Vampyr (Video Game 2018) Poster

(2018 Video Game)

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8/10
Vampyr is an Imperfect Product That Gets Enough Right to Make it Worth Picking Up
CANpatbuck366422 December 2018
Checking out the marketing for Vampyr, the game sells itself on not only showing the "darker" side of being a vampire (as opposed to something like Twilight) but also on the player's ability to choose how much of that dark nature that's going to be revealed. Outside of combat, the player has the choice of drinking the blood of the non-playable characters they meet or leaving them be. This is one of the better aspects of Vampyr, to get more XP from drinking these character's blood, you have to get to know them a little better, to help treat their sickness and consider the consequences of what their absence would mean to those around them. Its a clever twist compared to most sandbox single player adventures where the player can murder anyone they want and face little consequence. I love games where choices matter and to help immerse you into this world, they create some characters that you aren't just willing to lead into a dark alley for nefarious purposes. Its not a ground-breaking achievement, but I did like the effort put into that aspect.

Moving from the supporting characters to the main character, Dr. Jonathan Reid is an interesting character to follow throughout Vampyr. He's my kind of protagonist, he's an anti-hero who is trying to come to grips with not only his new sickness but also the world he's come back to. He doesn't beat around the bush when he's questioning/interrogating those around him, he's helpful to the less fortunate but critical of the selfishness and lack of professionalism of his friends and colleagues. Your choices affect his demeanor, but his personality was about the right mix of ingredients for me. I also thought some good voice work from Anthony Howell helped sell the dilemmas that he faces throughout the game.

While there is a good amount of investigating to do in this game, the player can engage in a fair amount of combat as Reid. This is probably where the game runs into difficulty. Reid's actual combat style isn't new and the character progression down the skill tree is solid if unspectacular. But the two things that really got me were how repetitive the fight sequences were. You move from one end of London to the other and you still come upon the same groups of vampire hunters with the same number of people and even the same type of fighters. By the end of the game, I wasn't concerned with picking up XP from these fights anymore and largely ran, dodged or walked away from these fights. The other thing that bugged me is if you choose to try not to embrace as few citizens as possible, the boss fights are unreasonably difficult. There isn't a big variety in how to defeat these enemies, so you have to keep doing the same combos and attacks, but you also have to be more and more precise depending on how often you have leveled up. Vampyr lets you know, if you're having trouble, embrace more people for more XP but the game also lays on the guilt trip if you choose to do that. So, I felt like the game was pulling me in one direction but almost requiring me to go in the other just, so I could progress.

The Vampyr story is another beauty in the eye of the beholder aspect. Dr. Johnathan Reid is a gifted surgeon and a pioneer in the field of blood transfusion. He returns from war in France to his home of London, England but is immediately knocked out, transformed into a vampire, presumed dead and pitched in a mass grave. London is being terrorized by the Spanish Flu epidemic and few chances are being taken. Reid wakes up and unfortunately bites the first person in the vicinity because of the magnitude of his thirst for blood. Unable to come to grips with the murder he just perpetrated, he flees the area and tries to adapt to not only his new surroundings but to his new lifestyle as a vampire. This premise was interesting enough to get me on board, but the game lacks the non-stop action that many gamers will crave. The creative team does a pretty good job however spinning this narrative and combine that with some solid character development, you've got a story worth keeping up with.

I foresee this game gaining a cult following. It won't be for everyone and it's not like Vampyr's problems are hiding in the shadows like Dr. Jonathan Reid. You pick up on them rather quickly (frustrating and repetitive combat being the biggest) and if you're not invested in the characters or the premise, I would bet you'd be turning off your preferred gaming console (PS4, XBOX One or PC). But I did like the premise, the characters, the atmosphere and parts of the story and that kept me going. I would love to see a sequel to this because if they can improve upon some of the missteps in Vampyr, I think you would get that unanimous approval from the gaming community. Reid is an interesting enough anti-hero (depending on how you choose to play him) and he could anchor another game. The finished product is decidedly mixed, but I fall into the niche this game was aiming for. I give it more credit because it wasn't a AAA release, it was done on a moderate budget for a video game studio and while the lack of polish the game has is evident, they still created a game that's a new take on a vampires in video games and had enough style to standout. I wouldn't recommend buying Vampyr at full price, but I got it at a 50% off sale and I'm happy with the purchase at that amount. I'd give it a 7.5 out of 10 rounding up to an 8/10.
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10/10
A must have. No less!
akiradark-3196810 February 2019
A great game! With such a narrative, an intense story telling! It touches our emotions with deep personal story of every character! The mechanicals give us a feeling in being a real vampire, having to choose whether or not to kill someone, you feel the thirst for blood (to upgrade your powers) or to spare and save a life and see the changes in story. Be a good doctor, or a powerful creature of the night! It is up to you! An awesome game! Like no other around nowadays.
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3/10
They absolutely ruined the whole game by not giving a single #### about fixing the lacking combat system
angiris5 June 2018
Warning: Spoilers
I hate writing this. I hate this with a passion and its because I love EVERYTHING else about this game. And as a fan of DontNod's Remember Me this blows on an astronomical level. What the F happened?! How did this get past Q&A? HOW did this get approved? Did nobody remotely ask themselves if this was gonna be satisfying to play? Do yourself a favour. Downvote me if you're a fanboy. Spare yourself the time reading because this is gonna be a huge damn review.

