E3 2016: Vampyr Impressions

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Vampyr is the latest game from the developers of Remember Me and Life is Strange and it takes place in the early 1900s during a Flu Epidemic that devastated the world.

In this game you play a doctor who has been recently turned into a vampire and is struggling to balance his morality and his constant thirst for blood. He must kill humans to survive though he’d prefer not to.

I was shown a hands off demo that dove into some of the mechanics of the game as well as the atmosphere of the world.

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Fans of Life is Strange will be happy to know that the demo opened up with a short interaction between the main protagonist and a woman where a dialogue wheel appeared and a conversation with the women took place. Talking with the NPCs is essential in the game as every interaction will have an impact on the game’s story and how characters treat you in the world. You can become an enemy or ally to people or they can become suspicious of you and possibly find out you are killing people.

After this brief interaction the presenter wandered around the district until he came across a couple of vampire hunters and we were shown a brief demonstration of the combat. The fighting in the game is a pretty standard fare for an action role playing game with the combat focusing on timing and precision to battle enemies. The main character is equipped with a melee weapon and a short ranged gun that appeared more for backing enemies away then taking them out. The flow of combat was smooth and the kills were brutal. In addition players will have teleportation abilities and some demonic abilities at their disposal.

Since you play a vampire you can consume the blood of your enemies therefore making yourself more powerful, but their blood is not good enough. There is a catch the blood of an attacker will not boost your abilities as much as a non attacker, meaning that you will need to feed on more than hostile foes and focus on “innocent” bystanders to survive.

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Blood serves as a way of gaining experience points and abilities therefore feeding is vital to your success and progress in the game. To compensate for this the main character must choose his victims carefully because becoming a full blown murder machine would hurt the town’s population in a time where it is already suffering from a flu epidemic therefore draining your food source. You will be forced to kill in order to live and to ensure an ample source of food requires protecting the town from having their population dwindle.

This is where the interactions with the NPCs come back into play again since every interaction you have with someone builds a profile for that person. You will be able to get a read on an individual through talking or investigating an individual and from their you can begin to decide who is worth feeding from and murdering.

In the demo we come across a man named Joe who has a dark secret and after talking to this man we found out he happens to be a rude bastard so it was decided we would feed on him. To do this the character has the ability to glamour or hypnotize Joe and take him to a secluded area to end his life and quench your thirst for blood.

Now that the man had been killed it was mentioned that the newspaper would report his death which will impact how citizens will act which could lead to negative side effects for yourself. To muddy the waters even more, we learn that the man had a son who will be forced to become a runaway. We know this information thanks to the handy profiles that will display relationships and how each death will impact the people of the town.

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Players will have to plan out their kills to ensure not interrupting the flow of the town. The world is in chaos and people are dying left and right and you have to find your place in society with your new life as a vampire.

This mechanic is rather intriguing and will force players to build their own moral standards because death is inevitable.

Vampyr was impressive with what I was shown and the dynamic of a character conflicted with his morality and his need to kill sounds like it could be an emotional journey if done correctly. Dontnod Entertainment proved with Life is Strange that they can make a compelling story and if the combat system turns out to have depth and more importantly be fun and rewarding this could be another hit for the studio.

 

Vampyr is coming to PlayStation 4 in 2017.

Check out the latest from E3 2016

Written by Michael Cwick

Michael Cwick

Just a nerd from the Windy City. I’m actually really bad at describing myself because I get all self-critical and self-conscious. Follow me on Twitter, @The1stMJC, to see my borderline insane rants on tv shows and other non important subjects. If I’m not tweeting I’m probably just watching Buffy or Firefly for the millionth time.

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