The Vampyr presentation was 45 minutes long but felt like less than half. I was so engrossed in the information coming my way that time just flew on by. When someone peeked in to let the developers know they only had a couple of minutes, I couldn’t believe it. So, I guess you could say I was intrigued.
Vampyr is set in 1918 London, WWI is ending/over, and the Spanish flu is raging all over the world. You play Jonathan Reid, a doctor who has newly become a vampire, which of course creates quite the tension considering vampires need human blood to survive.
That moral quandary is a central theme to the design of Vampyr. Each area you can explore of London has its own set of NPCs. Some are extremely important to the overall health of that area (i.e. killing this person may make the flu much worse for that distrcit), and some have important connections to other NPCs, affecting their story and how they shape the area. So a lot of things have to be weighed together when choosing who you want to sacrifice, if at all. Sacrificing people is the quickest way to get experience to level up, but you actually don’t have to kill anyone if you don’t want to.
There are some great benefits to sacrificing someone, however. Obviously, there is a big chunk of experience coming your way if you do, but you also absorb all of the memories of a person you sacrifice. This is important as there is a lot of locked dialogue with NPCs that you can only select if you have collected the correct information. While not all of that information comes from people, as you can find it out in the world, a great deal of it does. And, the more information you have on an individual when you choose to sacrifice them, the more experience you get.
For example, while playing we participated in a quick sidequest. Jonathan talked to a guy who seemed a little perturbed. We found out he lost his mother’s necklace and needed it returned, so we agreed to help him out. Well, the necklace was found in a pile of dead bodies, so Jonathan confronts him about it. Turns out the guy is a serial killer. That sounds like a good candidate for a sacrifice, right? Well, there’s still some more information to find out, so the demo went to go talk to this guy’s mother. She knows what he does but hasn’t done anything to stop it. We take a look at her profile and she has a higher blood quality than her son (more experience), so she gets killed. We swing by later and her son has taken over the house and it’s trashed.
That was just the one quick example they went through, I can only imagine the many different amount of scenarios there could be in Vampyr if it does indeed work the way it was described. Just from the screen they showed that has all of the characters on it and how they are connected, there should be a ton of different options in how and where the game will go.
The other thing I saw a little bit of in the demo was Vampyr‘s combat. The best way I can think to describe it is a third person Dishonored, just a little bit slower paced. There are a lot of cool vampire abilities, including an invisibility which was cool and even a teleportation a la Dishonored’s blink, as well as the hacky-slashy gameplay similar to Dishonored. Throw in a gun held in one hand and a sword in another, and you see where I’m going.
The developers didn’t spend a lot of time talking about the combat and I only saw a few glimpses. There are abilities and each of them can be upgraded. Eventually they can be upgraded into a specialization for that ability that can then continue to be upgraded.
As I said in the opening, I was engrossed in the presentation the whole time, so I think Vampyr is definitely a title to keep an eye on.
Vampyr releases in November on PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and PC.
If you want to know more about this and other announcements happening at E3 then be sure to check out our E3 2017 Coverage Hub.