Good. Now lets get into a quick summary of the Pros of this game:

Its visually stunning, fantastic music, great sound design, a true return to gothic horror for sure. In terms of cinematic killing, dialog, exploring personalities, and much more concerning the RPG aspect the game shines in my personal opinion. I might be a bit biased because I love vampires so there is that. I dont find it boring. I love the blood system, gaining Xp as you feed, improving blood quality, affecting the city per kill, struggling with moral choices and consequences depending on who dies and why.

All this sounds great. Its every vampire players wet dream. To be in control of life and death and either save everyone or murder them, giving in to your vampiric nature. YOU got the choice, dear reader.

But it all comes to a stop. Con time: Now. I'll show you exactly what Im talking about here to give you a perfect idea of what exactly to expect and how Little DontNod bothered to flesh out a satisfying combat system that REMOTELY features any degree of realism.

--Nr 1: https://imgur.com/a/QU1oS0i What the hell is this? A stun option? No kill option? Of course not because the game doesn't feature a stealth system. So what happens once you stun him you ask? Easy, friends. He just drops, loses all stamina and gets back up in 4 seconds. No easy kill? No non-lethal kill? NOPE. because why think of that right?

--Nr 2: https://imgur.com/a/aVwHNZW All bodies are clean. I killed these 2 dudes using a machete.... but no blood was present except on the floor. Is this like 1st gen console Graphics or what, DontNod? Why the hell is your combat Graphics SO lackluster. Its downright embarassingly mediocre which makes no sense at all because of the next picture...

--Nr 3: https://imgur.com/a/leqZWUF As you can see here, Gore, brutality, guts and more IS present in the game. But the devs decided to make it all static mesh files you couldn't interact with. In Vampire The Masquerade: Bloodlines you had abilities that could create this level of brutality. The player also had stealth mechanics and otherwise to go for pretty sweet and brutal kills that 1 shot via stealth. Decapitation was present, gory body explosions were present. And far more. It all fit the genre of VAMPIRE GAME:

--Nr 4: Here is an example of to what degree the devs explored autopsy details on NPC's = https://imgur.com/a/4lVlMyz Why is it, DontNod? That you bothered to Little by applying ANY degree of attention to detail to your combat system when you literally made it IMPOSSIBLE to avoid. If mean, if Combat was an afterthought and you primarily wanted to tell a story about walking, talking, cinematic kills etc. I dont have a problem with that... BUT THEN WHY THE HELL?! WHY THE #### DID YOU MAKE COMBAT HAPPEN SO OFTEN?! mandatory boss fights? No stealth approach? And yet you didn't remotely bother trying to add some satisfying texture and graphical Fidelity to the impact of your weapons AND SPELL usage.

You can shoot, you can slash, you can hammer, you can slaw, you can rend, you can bite, you can IMPALE...AND EXPLODE.... but nothing will ever ever happen. Your combat system... is embarassingly sterile. SO neutered. SO safe and stale.

Furthermore here is an in depth explanation of how Combat works: You will press left click all day long, maybe right click to shoot a gun or stun with an off hand weapon. Then you'll bite a bit dealing not any major damage but gain blood to use vampiric powers. And thats it. Sounds simple and workable. Except its not. The gun I like but it deals no bloody damage at all. The vampiric powers are fun but drain your mana / blood supply SO ridiculously fast. And then you're left with left click.

I swear I thought I was playing f#cking RAVENS CRY at times. Im not joking. Its a swinging left click spam. Here comes the issue with this primarily: YOU CANNOT BLOCK! You CANNOT RIPOSTE / counter attack, YOU CANNOT DO COMBOS. They dont exist. Which is.... mindblowing considering DontNod made the combo-heaven game of Remember Me.

So yes. You'll just strafe / Dodge all day long. And left click. Now, I love Witcher 3 which ideally did much the same. Witcher did feature blocking, counter attacking and otherwise. But mostly I will admit I was dodging and swinging. So whats the difference? Am I being hypocritical?

