Episodic video game Life Is Strange has been grabbing a bunch of headlines of late, so it stands to reason that whatever its creators come up with next is going to be watched closely.
A concept video has gone online today for a game called Vampyr, from the acclaimed studio with the palindrome name, Dontnod. Vampyr will be published by Focus Home Interactive, and is being developed using Unreal Engine 4 for new-gen consoles PlayStation 4, Xbox One and PC.
The game is in such an early phase of development that Dontnod has no in-game art to show yet. But the developers seem very ready to get the buzz started on it nonetheless. It's described as a "deeply immersive" RPG that's "steeped in vampire mythology."
Vampyr is set in Great Britain in the early 20th Century, when the Spanish Flu is claiming countless lives. The game takes place in London, where vampires work in the shadows, preying on citizens in the grip of disease, fear and desperation. The protagonist's name is Jonathan E. Reid, and he's a high-ranking military surgeon who's turned into a vampire after he returns home from war.
Like all of Dontnod's games, Vampyr trades in moral choices, but this title's decisions might just be the most intense the developer has ever raised. As a vampire, Reid has to feed to survive, despite the protests of his conscience. And this is where Vampyr sets itself apart, because every single NPC in the game is being designed as an individual, with a name, personality, history, etc. You'll interact with them all, and many of them will send you on missions.
But these people you develop relationships with are also your sole source of food. To survive, you'll occasionally have to pick one of them to feed on. Once you pick your target, you must proceed cautiously to lure them to their doom. But you have to choose very carefully, because dead is dead in Vampyr, and once an NPC is dead and gone, the dynamic of the game changes in response, just as it would in the real world.
There are benefits as well, as human blood unlocks new vampire powers. Exploration plays a big part in the game, as does a crafting system. There's also real-time combat that combines melee, ranged weaponry and vampire powers. And your health is tied to your powers, so when your blood level gets low, you'll have to feed to replenish both your health and your vampire abilities.
Dontnod and Focus Home Interactive hope to release Vampyr in 2017.
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