So many games, so little time. Every week, Hanif Jackson and the Digital Trends crew show off some of the hottest new and upcoming PC games. Whether we’re previewing the next big blockbuster or checking in on updates of an old favorite, there are always more games to play — and we’re the ones to play them.
This week, the crew is playing Vampyr, the newly released fantasy/historical action RPG from Life is Strange developer Dontnod Entertainment. If you’re curious about how it turned out after several delays, we’re playing it at 3 p.m. PT today — Tuesday, June 5 — on Twitch. Or you can just leave this tab open and watch it right here in this post.
Vampyr takes place in London during the 1918 Spanish flu outbreak. You play as Jonathan Reid, a doctor who is unwillingly turned into a vampire. The game’s central tension is between your deeply held Hippocratic Oath to help people and his new and unavoidable need to feed on the blood of the living. The overarching story revolves around tracking the vampire that turned Reid while dodging packs of vampire hunters and fellow undead with fewer scruples than him.
The game’s London is an open world, divided into distinct neighborhoods full of people with complicated issues. Reid can help them out to advance the story, but the only way that he grows stronger as a vampire is by killing and feeding. Complicating the puzzle even further is that the closer you become to a person by helping them, the more value you will receive if you choose to feed on them. Prey upon a particular neighborhood too much, however, and it will fall into chaos.
Where most RPGs with morality systems tend to be fairly reductive, Vampyr really leans into giving the player meaningfully tough choices. Reviews have been mixed, with many dinging the game for its shaky technical execution, but many still agree with DT’s Phil Hornshaw that Dontnod deserves commendation for actually trying something interesting. Expect a mix of action and tough, dialogue-driven narrative choices. What kind of vampire will we be? Help us decide!
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