Dontnod Entertainment tackled something very different when they went from the third person action of Remember Me to the episodic narrative adventure of Life is Strange, and now they are making a similar jump with Vampyr. Announced back in June, Vampyr will follow Jonathan E. Reid, a World War I military surgeon, as he returns to London in 1918 to find it ravaged by the Spanish Flu. Things only get more complicated when he is suddenly turned into a vampire.
Speaking with GameSpot, narrative director Stéphane Beauverger, art director Grégory Szucs, and game director Philippe Moreau shared more about just what they have in store for players. “We’ve created a dark and brutal world” Szucs said, “with an Impressionistic twist.”
Explaining more about the game’s protagonist, Beauverger offered, “Reid is a brilliant doctor who served during the war and became familiar with a brand new blood transfusion technique that’s saved many lives. When the game begins, he’s just returned from the war, waking up after an attack by a mysterious assailant. This attack was the cause of his transformation into a vampire. We can’t reveal all of the consequences but his status as a specialist of human blood is of interest to the vampire society that hides in the shadows.”
Vampire stories are certainly nothing new, but the setting of Vampyr has the potential to really make it stand out from the pack. “Since we wanted to tell a gothic story about vampires, many things drew us to this particular setting,” Beauverger said. “I guess it has a lot to do with the combined tragedy of the closing first world war, and the awful Spanish Flu epidemic, but also with the fact that this is a time of great political and social revolution.”
“So for us,” she continued, “this is a perfect time to tell a story about a scientist and surgeon, turned into a vampire, forced to apply his rational beliefs on ageless supernatural forces like the vampires in the grim city of London. There are many societal juxapositions that add to the atmosphere of the narrative.”
As far as vampire games go, Dontnod feels there’s still a lot of room for something new. “Legendary examples such as Vampire: The Masquerade and Castlevania explore the theme masterfully, but I really think the universe and mythos remains underexplored,” Moreau stated.
“We want to go back to the Gothic roots of Vampire mythology and emphasize their struggling duality: killing innocent people to survive is the price of immortality… So if you, as a player, were a vampire, how would you handle that choice? Less glitter, more grit.”
When it comes to the actual game and how it will play, Moreau wouldn’t offer much, but did say, “We’ve always known that we wanted open level design with a large amount of possibilities in term of actions and consequences.”
Currently Vampyr is scheduled for 2017, coming to PS4, Xbox One, and PC. Unlike Life is Strange, it won’t be episodic returning to the more traditional release model.
What do you think of Vampyr, or at least what we have heard of it so far? Let us know in the comments.