DONTNOD’s Vampyr isn’t an overly challenging game, but it does have its fair share of systems and mechanics that you’ll need to learn your way around if you want to come out on top.
We’ve pulled together seven tips to help guide newborn vampire Dr. Jonathan Reid through the nighttime streets of London, and make the most of his newfound gifts.
Interviews with the Vampyr
One of the most important aspects of Vampyr is the cast of NPCs who are always willing to dish the dirt on each other, and can often be persuaded to give up their secrets with a gentle nudge.
Information gathering is key to determining whose side to take in an argument, who deserves a couple of fangs in the neck and who can potentially aid you down the line. It’s rare you’ll ever close off a line of dialogue, so make sure you exhaust all options. If a line is highlighted yellow, it’s connected to the story; if it’s blue, then it’s a hint you’ve unlocked that will allow Reid to manipulate the conversation to reveal important information.
Coffin not required
Catching forty winks does more than just refresh Reid for a long night at the hospital (actually he does close to bugger all in his official capacity). Rather, sleeping has two primary functions in Vampyr.
The first is to transition to the following night. When Reid sleeps, the consequences of his actions unfold across the four districts of London. People will discover the bodies of those you’ve killed, or will either benefit or suffer based on the way you’ve concluded certain investigations.
Also, sleeping allows you to spend Reid’s XP to unlock or improve his skills and abilities. Sometimes it’s worth saving up for a few nights, as higher tiers of skills require huge expenditures – although there are ways to improve your lot.
Murder is currency in Vampyr. While for some reason killing human enemies fills up your blood meter to allow the use of special vampiric combat skills, murdering the populace grants you massive boosts of XP. All you need to do when you’ve selected a victim is Mesmerise them (in which Reid will need to have a higher level than the target, which only increases at certain intervals) and lead them to a dark corner, where you’ll “embrace” them – a touchy-feely term for draining them of blood.
However, the ramifications of such an act can be incredibly damaging. The only way to achieve the true ending is to save London, which is hard to do if you go round murdering everyone. Some characters deserve to die, and there are one or two who make it hard not to chomp them in half on the spot – but others are true innocents, some are veritable saints. Added to this, deaths will affect the victim’s social circles, reducing or removing your chances of finishing certain investigations or side quests. There’s a definite gradient of right and wrong in Vampyr, so kill at your discretion but be aware of the consequences.
And I’m not talking celery and soy milk here. Reid is a doctor, and as such can diagnose a person just by talking to them (that’s how medicine works, right?). If a person is in poor health, their blood will yield fewer XP, so it’s best to carry around a few medical treatments to improve a potential victim’s health. Because Vampyr is a game and medical treatments work instantly, think of it as salting your meal.
You can craft medicine at workbenches if you gather up enough ingredients. Remember to break down pills and chemicals to get hold of the rarer stuff – and handily the loot you gather is colour-coded by rarity because why not.
Physician, upgrade thyself
In each of Reids hideouts you’ll find a work bench where you can mix up the aforementioned medical treatments, as well as stat-boosting serums. You can also upgrade your weapons to do more damage or stun opponents more easily.
There is loot everywhere, in bins, boxes, crates and cupboards, or else it’s dropped by dead enemies. You can even buy it from various traders around London. Hoover it up and bring it to a hideout to improve Reid’s damage output and overall survivability.
Survive the night
Never leave a hideout without enough serums and ammunition to make it through the night. Auto-save checkpoints can be sporadic and boss fights have a tendency to creep up on you. More often than not, the difficulty spikes during these encounters and if you’re not ready it can lead to frustration.
Remember you can increase your carrying capacity for curatives and ammo when you sleep.
There are collectibles scattered around the world in the form of notes and journal entries, while nooks and crannies hide secret stashes of loot, alternate routes and more enemies to kill for blood and XP.
It’s worth poking your nose in wherever you go, on the off-chance you’ll uncover something useful. Now and then you’ll even discover a hint that’ll help you manipulate one of the NPCs or lead to another investigation.