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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