually. They contain humans, hunters and monsters, and you must kill some of the humans in order to defeat the hunters and monsters BUT, kill too many, and you fail. Feeding increases your strength and unlocks new powers such as hypnotism and teleportation.

Balance.

Reid is an interesting character, caught between two worlds and two identities, one of which he presumably despises but is forced to embrace in order to solve the wider problem. As Moreau explains, the population of the city are far more than threats or food, “All citizens have their own jobs, activities and stories. They all have relationships, personal issues and sometimes secrets to find.”

 

Valiant quest to save humanity?

Ambiguous main character with an identity crisis who must embrace the very thing he abhors in order to defeat it?

Alternate calamity-ridden London?

Bloody mayhem?

Oh, yes please!

Vampyr will be released on PC, PS4 and Xbox One some time in 2017

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Hazel Butler
Hazel is a Dark Fantasy/Urban Fantasy Author and freelance Writer from Cheshire, England. She runs The Write Copy Girl (www.thewritecopygirl.com) offering professional copywriting services to business owners. She is also a regular blogger on The Huffington Post and several other sites. Her books include Dark Urban Fantasy Novel Chasing Azrael (myBook.to/chasingazrael) and Dark Fantasy Novella Bleizgeist (myBook.to/bleizgeist).