Death is pretty dif­fi­cult when you’re a vam­pire with a con­science Adam Bryant

XBox: The Official Magazine (US) - - PREVIEW - Pub­lisheR Fo­cus Home In­ter­ac­tive De­vel­oper Dontnod For­mat Xbox One ETA June 2018

There are plenty of ways you can go about cre­at­ing a game in­volv­ing vam­pires. You could have a ro­mance story where ridicu­lously good-look­ing vam­pires glit­ter in the sun­light, or have an awe­some anti-hero mowing down swathes of blood­suck­ers in an un­der­ground night club while sprin­klers shower ev­ery­one in blood. You could even doc­u­ment the lives of some vam­pire flat­mates as they pre­pare for a night on the town. But Dontnod, of Re­mem­ber Me and Life Is

Strange fame, has de­cided to take a dif­fer­ent path with Vampyr.

Set in the gothic streets of Lon­don in 1918 dur­ing the height of the Span­ish flu epi­demic, this nar­ra­tive ac­tion RPG cen­ters around doc­tor-turned-vam­pire Jonathan Reid on a mis­sion to dis­cover the be­stower of this foul and de­monic af­flic­tion. But as luck would have it, Reid just so hap­pens to be an ex­pert in the field of blood trans­fu­sions, and has been of­fered a night-shift po­si­tion at a lo­cal hos­pi­tal, where he can carry out his in­ves­ti­ga­tion with­out im­ped­i­ment.

Along with be­com­ing a preda­tor of the night, you’ve been gifted with a par­tic­u­lar set of skills. Some of them are a bit bitey, yes, but oth­ers will al­low you to ma­nip­u­late the pop­u­lace and syphon the in­for­ma­tion you need from them to help you on your way. You can even mes­mer­ize peo­ple and lead them into a dark cor­ner for a light snack. But you’ll have to be care­ful, be­cause there will al­ways be con­se­quences for your ac­tions. Jonny rot­ten This is where the moral­ity, which lies at the heart of this tale, comes into it. Reid has spent the ma­jor­ity of his work­ing life sav­ing lives; he must now, in a cruel twist of fate, take them to save his own. You see, in or­der to gain XP and evolve your vam­piric abil­i­ties, you’ll need a lot of the juicy red stuff, and the only source will be from the 60 or so unique char­ac­ters that you’ll be in­ter­act­ing with through­out the game. Each one has their own story, mo­ti­va­tions, and as­pi­ra­tions, so the chal­lenge will be how you wres­tle with your con­science as you drain the blood from your vic­tims.

While it’s en­tirely pos­si­ble to suc­cumb to your blood lust and feast on ev­ery char­ac­ter you meet to be­come a very powerful vam­pire in­deed, your de­ci­sions and ac­tions will dras­ti­cally af­fect the game. Tak­ing out the denizens of one area will leave it open to in­fes­ta­tion by ghoul­ish vam­pires, called Skals, while killing a mer­chant will pre­vent you from pur­chas­ing any more items in that spe­cific area. You’ll need to think care­fully when choos­ing who will pro­vide your next meal.

In terms of com­bat, it seems that Dontnod has learnt a few lessons from

Re­mem­ber Me, which the de­vel­op­ers con­fess came across as fairly stiff. This time it’s a more tac­ti­cal af­fair, as you’re re­quired to learn how to dis­patch your en­e­mies as quickly and ef­fi­ciently as pos­si­ble—mainly be­cause they them­selves, es­pe­cially the vam­pire hunters, have de­vel­oped ways in which to do the same to you.

Ex­pec­ta­tions are ob­vi­ously high, but so far, from ev­ery­thing we’ve seen, it looks like Vampyr is set to be­come just the vam­piric fan­tasy sim­u­la­tor you’ve been wait­ing for. Roam­ing dark al­leys and skulk­ing in the shad­ows has never felt so good. If you’re thirsty for more, you’ll be happy to know we’ll have more in-depth in­for­ma­tion to sate your blood­lust in our next is­sue.

“You’ve been gifted with a par­tic­u­lar set of skills, some of which are a bit bitey”

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