Vampyr release date, news and rumours: Everything you need to know ahead of release

Vampyr is the next game from Life is Strange studio Dontnot Entertainment, swapping time-travelling teenagers for blood-sucking vampires. It’s similarly pitched as a game based around making difficult decisions, although this time you’ll be running around London in 1918, weighing up who to drain for their sweet, sweet blood.

Unlike Life is Strange, Vampyr is expected to be a more action-orientated affair. You’ll be playing Jonathan Reid, a soldier-turned-doctor-turned-vampire, who has to deal with the moral conflict between sucking blood and his Hippocratic Oath to preserve life, all within London ravaged by the 1918 Spanish Flu. The emphasis, Dontnod claims, is on encouraging the player to carefully choose their victims.

A number of previews have thrown shade on this premise, calling Vampyr’s approach everything from confused to unsatisfying, torn between creating a conflicted character and making a gory action game. Others, however, have claimed that the game’s approach to blood sucking succeeds in making players feel guilty for slaughtering innocent citizens. With a few days before Vampyr’s release, here’s a rundown of what you need to know about the game.

Vampyr: Release date

Vampyr will come out 5 June 2018 for PS4, Xbox One and PC.

Vampyr: Trailer

Dontnod Entertainment recently took to Twitch to livestream a chunk of the game. The 50-minute clip centres on protagonist Dr Reid investigating a nurse in Whitechapel (skip to around the 13-minute mark for the start of the stream). 

Vampyr: What is it all about?

Vampyr is a third-person, action role-playing game. You play Jonathan Reid, a doctor who has just been initiated into the world of vampirism after being bitten by a patient thought to have Spanish Flu. Don’t you hate it when that happens?

It’s a game that, similar to Life is Strange, forces you to make increasingly difficult moral decisions. You need blood to survive and gain strength, meaning you need to weigh up what victim is worth slaughtering. Do you give up on trying to cure people and give into your bloodthirst? After all, while trying to find the source of the contagion, you also need to stay alive yourself.

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Vampyr: Gameplay

Whilst Vampyr’s hook is how it handles the decisions behind your character’s blood lust, Dontnod are framing all of this within an action-heavy RPG system. Reid will have a range of melee and ranged weapons at his disposal, as well as vampire magic powers. These latter abilities will take blood energy to pull off, which means you’ll need to keep topped up on fresh blood to use them.

One issue picked up in a number of previews of the game notes the awkward tension between the weighted choices you have to make between predating on innocent citizens, and the swathes of vampire hunters you’ll kill in the game. Presumably Dontnod’s logic is that one of these groups if trying to kill you and the other isn’t, but it nevertheless runs the risk to undermining the whole game’s focus on the value of human life. As Julian Benson writes in PCGamesN: “Reid considers his murder of one of the supposed innocents a monstrous act but he is left unconflicted by killing a string of human vampire hunters only moments before.”

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