Feast Your Fangs On Vampyr’s First Footage

Johnathan Reid, the protagonist of upcoming action-RPG Vampyr [official site], is having a torrid time. As if fighting in The Great War wasn’t hard enough, he’s returned to a broken London that’s overcome with Spanish Flu. He’s a surgeon, which means he’s on the front lines of the epidemic, and he’s only just now discovered that he might be a vampire. In a job that deals directly with open wounds. Sheesh, that’s a moral meltdown right there.

After a smattering of screenshots, developers Dontnod – of Remember Me and Life is Strange fame – have now shown Vampyr’s first in-game footage at E3.

A short segment of combat-heavy Vampyr footage was shown during the PC Gaming Show earlier this week, with our Johnny being hunted by some less-than-friendly locals. Skip to 1:11:28 for that:

And now have a swatch at the mandatory E3 trailer. It underscores poor Reid’s moral plight. Poor (blood)sucker:

“I did not choose the thing I’ve become,” says Reid there. “But I can choose the lives I now take.”

And that’s his predicament. Reid must kill to survive, but is chained to the fact “every single life will have a butterfly effect on the other NPCs surrounding them,” say publisher Focus Home Interactive. Vampyr is clearly a million miles away from Life is Strange in both theme and concept, then, but the fact that’s it’s rooted in choice means it bears a striking resemblance to its narrative-led sibling. Here’s Focus Home on how that dichotomy ties into the game:

“Vampyr includes a unique level-up system that plays on this narrative conundrum, where huge amounts of experience points can be gained by feeding on innocent people, compared to combat. As a doctor, you must decide how many lives must be sacrificed in order for you to find a cure for this ‘disease’, the ultimate goal of Jonathan.”

Still no launch date for Vampyr beyond a tentative “2017” for now.

Don’t miss the rest of our E3 2016 news this week.

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  1. GameCat says:

    Looks tasty.
    Although I don’t really believe in “every single life will have a butterfly effect on the other NPCs surrounding them”.

    • klops says:

      Exactly. That sounds like Molyneuxian-level bullshit.

      • LennyLeonardo says:

        But what if it isn’t?

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          JiminyJickers says:

          That sounds like Molyneuxian-level bullshit.

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          chabuhi says:

          I’ll confess to being one of those sad sots who had a soft spot in his heart for Peter (until Godus), but even a hopeless fanboy like me sees that for the Molyneuxian-level bullshit that it is.

          Ok, I also confess to writing this comment just so that I could write “Molyneuxian-level bullshit”.


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          DelrueOfDetroit says:

          I guess it would depend on how many NPCs are in the game.

    • supercakman says:

      That’s a tasty plasma. I should sneak back later and watch some Final Fantasy: The Spirits Within on it.

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    JiminyJickers says:

    Sold!! Looks like good old fashioned fun.

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    Aitrus says:

    They’ve said you can kill no one and just stay at level 1 the whole game.

  4. Niko says:

    Can’t wait to play as another bland-looking chap!

  5. Rumpelstiltskin says:

    If the guy has such severe moral problems with killing people, why can’t he just drink some blood without finishing them off, like vampires in all other fictional settings can.

    • GameCat says:

      Shouldn’t that turn them into vampyres who could go for murder-spree to get some delicious blood?

      • Rumpelstiltskin says:

        In most modern settings it doesn’t; siring new vampires is a fairly involved process. Only works like that with zombies.

      • Rumpelstiltskin says:

        ..also, if that were true, the trailer would have said “I can only choose which lives I take, or turn into despicable murderous vampires like myself”

    • Serenegoose says:

      Bit boring though, isn’t it? I mean it’s not much of a moral dilemma.

    • Zenicetus says:

      Having to kill, so the victim doesn’t turn into another vampire, is the simplest way to set up the central conflict in the game. Every vampire novel, film, or TV shows sets up its own version of how this works anyway. The canon is pretty flexible.

      A vampire doctor is an interesting premise. I hope there is an actual game that’s fun to play here.

      • Rumpelstiltskin says:

        I don’t suppose drinking blood extracted by other means (that don’t involve biting) is an option either then? I’d imagine a doctor would at least consider sedating a victim, using a syringe to drain some blood, and drinking it immediately (that’s in case he absolutely needs to consume it fresh; otherwise he can just use blood banks, like all other self-conscious vampires).

        • Zenicetus says:

          The Spanish Flu epidemic was 1918-19, and there were no blood banks until the 1930’s.

          As for sedating and using a syringe, the amount of blood needed might be life-threatening anyway. Also kind of hard to pull off as an attack in a public area, compared to the ‘ol neck rip on the jugular. Anyway, the point seems to be setting up a moral quandary, where non-lethal bloodletting would be too easy.

