Review – Vampyr
Developer: Dontnod Entertainment
Publisher: Focus Home Interactive
Genre: Horror/Action RPG
Director: Philippe Moreau
Release Date: June 5th 2018
I have had a few regrets in my life, the most recent one being my decision to replay Vampyr for review. When I first picked up Vampyr upon its release back in 2018, I really wanted to like it. This was one of those underdog games that come out a couple of times per generation. When it was first announced and shown, I remember it being met with groans and cringes, but when it released was actually received surprisingly well, getting scores of 6 and 7 out of 10 from various websites.
This positive reception led to me picking it up and for the life of me, I do not understand what the reviewers that scored this game a 6 or a 7 were thinking. This game is utter garbage. Unfortunately upon replaying it in 2021, this is still the case.
In previous things that I’ve written, I’ve spoken about the bar consistently being raised in modern gaming and how there is no longer any place for sub par mediocrity in the landscape any more. Well, this is a prime example of a game that did not belong in 2018 and certainly doesn’t have any place in 2021. It would even have felt dated if it had dropped in for the PS3! Frankly, it doesn’t belong in the last generation or even the one before that. I have played PS2 and even PS1 games with better gameplay than this trash.
Upon replaying the game to give it a second chance, it was pretty slow to start. It felt very dialogue heavy, yet the voice acting is just as poor as I remember it being. I powered through it, telling myself that there are other games that start off slow and awkward and end up being great once you get stuck in. Then you are introduced to the combat.
It is genuinely hard to put into words how stiff and awkward and dated the combat in this game feels. It is so easy and basic and monotonous as well, to the point that any fun drains almost instantly. I can confidently say that it is by far the worst combat I have experienced out of any game released in 2018 and possibility even a candidate for the worst combat mechanics in any game ever.
The gimmick that the game’s marketing seemed to be pushing leading up to its release, was that every character in the game is important and has an extensive backstory, from main characters to the NPC randomers on the street. My question is; why should I care? The vast majority of these characters have nothing important or relevant to say and the vocal performances are so dire, you find yourself button mashing the square button to skip through all of the required dialogue that you are forced to sit through.
Two and a bit hours into my second attempt at playing Vampyr, I decided that it wasn’t even worth suffering through to the end of the game because life is too short. Maybe that makes me a bad reviewer, but I am sorry, I could simply not put myself through that for any longer.
One of the most impressive things about this game is how much Dontnod Entertainment managed to royally screw up the fairly interesting premise. A story following a doctor that is bit by a vampire in Victorian-era London should be fascinating and this game is anything but.
Do yourself a favour and avoid this game like the plague. It is without a doubt one of the worst games released last generation and earns a spot as one of the worst games I’ve ever had the displeasure of playing.
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