The Night is Dark and Full of Fright ~ by AJ Forrisi
We’re getting deeper into November and it’s finally starting to feel like fall. Off the top of anyone’s mind, they’ll think flannel plaid shirts, jeans, boots, beanies, oversized hoodies. They’ll be going on dates to orchards and farms to go apple picking, grab a pumpkin and then carve it up later. Maybe you’re not into that stuff but you still love when fall rolls around because that means Starbucks is ready to brew your favorite pumpkin spiced lattes and apple cider will be lining the shelves again. It’s time to grab your favorite hoodie, sweatshirt, and long sleeves: we need to get warm.
Whatever your reason, we all can’t deny that Fall brings the dawn of one very specific season: spooky season.
But what makes this season so spooky? The days get shorter. The weather gets colder. The leaves fall and die. Everything begins to go into hibernation, leaving our environment to look barren and dead.
For gamers, spooky season is potentially all year long, especially if we’re more of the adventurous types. We’ve probably played a horror video game or two. Maybe watched some Let’s Plays of other gamers playing some horror video games. We’ve got the Silent Hill series, Resident Evil, Until Dawn, Bloodborne, Outlast. And those are just the biggest names off the top of my head.
But as a big PlayStation player, PlayStation Plus gifted my October with a little spooky surprise of its own, a free to play game this month called Vampyr.
I had heard about this game from a friend just as I was finishing 100%ing The Witcher 3, a game I still regard as my top 5 best played games. But my friend gave me the short run down of what Vampyr was about and claiming how it was “very Witcher like,” I dismissed it after watching a few trailers. I was a novice gamer at the time, and while some may say I’m not a “real gamer,” because I mainly play single player games, I dismissed Vampyr as being “cheesy” and “boring.”
Well, thanks to PlayStation Plus gifting this game to me for free, I clicked download and said, “why not, my 4TB hard drive can handle it.”
So as I do with all my games, I grabbed my SoesicGaming dark raven crewneck sweatshirt, a staple for when I play horror games, (you can find this comfy wonder here, from Soesicgaming.com) and booted up the new game, excited for what spooky horrors await me.
After a few long cutscenes in the intro, the game hit a little closer to home than I imagined. A 1918 England just trying to cope with the Spanish Flu and dealing with a new wave of virus.
Why does this sound familiar?
The virus was mutating, and people were becoming sick at an ALARMING rate. Doctors were having trouble tracing the virus. And as you play as Dr. Jonathan Reid, you discover that this virus is mutating.
Ah, the current pandemic. There it is.
Now, I wouldn’t call this game perfect, or scary for that matter. There are no amazing jump scares, or gruesome scenes like there are in say, Bloodborne, Outlast, or Silent Hill. No. This is your run of the mill Vampire game. You play as a vampire, who’s a doctor/scientist. A “higher vampire,” if you will.
To those of you who played the Witcher Blood and Wine expansion (pardon the spoilers, but it’s been out long enough), Dr. Reid reminds me a little of Emil Regis. Smart vampire who tries his hardest to not be viewed as a vampire, but as a scientist in the community to help the people.
But that’s about it. Dr. Reid is left entirely in your hands. Want to become better than the classic vampire trope? Play the pacifist route. Do not feed on any civilians. (There’s a trophy in it for you if you do this.) This makes the game significantly harder. You’re playing without harvesting massive amounts of experience from easy targets. Yes you gain experience through combat and small side quests, but not nearly as much as pulling a defenseless human into a corner and sucking all the experience points out of them, something you can use to strengthen yourself against some of the more tedious bosses. You’ll head into boss fights severally under leveled.
But like all games, recognize the pattern, and I’m sure regardless of the level, you’ll be able to defeat the boss.
As I said before, Vampyr is in no way a perfect game. The voice acting is a little wonky, going from regular conversation to straight up shouting questions, and dialogue that just seems to drag on. I find myself skipping a lot of dialogue just to find out the information on each civilian (in case I can go back and feast).
The combat is a nice interesting feature. Self-healing is an option, along with biting your enemies for a boost of health, stamina, and gaining blood, a vital part of using some abilities, (I swear no pun intended!). I find myself developing a rhythm for all enemies of stun, bite, and two hand weapons hit. That method has been effective for me, but all players are different.
I’m far from done with the game, but as someone who loves a good story, I find myself drawn to it each night, playing for hours when I should be sleeping. The story isn’t too deep, just a basic “who turned me and what can I do to stop them?” theme, but the intricacies have me hooked. Solving the little investigations for each civilian while I raise their overall experience point level and trying to 100% what seems to be an overall easy game, has me in a spooky mood.
Not a member of PlayStation plus? Click here now and grab yourself a subscription. You’ll get free games monthly and plenty of cloud storage capabilities as well, in case you need some external backup space for multiple save files.
Looking for some hoodies to suit up in for the fall? Head to Soesicgaming.com and browse all the different style to match your game play. From hoodies to t-short you’ll find a style to match your gaming.