Dontnod Entertainment, the developers of this year’s excellent episodic adventure game Life is Strange and 2013’s criminally underrated action adventure Remember Me, has revealed new details for their upcoming role-playing game Vampyr along with a broad release window: 2017.
In a post on the PlayStation Blog, the game’s director Philippe Moreau revealed the release window along with a plethora of new details on the game and its story. Vampyr, which is set to launch on PlayStation 4, Xbox One and PC, is set in the 1918 London Spanish Flu epidemic, a choice of environment Moreau calls ‘just right’ for a gothic vampire story.
“England was recovering from the aftermath of the World War I, and the Spanish Flu was making its way through London’s winding alleys,” he writes. “The streets were rife with death and crime, but England was also going through many social and political changes, as new sciences sought to re-envision the way we see the world. Superstition was becoming less socially relevant, but it was still in the streets, folklore, and politics of London, so science was on the rise, but the world was still a dark, scary place. Especially the smoggy, smokey, war-torn streets of London.”
“We researched the events surrounding the catastrophic flu endured by London in 1918, but also research about the medical and scientific enlightenment of this period.”
“The authorities in London barely managed to handle the epidemic, since they were recovering from the trials of the Great War, and didn’t want to communicate too much on the flu to London’s populace to reduce panic, and manage people.”
“This grim vision of London is presented in hundreds of historical documents and visual accounts of the flu, each darker than those before it. But for the streets, architecture and feeling of London, there are many factual but also fictional references that are fantastic visual reference pieces.”
In Vampyr, players will take the role of Jonathan Reid, a doctor who becomes infected with vampirism. “A rational man, Reid wants to come to terms with vampirism – he wants to understand it,” Moreau says. “Basically, he wants to treat it as a medical condition, but as you play through the story and meet many of the characters in the game, you’ll discover that things are much more… organised, or deliberate, than that.”
As for the gameplay, Vampyr is set to include the usual ranged and melee combat but also promises a great deal of player choice. Moreau notes that “one of the most interesting things is that everyone you meet in Vampyr could be a target, if you want. But each kill will have consequences on the fragile streets of London. You’ll both see those consequences, and feel them. They’ll have an effect on the story, often immediately, and in the long-run. Vampires have to eat, after-all. But as the saying goes, ‘you are what you eat’ – at least, in Reid’s mind. He’s a very human vampire… at least, he hasn’t forgotten where he came from. Do not think that makes him ‘good’, though. You’ll see.”
Dontnod Entertainment has yet to reveal any video footage of the game in action, but from what little has been revealed, it certainly sounds promising. In any case, after some really sterling efforts over the past few years, Dontnod has definitely earned the benefit of the doubt.