Tuesday, November 19, 2019

A Time for Hard Decisions in Vampyr

It looks like I'm going to have to kill and drain a civilian in Vampyr.

I'm about halfway through the game, and I'm stuck on a boss. The boss is level 21, and I'm level 18. On my own, I can get the boss to about 30%, but she speeds up then, and I cannot keep up. I've tried respeccing and different strategies, but I've come to the conclusion that I need to be higher level. And the only XP left are those tasty civilians.

So far, I have avoided "embracing" any civilians. I did cause one civilian to die due to a bad choice, so I can't get a perfect game in any case. And I think just one or two would be enough.

But which one should I take? I've been flipping through the stat pages, almost like looking through a menu at a restaurant. The vicious gang boss, who's wife is cheating on him and planning on ousting from the gang leadership? The serial killer who's the sole child and support of a genuinely good woman? An unrepentant slum lord? The hospital patient who thinks she's a vampire?

I really like the civilians in this game. They're written very well. Most of them have shades of grey, even the outright "bad" ones.

I have to give Dontnod credit for these mechanics. They fit the game beautifully, and elegantly get across that you're playing a good guy who cannot escape the fact that he is a monster.

As an aside, one other interesting thing about Vampyr is that it is an "auto-save" game. The game auto-saves often, so you can always pick up where you left off. But you cannot access old saves. If you make a decision in the game, it's pretty much final for that playthrough. SWTOR is like this, but it feels unusual for a single-player game. However, it does works well in Vampyr.

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