PC, PS4, Xbox One


Swap­ping sunny Ore­gon for shad­owy Lon­don, hor­ror RPG Vampyr marks a dark de­par­ture for Life Is Strange de­vel­oper Dontnod. It’s the Paris stu­dio’s at­tempt to strip the vampire myth of its ac­cu­mu­lated Ham­mer Hor­ror clichés and present a more clas­sic por­trayal of cul­tural touch­stone spec­tres who crawled from the dark­est re­cess of East­ern Europe.

1918 Lon­don makes a suit­ably vile lo­ca­tion. Not only has the Great War rav­aged the pop­u­la­tion, but the Span­ish Flu now picks the bones. This pan­demic killed be­tween 50 and 100 mil­lion peo­ple world­wide, and its par­al­lels to vam­pirism, a spread-by-bite af­flic­tion spark­ing para­noid fear of con­ta­gion, are in­ten­tional. In a city bruised and blood­ied by a phys­i­cal foe and now forced to fight an in­vis­i­ble one, you’re the nail in the cof­fin, a liv­ing cross­roads be­tween man and na­ture.

“It was the ideal place for us be­cause peo­ple felt alien­ated by in­dus­tri­al­i­sa­tion,” art di­rec­tor Gré­gory Szucs says. “It was a weak time for hu­man­ity. The war re­sulted in mas­sive ca­su­al­ties, and with the flu it’s the per­fect time for vam­pires. There were great ad­vances in medicine, and we need those new tools for the char­ac­ter to try and make sense of the sit­u­a­tion.” The char­ac­ter in ques­tion is Jonathan Reid, a doc­tor-turned-vampire strug­gling to ac­cept his scourge.

He’s moulded af­ter lit­er­a­ture’s great ra­tion­al­ists. Dr Franken­stein, Pro­fes­sor Van Hels­ing, Dr Jekyll – men at the fore­front of ad­vances in psy­chother­apy, neu­rol­ogy, and blood trans­fu­sions. What they call cat­a­logu­ing, the era’s un­en­light­ened call ‘killing God’, and in choos­ing whether to help so­ci­ety to its feet by find­ing a cure or suc­cumb to bes­tial urges and feed on its

You’ll want to make a men­tal note of al­ley­ways like th­ese, the per­fect place to com­mit a se­cret mur­der. How­ever, the penalty for be­ing seen isn’t clear at this point.

The struc­ture is sim­i­lar to Troika Games’ 2004 RPG, Vampire:The Mas­quer­ade – Blood­lines, in that this is a multi-choice open world re­ly­ing as much on a sharp tongue as phys­i­cal prow­ess

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