Polygon

In Life is Strange dev’s next game, Vampyr, players choose a monster’s moral compass

Charlie Hall
 

Will they be Jack the Ripper, or Dexter? The world first learned of Dontnod’s Vampyr on the eve of the launch of its last title, Life is Strange. Since then, the French development team has given regular updates on its progress. Now that it’s in the final stretch, it’s also producing a demo for this summer’s Electronic Entertainment Expo in Los Angeles. The real challenge will be getting across the main character’s motivations in such a short period of time.

Vampyr is a third-person action role-playing game set in 1918 London. Players take on the role of a physician named Jonathan Reid. The demo will feature a new look at the game’s combat system, but it will also take time to explore Reid’s own background. “Dr. Jonathan Reid was in the war,” said Gregory Szucs, Vampire’s art director.

“He was trained as a soldier at some point and he brought back some ideas, so he will definitely use that, like trench clubs and things he brought back with him. He still uses his service weapon — a Webley — and a blade. And the combat will happen in the streets, in the sewers. It's not going to be about mortar shells. ” Reid wakes up in a mass grave during the Spanish flu epidemic in London.

The early game will be about coming to grips with being a vampire, while the arc of the game will focus on how he deals with the malady and his quest for a cure. The team said it chose 1918 because it was such a period of dramatic cultural change, a time when a vampire could perhaps secretly find a safe place to live alongside mortals. “It was interesting for us because there were a lot of scientific progress and discoveries that emerged during this period,” said Philippe Moreau, Vampyr’s game director. “It was really, I would say, the first time that science could challenge religion and mysticism in a sense that science could provide answers that religion would never have been able to. ” Because of what Reid has seen in the war, and because of his ethical obligations as a medical doctor, Dontnod said they plan to play with preconceptions of what motivates a classical vampire to feed or take a human life.

“One interesting question we want the player to ask themselves is, ‘Who am I going to kill and who am I going to spare? ’” said Moreau. “We have created a…

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