Console Corner: Vampyr review

To kill or not to kill: You face some tough moral choices in VampyrTo kill or not to kill: You face some tough moral choices in Vampyr
To kill or not to kill: You face some tough moral choices in Vampyr
Fresh blood restores some Order.

Who remembers The Order 1886... well the similarities between that much-hyped PS4 exclusive and Vampyr are striking but with one big difference, the end result is infinitely better.

The build-up The Order 1886 received was effectively its downfall.

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Hyped to the heavens, the brief gameplay videos and screenshots of The Order’s breathtaking graphics had expectations soaring.

And the vampire-werewolf sub-specie Victorian London plot was original and intriguing too.

To that end Vampyr is very similar as is its depiction of London matching The Order in the way it so brilliantly generates an almost tangible atmosphere. But we all know that The Order’s rigid and linear gameplay and plot and heavy reliance on cut scenes saw it flop.

Thankfully Vampyr did not suffer such pre-release hype but also delivers a fresh take on the supernatural mythology.

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Dontnod Entertainment have produced an action role-playing game that may take inspiration from The Order (in my opinion - certainly aesthetically) but fills in the gaps.

You play Jonathan Reid, a doctor who has turned into a vampire and comes to terms with his undead condition as he is torn between the Hippocratic Oath and his newfound bloodthirsty nature.

This presents some tough choices and almost two completely different games depending on your approach. The combat doesn’t quite have the edge needed to really compel you to go on a bloodthirsty rampage, though. Where Vampyr does set itself apart, however, is its excellent recreation of London during the first World War and in the throes of the Spanish Flu epidemic.

It is gloomy and atmospheric but unlike The Order it is explorable through alleyways, cobbled streets, sewers and large sprawling buildings, all set to an Order-esque string-heavy score.

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Like The Order the characters and storytelling are first class in Vampyr as is the picture perfect recreation of London.

The choices you have to make have a genuine impact on the course you follow throughout the game and in many ways it is Vampyr’s crowning achievement. There are bad points, mostly technical, which I hope can be worked out in patches but load times are a big issue.

Another annoyance is that your enemies can often deliver easy attacks which highlights other issues with a lack of difficulty. It can be a bit of a slow burn but make no mistake Vampyr is a triumph and every bit the game The Order 1886 should have been in so may ways.

Many wanted to see The Order get a sequel and for me Vampyr is the spiritual successor.