Vampyr is the latest project from Focus Home Interactive and DontNod Entertainment (known for games like Remember Me and Life is Strange). It’s an Action-RPG game set in a London plagued by a Spanish flu outbreak. From E3 2016 to now, information about this title has been scarce. Now, Focus Interactive released 15 minutes long gameplay video showing off the game in action. The video is from the pre-alpha branch that was shown during Gamescom and is not indicative of the complete title. Still, it’s our first taste of Vampyr in action.
Vampyr tells the story of Jonathan Reid, a brilliant surgeon that one night wakes up in a mass grave and realizes that he’s been turned into a vampire. Jonathan starts a quest in order to uncover who’s responsible for his current situation while struggling against his new nature. As a man that devoted himself to saving lives, Jonathan now finds himself in a “kill or be killed” situation. He will have to fight against vampire hunters as well as against his own thirst. The video shows us some of his struggles as well as some of the tools at his disposal.
In the video, we can see that the existence of vampires is not a secret in Vampyr‘s universe. In a scene, some vampire hunters are burning bodies after clearing a “nest” while referring to the dead vampires as “leeches”. This means that we are not in the presence of a secret society of blood-suckers a la Vampire: The Masquerade, but in a hunter and prey scenario where the roles are interchangeable.
The combat looks a bit clunky in the video but, as said earlier, the game is still in pre-alpha. Focus also points out in the description of the video that the combat system is notably in an early stage of development. Despite that, we can see the foundation of what it will become. In the video, the main character makes use of a cleaver, a firearm and a set of skills that go from a short range blink to the summoning of shadows to impale his opponents. He also can feed of the enemies mid-combat. Bloodrayne comes to mind.
Outside of combat, Jonathan will have different ways to earn a meal. He can use his vampire senses to check a person’s blood quality and then mind control them and bring them somewhere safe in order to feast on their blood. According to Focus Interactive, the choice of the person to feed on will not be unimpactful and it may change the behaviour of other NPCs and other game elements to the point of bringing the entire neighbourhood to disarray. “Cursed be the choice” as Jonathan says.
Thanks to this video we have a clearer idea of what Vampyr promises to be. What’s certain is that the atmosphere is the aspect that really shines in this footage. From DontNod we couldn’t expect anything different.