We're looking for new writers to join us!

Combat in Vampyr can be brutal, if you want to play it that way

by: Sean Colleli -
More On: Vampyr

The more developer Dontnod talks about Vampyr, the more excited I get. The 1918 supernatural thriller puts you in the shoes of reluctant new vampire Dr. Johnathan Reid, as he struggles to understand his new condition and fight the post-WWI influenza epidemic at the same time.

According to these new screenshots, Dr. Reid can get pretty ruthless in combat. Using traditional melee and ranged attacks slowly fills Reid's Blood Gague, and once it tops off he can execute vampiric spells such as impaling enemies on spikes or draining them of blood at range. I'm glad they're including the supernatural aspects of being a vampire; these guys can turn into bats, after all.

Of course, combat doesn't have to be so grisly. Reid will be tempted to make himself more powerful by feeding off hapless civilians, but doing so also makes the world of 1918 London a much nastier place. This mechanic reminds me a bit of the "chaos" level in Dishonored.

Vampyr will release sometime in 2017 and I can't wait.

The violent side of Vampyr's Jonathan Reid explored in screenshots detailing combat.

Vampyr, the new Action-RPG from acclaimed game-development studio Dontnod, explores combat on the flu-ridden streets of 1918's London. All manner of dangers prowl London during a bout of the lethal Spanish Flu. From Vampire hunters to mutated abominations, Jonathan Reid will face foes as well as friends on his mission to discover the truth behind his new affliction. 

Armed with an array of conventional melee and ranged weaponry, attack and dodge foes to fill up Jonathan's Blood Gauge, required to unleash powerful vampire attacks. From impaling enemies on a spike, to draining them of blood at a distance, as Jonathan's Blood Gauge fills during a combat situation, his Vampire affliction will start to overtake his more human side, unleashing destructive spells and abilities against those who try to stop him. 

A non-linear skill tree will unlock through experience gained new, more powerful attacks and abilities. Jonathan is able to equip these abilities in any order, effectively allowing players to create their own archetypes to match their play-styles. Play aggressively and deal greater damage, or more securely, focusing on crowd-control and keeping enemies at bay. Skills can be evolved two different ways, for example, Spring, a skill that allows you to rush instantly to a distant enemy, can be developed to either deal area-of-effect damage or grant temporary invincibility. The choice is yours. 

Combat difficulty can be affected by player actions out of combat. Feeding on civilians provides a huge XP boost, which will make combat situations easier - but that comes with caveats; an increased danger on the streets, and narrative consequences for the world's citizens, to name a few. Full brawls are not the only options open to Doctor Reid, he can also stalk his prey, or even utilize his vampire speed and agility to avoid combat entirely. 

Players will have to investigate who to feed from, and who to spare, conscious of their need to increase their strength. Jonathan's Vampire impulses will always be working against his human side. 

Take up the plight of Jonathan Reid when Vampyr releases in 2017 for PS4, Xbox One, and PC.

About Vampyr
Prowl the disease ridden streets in Vampyr - a darkly atmospheric action RPG from the studio behind 'Remember Me' and 'Life is Strange', developed using Unreal Engine 4.
Set in early 20th century Britain during a bout of the lethal Spanish flu, the streets of London are crippled by disease, violence and fear. In a completely disorganized and ghostly city, those who are either fools, desperate, or unlucky enough to walk the streets lay prey to Britain's most elusive predators: the Vampires.  Emerging from the chaos, a tormented figure awakes; as the player it is you who determines how to harness your new powers, by specializing in deadly, versatile RPG skill-trees that change the way you play. As a doctor recently turned into a Vampire, you try to understand your new affliction. Your quest of intuition, discoveries and struggles, will be filled with death and drama, while your attempt to stem the irrepressible thirst that constantly drives you to take human lives. As you cling to what remains of your humanity, your decisions will ultimately shape the fate of your hero while searching for answers in the coughing, foggy aftermath of the Spanish Flu.

About DontNod
Based in Paris, DontNod develops video games for consoles and PC based on original concepts and innovative technologies. If you want to learn more about DontNod, you can learn all kinds of stuff about us on our official website: http://www.dont-nod.com/

 About Focus Home Interactive
Focus Home Interactive is a French publisher based in Paris, France. Known for the quality, diversity and originality of its catalogue, Focus has published and distributed original titles that have become benchmark titles worldwide, available both in store and for download across the world. Focus publishes games on all major platforms, consoles and PC. The publisher's catalogue will get even richer the coming months and years with eagerly awaited games such as Vampyr, The Surge, Mordheim, Space Hulk: Deathwing, Call of Cthulhu - the official video game, and many more. More information about the company at: http://www.focus-home.com