Summary: Vampyr plays like a throwback, with all the positives and negatives to come with that. Exploring a wonderfully rendered London is nice, but sloppy gameplay and execution mar the experience.
Top Critic Average
There are some brilliant, original ideas in here, but Vampyr tries to do too much at once and suffers for it.
Vampyr is a slow burn of an RPG, taking its time to ramp up its intriguing blend of science and the supernatural in an elaborately gloomy version of London. When it gets going you can see the potential of the way it offers you more power if you consume its interesting citizens. But Vampyr never commits to this idea to the point where I felt I needed to make that sacrifice to succeed in its relatively simple combat, which leaves it feeling toothless and vulnerable to having a lot of its fun sucked away by technical issues, despite its genuinely engaging story.
Dontnod takes a thrillingly Gothic perspective on early 19th century London, but squanders it in a dreary and indecisive adventure.
As much a detective story as a horror one, Vampyr rewards you for taking an interest in the people around you and tests your moral compass with a lack of black and white options.
An inspired use of the usual vampire clichés with some fascinating moral decisions to make, that always impact the game world and its combat in unexpected ways.
Vampyr attempts to deliver a gothic fantasy, and while it has bright spots, too much goes wrong to let them shine through
The easy way out for Dontnod would have been to take the most time-worn tropes from dime store horror novels, season to taste with period melodrama and serve it all up for players to enjoy. Vampyr reaches for more, and I'm very interested to see if the finale does it all justice
Dontnod follows up Life Is Strange with a surprisingly enthralling supernatural thriller.
Vampyr unfortunately flounders after building some solid foundations in the opening hours. London feels like a city on a knife edge, and the citizens prove to be an inviting cast of creative characters. But Vampyr then lures you into sacrificing these characters, cutting out a key part of the game, all to have a hope of standing up to the horrors that await you in the shadows of London.