Last time I wrote about Dontnod’s undead RPG bloodsucky doctor adventure, Vampyr [official site], it was because they’d released 14 whole minutes of gameplay footage. WELL, there’s now a further ten minutes of the stuff which brings us to roughly a US sitcom episode’s worth of vampiric comings and goings:
More and more, Vampyr feels like it’s a grab bag of other games. The pier bit had some echoes of Vampire: The Masquerade – Bloodlines in terms of the aesthetic, but mostly I’m getting a bunch of kinda generic RPGs with some elements of Dishonored’s combat thrown in. That’s not to say there isn’t a place for a game like that, just that it fades quickly from memory and doesn’t provoke any strong interest or emotion. Stolid gaming.
I think the other thing for me is that the core tension of the main character is just so videogamey – paragon or renegade. Will you slake your undead thirst or serve the Hippocratic oath? Again, that’s not a bad thing per se, but I don’t find it interesting in the way that I might have if I’d not played that kind of game before. It’s also accompanied by story beats like a charitable chap who gets vampired and ends up staging a literal version of holy communion as he snacks on human flesh.
I do find myself wanting to play it, but the impulse is because I want to assess whether it’s good as one of those sturdy weekend games. You know the sort I mean. I think the shorthand is that they’re 7/10 games – Enslaved: Odyssey to the West was one of those for me, and the story campaigns of Call of Duty games fit that bracket too.
Anyway, Vampyr will be rising from the dead in November 2017.