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            DelrueOfDetroit says:

            Imagine if you could get people to consent to letting you feed off them. That could be a pretty cool role-play experience.

          • Zenicetus says:

            Yeah, hypnotism and seduction are part of the vampire canon. Maybe that will be included in the game. If it’s just straight-on attacks it might get old pretty quick.

        • Asurmen says:

          Seems somewhat convoluted, and at the end of the day, it is a game. No point trying to rationalise it

          • Rumpelstiltskin says:

            Well I guess I just expected that a protagonist who’s so worried about preserving his humanity would try and find non-lethal means of satisfying his physiological needs, even if killing is marginally more convenient. The “it’s just a game” argument works fine in something like Doom, but it’s less effective when narrative is expected to play a significant role.

          • Asurmen says:

            I don’t see how it’s any less effective. A game always has constraints that seem artificial yo the real world, otherwise it wouldn’t be a game.

        • Koozer says:

          Injecting a sedative into the victim’s bloodstream then immediately drinking said blood, what an excellent way to get caught!

          • Rumpelstiltskin says:

            First, the blood goes into your digestive system, not your own blood directly, so the concentration will be way less. It’s like drinking the blood of someone who’s piss drunk will not make you drunk. Second, there are many other ways to incapacitate a person, really; one should just be willing to try it, instead of wallowing in a “oh I’m a cursed creature of the darkness, doomed to murder innocent people forever” mantra.

          • April March says:

            I have always thought that vampires didn’t have a digestive system; the blood they drunk went straight to their, well, blood.

            But then again, you can’t take a step through any reasonably nerdy place without finding three completely different takes on the vampire mythos, so arguing for a particular one is a bit ridiculous. Did you know that Nosferatu, the expressionist German film, is the first piece of media in which sunlight immediately asplodes a vampire? It came out in 1922, so the idea that vampires asplode in light isn’t even a century old.

          • Rumpelstiltskin says:

            This just doesn’t hold to any scrutiny though. If a vampire has 5l of blood, and then drinks 3l, does he now have 8l of it? I can’t see how his blood system can support that. I think it’s obvious it must filter the nutrition from it in one way or another, which inevitably means the percentage of other substances will be greatly diminished.

            Sunlight intolerance is nothing special, OTOH. It’s very likely that it’s just a reaction to ultraviolet. An unprepared white person also gets sunburns pretty quickly, apparently vampires get them even more quickly. But of course they don’t burst into flames immediately, that’s Hollywood nonsense.

  6. Blowfeld81 says:

    After seeing the very mediocre combat at this stage, I hope at least the story makes up for it…

  7. Dominus says:

    There’s a new 15 minutes gameplay video for those interested.

    link to youtube.com

    Looks pretty good to me.

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    gritz says:

    I was mildly interested in this game until they said “experience points” and “combat”. Was really hoping this would be a Choice and Consequence affair.

    • Dominus says:

      It seems quite focused on C&C actually.
      I don’t see how “combat” and “xp” would detract from it, looks in facts like these aspects will enhanced it.

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        Vandelay says:

        I agree. The last article on here about the game made it sound like another interactive story game in the vein of Life is Strange, albeit in a very different setting and tone.

        I don’t have any problem with that and very much enjoyed LiS, but I also know that the same decisions and dilemmas could be put into more traditional games, even though most developers don’t even try to. I reckon DontNod have the cojones to actually give it a good stab.

        Only problem I have with the footage is that it looks very Bloodborne. If they can’t match Bloodborne’s combat it could be a problem.

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        gritz says:

        Because every dumb game in the world already has combat and leveling up.

        DONTNOD is one of the rare studios to move out of that comfort zone and be successful, so it’s disappointing to see them retreating to the safety of well-worn action gaming instead of continuing to push the medium forward.

        • April March says:

          I dunno. Since I stand more in the indiesphere, to me what every game has is conversation and consequence and humanity. It’ll be interesting to see DONTNOD HELL YEAH ALL CAPS try to pull off something that has the best of both worlds. It seems that both combat and leveling up are optional (and that leveling up is a silly name for something that makes diegetic sense) so I’m still holding out hope that it’ll work.

  9. Blackcompany says:

    Ye gods that first video: Its like a trailer for everything that’s wrong with the industry. Case in point:

    -More dubstep: Check. Didnt we outgrow that YEARS ago?

    -Another deceptive free to play game making itself look far cooler than it is: Check.

    -Another blatantly dishonest trailer for Elite: Dangerous. Check.

    -Footage of a game set in and glorifying real world warfare: Check.

    My god its no wonder this industry still has the rep it has with a lot of older adults. Its been largely spinning its wheels, putting out the same crap, for decades now…