I want to share my positive impressions, as the game was received not very well at launch. I avoided it for this reason too, but the 75% off made me finally bite for it.
The thing is, I perceived this game as a semi-openworld RPG, so the clunky combat and AA-level animations turned me off (considering the price). Trailers didn't help the case as they mostly feature the combat, which is… okay.
Turns out, this game has a decent detective system with some unique additions that spice up the investigations.For instance, most of the NPCs have several secrets or shenanigans behind their characters. To reveal the secrets, you collect "clues" by speaking with them about each other, completing requests, finding literal clues like letters or investigating dead bodies. Each NPC has a different attitude to each other (envy, love, admire, etc.) and different motives which makes them willing or unwilling to cooperate with you on certain investigations.
Described above probably is the basic system for games like Call of Cthulhu or Sinking City, but I didn't expect to meet it in a vampire-themed game.
Now, the game has a couple of unique systems to spice the detective gameplay. The city is infected by some kind of plague, and you play as a doctor. A vampire doctor. So you get to treat (or eat) your patients, hypnotize them to share secrets, or even rescue citizens as a side-events during your quests. People may get better or worse and this affects the quality of their blood. They may die by illness or get eaten by you, which (as the game promises) will affect the storyline.
Which interestingly creates a unique immersion, when you constantly fight yourself in the desire to drink a person and become more powerful. You not only make decisions in dialogues (which you do even in side-quests) but also every second gameplaywise. People do have different personalities, and as you get to speak with them more and more, such a decision becomes more personal. You will also lose clues that you could get from them…
To sum up, Vampyre holds not very well as a combat-oriented RPG, but it is a decent detective with an interesting social system. $15 is well worth the price, and I only played for 5 hours last night. The game has some sort of junkiness, as the combat is clunky, animations are AA-level and loading times are somewhat long. But I couldn't put it off.
So if you are into the social experience in games and detective systems, give it a shot while it is on sale.
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