Monday, October 28, 2019

First Impressions of Vampyr

I was going through Origin: Access looking for a game to play when I came across Vampyr. I like vampire stories, especially ones which focus on the downsides of being a vampire, so I decided to give it a whirl.

I have heard nothing about this game, it seems to have been completely ignored in my circles. This is a shame, as it's actually a really good RPG.

Vampyr is set in London in 1919, just after the World War I and in the middle of the Spanish Flu Epidemic. You play as Dr. Jonathon Reid, a former army surgeon, who is suddenly transformed into a vampire, and is trying to figure out just what happened to him. The first five minutes of the game makes it clear that being a vampire is not a good thing.

Vampyr is a classic RPG. You talk to NPCs (called citizens in the game), earn XP, and spend XP on various vampiric powers. You use weapons (knives, clubs, stakes, and revolvers so far) and can upgrade them, etc. You get "quests" from the citizens. Citizens have secrets which you uncover through conversations and documents. Some of them are ill, and as a doctor, you can create medicines to cure them.

The "special" element in the game is that by far the largest source of XP are the citizens themselves! You can mesmerize them, lead them off out of sight, and feed on them if you choose, killing them. You get the most XP if they are healthy and if you have uncovered all their secrets.

The citizens themselves are excellently written. They all have unique personalities. Some are good people, some are bad, some are mixed. The game is fully voiced, and all the actors do a great job. As normal for me, I'm trying to play without embracing any citizen. However, as I'm playing, I catch myself wondering if anyone would really miss this this unrepentant criminal citizen.

Like all good vampire stories, Vampyr thrives on contradictions. Dr. Reid is a Man of Science transformed into a Creature of Myth. The game encourages you to care for the citizens, to heal them and learn all about them. Then it encourages you to feed on them, as they now give the most XP.

Combat is probably the weakest part of the game. It's serviceable, but it isn't anything to write home about.

So far I'm really enjoying Vampyr. If you're looking for a solid RPG in a unique setting, I strongly recommend it. Hopefully the rest of the game is just as good as these first few hours have been.


  1. Definitely sounds interesting though I wonder if I should play Vampire: The Masquerade before I try any more modern take on the vampire-idea. But "Solid RPG in a unique setting" sure sounds like my thing.

    1. I wouldn't say it's a more "modern" take on vampires. So far, it feels more old-school, a bit closer to Bram Stoker than anything else.

      I would actually say that V:tM is more modern, as it posits an entire vampire society, with complex interactions among the various clans/seethes/cabals. So far, Vampyr is more vampire as lone monster who has to hide within human society.

  2. Side note - did you update something here? the auto RSS feed I have on my blog won't update your blog anymore. It still works for all of my other feeds, just not yours - weird! (I just thought you had stopped posting for a bit!)

    1. Hmm. I haven't changed anything. Maybe Blogger did something. There used to be something where it would redirect you to a different domain like ".ca" and then they removed that. Maybe that is affecting it, like if you you're not using the ".com" RSS feed.