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Vampyr - Interview with a vampire

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Alejandra Rangel
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Vampyr is an Action-RPG with narrative component developed by DONTNOD Entertainment, published by Focums Home Interactive and released on June 5, 2018 on PC, PlayStation 4 and Xbox One.

 

History

You wake up in a mass grave surrounded by corpses. As you get out of it with difficulty, you are suddenly attacked and chased by a strange militia. Jonathan Reid (you) then runs away and discovers, with dread, that he has become a vampire. Subsequently, Jonathan will try to find out who is its creator, why, how, and also to try to save the city, which is in the grip of the terrible Spanish flu (real historical fact, flu that caused 50 million deaths around the world in 2 years!).




It's hard to say much more because the story is at the heart of the game (and the gameplay as well). The game may be an action-RPG, it has a very large narrative component (with moral choices, drastically modifying the adventure).

The scenario is very complex, we discover the ins and outs at the same time as the character and the universe of vampires and, thanks to the profession of Jonathan (Doctor), a “scientific” part is added which tries to explain what is happening. 'it happens, which avoids falling into the eternal clichés. For example, explanations of the "power" of crucifixes over vampires: thus, it would not be the crucifix itself that would have powers, but it would serve as a catalyst of the faith of its wearer to repel "evil". The storyline, however, leaves several small leads and questions unanswered at the end, making it easy to imagine a sequel to the universe.



 

Game and gameplay

We are therefore a vampire or rather an Ekon, one of the races of the immense "tree" of the vampire species. This is the race that "everyone" knows, that of Dracula, Angel and Spike from Buffy the Vampire Slayer. Jonathan, as Ekon, will have access to several vampiric powers, ranging from claw claw, blood spear, invisibility, teleportation, freezing target blood, impaling on spikes of blood, aspiration of his own blood to heal himself ...


You can only use 4 powers at a time, but you can change them at any time, even in the middle of a fight, which makes it easy to adapt to the situation.

Let's talk about the fights precisely: they are (unfortunately) not the strong point of the game, but rather its weak point. They are not zero for all that, but we have already seen better in the genre. They are quite frustrating, especially due to the fact that the character has a small reaction time each time before acting. It is not uncommon that when giving a blow, the time for the character to act, we take another blow which interrupts the first. The battles are based on a management system of two resources. The first, stamina, is that which allows you to attack / dodge / parry and the second, blood, is what allows the use of vampiric powers. The endurance recharges itself quite quickly while for the blood, it will be necessary to crunch! It is possible to "recharge" in combat on enemies directly, if you manage to knock them down or stun them. The fights are therefore classic, a little frustrating and quite messy when there are a lot of enemies.




Fighting is nothing without the equipment. Throughout the adventure, we will find different weapons: one-handed weapons, secondary weapons in the left hand, firearms and two-handed weapons. Weapons can be upgraded, but also add different bonuses and effects, such as increasing damage, dealing extra damage to beasts / vampires or humans, adding blood draw effect, stun, etc. Some weapons have special attacks, like parry for example, which replaces the "powerful blow".


These weapon upgrades aren't the only crafting system in the game. Medication can also be created, either for Jonathan himself (healing, stamina, or blood), or to help. to treat NPCs in different neighborhoods ranging from a simple headache to fatigue or sepsis.



The main strength of the game is the RPG side and above all, the narrative. Indeed, the vast majority of the game will take place in neutral zones, in which you will have to talk to characters, investigate, explore, etc. Each character has a very developed story, often linked to other characters and a quest attached to it.



You will have to be very careful, because the slightest dialogue can provide vital information on the quest related to the NPC itself, or even outright to another quest from another NPC. In addition, the game does not offer any possibility of manual saving, there are only automatic saves (which are carried out at each dialogue / actions), which means that any choice / action is final! And the consequences are commonplace, all the dialogues will have an impact on what you can learn or unlock. It will therefore be necessary to "study" the psychology of the characters to hope to reveal clues about the characters, the quests and even the main story.



But that's not all, as these are the same NPCs that can be devoured by Jonathan. Each brings a significant amount of experience, a rare commodity in the game. But killing an NPC will have a very significant impact both on other NPCs, but also on the entire neighborhood.



Neighborhood management is another very important thing, whether through quests, dialogues, choices and the overall health of the neighborhood with several health situations, ranging from “Healthy”, to “Satisfactory”, “Stable”, “Serious” "," Criticism "and finally" Hostile ". Suffice to say that this last situation is the worst: if the district becomes hostile, all the NPCs die and the district is invaded by Skal (“sub-vampires”) who attack on sight.


The neighborhood situation has a direct influence on the NPCs, therefore, whether it is the dialogues, the quests and even the prices of the vendors. In addition, the game offers a multitude of choices and branches, both during the main quest and for the side quests, which can change the situation.

 

Graphics, sounds and optimizations

Let's start with the graphics. The game has a wonderful artistic direction, the visual ambience is simply sublime. As for the “pure” graphics, the game is beautiful, but it is not magnificent (we have seen much more beautiful). But the artistic direction largely compensates for the small graphic weakness.



The soundtrack is like the artistic direction: sublime! Whether it's ambient sounds, sound effects or even music, it's really at the top.

And finally, optimization. I'm playing on an average PC (a small i3-8350k, 16gb ram and a Geforce 960 GTX) and the game runs smoothly with all settings at full speed (at 1080p) and at constant 60 FPS. On console, however, it seems that the game has some problems (big drop in IPS, slowdown) according to the various feedback from players.

 

Conclusion

Vampyr is a really good game. It's not the game of the year but, for a mid-budget game, it's really great in the genre. The only small complaint about him is about the fights, which are not fun, a little frustrating and quite messy when there is a lot. As for the lifespan, it takes about fifteen hours to finish it in a straight line, and about thirty hours (or even 35-40) if you try to do everything. In addition, the game offers excellent replayability thanks to the many possibilities of branching and choices during the dialogues, whether for the side quests or for the main story, or the fact of eating (or not) the NPCs. .

  • PlayStation 4: 59,99 €
  • Xbox One : 59,99€
  • PC sur Steam: € 49,99
  • PC sur Epic Games: € 49,99


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