The answer is no and Ill explain why in the simplest way possible. Witcher 3 had very beautiful animations, and features LOTS of variation to swings, both heavy and light, and best of all Witcher 3 featured quite possibly the best gore system I've personally ever seen. Arms, heads, feet, legs, torsos, splitting the skulls... ALL of it was included to make Geralts sword feel extremely deadly and satisfying to use to kill bandits or monsters.

I'd love to see more emphasis on blocking and such in Witcher 3 but I got over it because of how the gore made up for its lack there.

Vampyr... commits the sin there that kills my will to play the game no matter how much I LOVE everything else. It drops me into monotonous, boring, bland, stale, clean, repetative combat that will only get harder as the game Progress. And if I dont kill to get stronger ( civillians) itll only get more tanky and more annoying. Its an absolute game-breaker. There isn't even a difficulty setting..... its as if the devs thought people wouldn't mind being FORCED to deal with this atrociously F"cking awful combat the Whole game...

Which will only get harder if you play pacifist and dont feed on civiallians, which will mean youll deal FAR less damage and have access to less abilities. HOW FUN... Not only do you give us a garbage combat system that is totally DEVOID of any good gore. But you force us to play it on hard mode if we wanna help people.

F"cking great, DontNod. Thank you. Truly. Come on, Guys... I know you can do better than this. I know you can. If there was one thing I couldn't say about Remember Me's combat system is what that I got bored. Never. Not for a second. It wasn't perfect but it was engaging and had great variation. Plus cool finish moves too. Why couldn't Vampyr ? A cool stealth finisher? Or some cool gore to spicen up the combat Visuals although it was lackluster. baseline aspects that would nevertheless help on the feel of the very prevalent combat and boss fights.

The game feels really clunky. When you sprint the camera zoomes out which makes you feel like you're moving slower. Its wonky and weird to look at but I can get over it. But what I simply cannot get over is this total disregard for making combat feel satisfying.

Its monumentally unrealistic and immersion breaking to astronomical degree when you chop and slice people that nothing at all happens

Summary of lacking gore= No wounds, no blood spatter on NPC's, no scars, no bite marks, no dismemberment, no NOTHING except blood spatter that lands on the floor and vanishes in 30 seconds. Jesus christ.... I'm amazed the bodies dont just sink into the floor like older games rofl. That would've been the cherry on top of this review.

This is a vampire game. And in any vampire game bloody Visuals and gore is a MUST. Its a god damn baseline requirement and Im amazed Dont Nod didn't know that or didn't care. They didn't remotely bother with blood, gore, bite marks outside of cinematic kills and the like. The entire combat system is neutered and if you ask yourself if you can avoid it and just enjoy the rest you cant. because combat is very prevalent. If they couldn't do the combat Justice they should've never even tried to put a combat system in a game like this. Its absolutely atrociously awful. Its embarassingly bad visually as well as dynamically.

4 out of 10. If the combat was removed, I'd probably rate this game anywhere between 7 and 10. Just to give you an idea of how well the rest of the game is made and holds up on its own. DontNod killed their own game, doomed it to fail by not giving one less of a f#ck about fixing these problems or remotely bothering adding any degree of gore to the aftermath of damage impact.

I'm not asking for Quentin Tarantino here... I'm just asking for some degree of bloody realism and satisfying experience when you're literally letting us be a monster with super powers.

Vampyr is the biggest disappointment of 2018 for me so far. I'm still waiting to hear from the dev why the hell... they decided not to put more effort into their combat systems graphical Fidelity. Its so simple... because the resources ARE already in game.

I'll return to this game if modders fix it or if the devs release a gore DLC or patch. But if that never happens... I'd far rather play witcher 3 or Vampire The Masquerade Bloodlines. A game almost 20 years old that does this better...

God damnit, DontNod... you screwed up.
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4/10
Combat is awful
jlcp-photo4 January 2019
This is the first review I have ever written on IMDb. I have to write it because I just rage quit this game-something I never EVER do. The combat in this game is ludicrous: it's clunky; there's no option to parry attacks (only dodge); the worst part is, if you die after having used potions/syringes in a fight you respawn WITHOUT THEM, meaning you have to run away/back to your safe house to make more, or try and do the fight without what you had going in the first time.

I thought I was levelling up at a reasonable pace (level 22 by chapter 4 of the game) but the common enemies range from level 19 to level 29, making some areas-which are part of the main quest line-almost impossible to get to because of the combat style and enemy difficulty.

Finally, getting around this god damn map is insufferable: you hit lots of dead ends and there is no mini map; you have to keep opening the main map to check where you're going. I thought I would be able to "flit" more (or whatever the word is for what vampires do), but you can only do it for selected platforms in the game, which means you have to run around like a regular person most of the time. There is also NO FAST TRAVEL. I put this game down because its clunky mechanics finally got in the way of me enjoying it. Having just finished the Witcher 3, I was looking for something to satisfy my gaming desires and this lacked in every single way.
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