In All Fairness, I Can't Review Vampyr

In All Fairness, I Can't Review Vampyr

I just don't get it

A.J. Maciejewski

Written by for Opinions on

Once in a while, a game releases that seems awesome but it just doesn't click for whatever reason. This describes my experience with Vampyr so allow me to explain why I can't justify writing a review for it.

Vampyr screenshot 1
That's funny because Vampyr makes me feel like I'm eating scraps

I always take pride in my game reviews and I never review a game until I understand it in its entirety. With that in mind, I've played Vampyr for over 10 hours so far and I just don't get it. Therefore, it simply wouldn't be fair for me to slap together a half-hearted review, stick a crappy score on it, and call it a day. Instead, I decided to outline just what it is about Vampyr that doesn't quite click with me.

For starters, I decided to check out Vampyr after watching some gameplay where I saw a vampire in a dimly lit city battle tough-looking foes. It looked a lot like Bloodborne and I love that game so I decided to give Vampyr a go. I must admit, the opening was quite impressive where you run from vampire hunters and eventually seek sanctuary in a creepy house. Upon progressing further, I started realising just how much dialogue there was. After speaking to dozens of characters and interacting with somewhat complex dialogue trees, my patience started to wear thin. I didn't find these conversations to be immersive or even mildly intriguing but I pressed on.

Vampyr screenshot 2
How come there's no option to skip to the end credits?

In between these brutally tedious dialogue-filled segments, you actually get to run around the city of London. As you do, you can fight a bunch of enemies. Even though this is the primary reason that I decided to play Vampyr, I found the combat to be downright boring and frustrating. Jonathan (the main character) is a vampire yet he lacks any acrobatic evasive moves so fighting enemies just feels like you tap buttons and watch meters deplete. You can stun foes which allows you to suck their blood but you can easily exploit that move considering no one can hurt you when you use it. In the end, it plays nothing like Bloodborne; a game with a combat system that's visceral, engaging, and requires a great deal of skill. Heck, even the bosses in Vampyr feel like regular enemies.

I already mentioned how disappointed I am in Jonathan's lack of skills that you'd expect a vampire to have and this goes for traversing the city as well. Once in a while, you can leap to certain ledges by transporting to them which seems cool but whenever you do this to climb a 3 foot tall ledge that Jonathan should be able to easily hop up to, it looks goofy as heck. Also, figuring out how to get to the next waypoint can be a huge pain in the ass. The map and compass help but whenever you reach a barricade or door that you can't even interact with for some stupid reason, it's hard not to get annoyed. Once, I came across a small gate that I could easily step over but Jonathan couldn't. I guess that means I'm more capable than a vampire. Oh, and I should mention that the loading screens are atrocious. Whenever you see a door, ensure that you want to enter it beforehand because you may have to wait a long time for nothing.

Vampyr screenshot 3
What's the difference between a boss fight and a regular enemy anyway?

I could go on all day about how insufferable it is for me to play Vampyr. That being said, a lot of people seem to be enjoying themselves with it and that's fantastic. Perhaps if I started playing it with different expectations then I would have enjoyed it a lot more. As it is, I can't even get through five consecutive minutes without huffing and puffing sighs of impatience. So, I give up. A review from me wouldn't be fair to the developers and to the fans who see something in Vampyr that I certainly don't.

If you enjoy Vampyr and feel up to explaining why you like it, please leave a comment below. I'd love to hear from a fresh perspective.

Gameplay video for Vampyr 3:28
Dark Souls 1 Trivia

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