Vampyr is the latest title from Dontnod, known for their intense narrative driven titles and elements of choice. With that; we get somewhat of the same experience, yet placed within a larger and more open tale. In the setting of 1918's London there's a horrible case of the Spanish Flu that's rippling through the city. Things are not great, especially for our character that awakens within a mass grave. He now has a thirst for blood and needs to understand what's happened. Tragedy also strikes in this moment and that's part of the character development here. Generally you're moving around following a fairly straight forward quest line in an open, yet intimate city area. It's large enough and they do a good job of making it feel somewhat lively.
There are districts with ever growing enemy forces and others where regular people go about their lives. Being a vampire you need to drink blood and that plays into things as its how you become more powerful. I didn't feel much weight involved with how I acted, but every character has a story and there's an effect to the area if you consume them. The story is quite long and mostly well done, I did however have some issues with the pacing. The characters needed to be fleshed out more as things just somewhat progressed giving me so many just go along with it moments. Dialogue also felt a bit off at times too not making sense based on what I had said and the replies were all very limited. For a developer that always gives such great choice, I felt it was really focused with only a few decisions mattering and you'll know them as they show up.
Vampyr is presented with a third person angle that switches between cinematic sequences with minor choices in how you ask questions and general combative moments. There are many areas of the map where you'll be attacked by enemies as you continue to push forward to the next objective. There's a lot of depth within the world of London and it looks great. The character models are alright, I found the narrative to be delivered well. I did have some minor performance issues on Xbox One X, though for the most part it's absolutely fine.
The combat was quite cumbersome, it was fine yet nothing thrilling until you unlock more vampire skills. The skills are unlocked through XP as you go to sleep, however sleeping has a cost since the city will get worse. Each character in the city felt like they had a back story which was great and the collection of creatures you faced were varied greatly. They even had some various factions going against one another which made it feel more realistic.
Vampyr presents an interesting tale that makes you feel like a dark creature of the night. I really did like the style the character had and that I could just attack people after I got to high enough of a level. You're probably supposed to have some moral aspects; but at one point I just took out a distract, it was enjoyable. There are some elements of choice here, yet they didn't have quite the weight I was looking for as it just focuses into a few similar endings.
There's a good amount of gameplay here, especially if you take part in side missions and really explore the secrets of this larger London. It's a gritty, mature and dark story which helped for the experience. I wish the combat was more fluid, but it wasn't terrible and quite fun when you get to a high enough level. Vampyr is fine, it had potential to be amazing yet doesn't quite hit that mark though still a great time. I'd like to see more of what this universe has to offer.
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Vampyr Review on Xbox One X
Review Code Provided by Evolve PR