While at E3 2017 I was able to see Vampyr in a more intimate setting than just a trailer. Here’s my take on Vampyr From E3.
We were all promised more for Vampyr at E3 this year and we were not let down. Even the bit that was shown off to the public out there was still a massive chunk of what DontNod has cooked up for us all. You can see some of that gameplay further down but it was only a small slice of what I was able to check out for Vampyr while on the show floor. While we may not have been able to pry out a solid release date in November for the game, Focus Home Interactive still has that on lock, we did get to see a lot more for this open-world horror title coming to the PS4, Xbox One, and PC where all of your killing choices in the game will have some form of effect on the rest of the world.
I won’t dive into the main overview of what we had for Vampyr here as that is shown in the video down below. I will dive into the twenty to twenty-five minutes of the gameplay that you do not see in the below video that also happened to dig into more of the game’s mechanics and abilities that we will get to use while staying hidden from hunters and moving in the secret groups of Vampyr aimed to keep their existence hidden from the world. Pembroke Hospital being one of said locations that keeps Johnathan on and doing his work in the middle of the Spanish Flu that is gripping the lands.
Obviously as Vampyr does deal in player choice and not just in the killing, there are always branching dialog options that are presented to us with most of the NPCs that can be encountered. Some of the extra options become unlocked based on your skills and abilities that have been opened up, while others are based on clues and hidden bits of information that can be found in the world. Thankfully, once you find out a tidbit it stays available for each of the citizens in Vampyr and you can go back to the list of them all in the menu screen. It was noted that there would be around 60 different NPCs in this instance and these would be the ones that alter the world based on their deaths or lives you choose to let them have.
It may seem odd to have that set up here in Vampyr as why would we need to know all of the minutia here. The real reason is that this is how you track how potent and “pure” the NPCs blood is and thus how much XP you would gain from draining them and then killing them. In the demo I was shown, we ran across a group of three who were all tied together in the NPC list I mentioned. One was a sociopath who was killing in the streets of London, another was an orphan boy, and the third was an old woman who was taking care of said orphan in secret but was also keep the sociopath’s activities quite as he was her son. Each had their own illness rating which lowered or raised the XP gained, but also had their own little extra secrets that opened up more XP.
Obviously, the old woman was the purest of the three and was the one selected for death in this demo of Vampyr all to get a big XP bump. Also, it was stated by DontNod, that we also absorbed some of her memories and this in turn unlocked other secrets about NPCs in the world. But the biggest change was when Johnathan went to “sleep” for the night to spend the XP and allow the game world to react to the woman’s death. The orphan was nowhere around anymore, presumably as he had no caretaker and thus locking out potential XP, and the son had moved in to the mother’s home and completely let it “go to hell” as well as went on a more murderous spree as he had no one to hold him back anymore. I’m guessing there was more to it all, but these were the imminent changes that happened due to the death.
Moving along from the XP, we moved into more of the combat and powers that we will be able to use in Vampyr. We’ve all seen the super speed to move and dodge attacks by now, as well as the shadow spikes and claws that can be used to rip enemies apart. A few others were shown for Vampyr though to add to the growing list that we will have. There will be one where you can pull the blood from an enemy’s veins from a distance and add it directly into your Blood Meter, a teleport option that looks to be different than the speed from before, the ability to go completely invisible and move around unseen, and another that is more used in coaxing NPCs into doing what you want or giving you more information.
This power was named Mesmerize and is not something that can be used on all NPCs in Vampyr. At least not at first as it is something that need to be leveled up, just like the other powers, and then turns into a mini-game of sorts when talking to others. NPCs will have a “resist” rating that you’ll need to talk down in general or just meet or beat when the conversation starts. In the demo Focus Home Interactive had for us the level was set at 2 and most NPCs, outside of the old woman, had their resistance set to 3 or higher. As assumed, this too opens up specific dialog options as this would be Johnathan dominating their minds to do all manner of things in Vampyr. Just another way to mold the game world and its events to our whims; or not as that is always an option.
Vampyr — E3 Gameplay
I do hope that the combat and intrigue for Vampyr are set to the same level as the social aspect that was shown at E3. While it was great to see all of the options in the game for the dialog and social aspects, some of them did seem to drag on and would lead me to wanting to just kill everyone and rake in all of the XP I could. Given that in the past we’ve seen more of the combat that DontNod has put together for Vampyr I am fairly certain we will. If that is the case, then this will be one great game to play through and experience in multiple ways. That is the hope at least because without all of that, we just have a flashy talking simulator…with vampires.