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Vampyr - vampire action-RPG from Life Is Strange devs

Cael

Dumbfuck!
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By "subdued" I meant prevented to cause harm to me, ruled over them even, but with proper justice.

My vocabulator seems to be malfunctioning.
Translation: Need to "clarify" in order to maintain my taqiyya.
 

Sukhāvatī

a.k.a. Mañjuśṛī
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འ༔ ཨ༔ ཧ༔ ཤ༔ ས༔ མ༔
My vocabulator seems to be malfunctioning.
Actually your writing and intention is crystal clear, so don't worry about that front.
 

Zibniyat

Arcane
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Jun 22, 2014
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Don't take it too seriously Sukhāvatī, that sentence is a reference from Star Wars KOTOR II, namely an evil HK-50 droid tells that to the player upon unintentionally divulging a piece of his sinister plot that involves the player. And, yes, there's a reason why I used that sentence precisely, and why I now partially explain it to you that it was an *evil* droid telling it, and that it involves a *sinister* plot. The joke is not a proper joke if fully explained, however, so I will leave it there.

My intention indeed is crystal clear, and aside from this thread where such an intention is at best only tangibly related to what I've discussed so far, which means it is off-topic and I would rather we not unnecessarily proceed with it, it is obvious that it is an attempt at presenting my religion in positive light. But if you read my posts in GD, you will still see that I hold opinions regarded by many or everyone as "evil", so this "taqiya" accusation against me really is silly.
 

Cael

Dumbfuck!
Dumbfuck
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Don't take it too seriously Sukhāvatī, that sentence is a reference from Star Wars KOTOR II, namely an evil HK-50 droid tells that to the player upon unintentionally divulging a piece of his sinister plot that involves the player. And, yes, there's a reason why I used that sentence precisely, and why I now partially explain it to you that it was an *evil* droid telling it, and that it involves a *sinister* plot. The joke is not a proper joke if fully explained, however, so I will leave it there.

My intention indeed is crystal clear, and aside from this thread where such an intention is at best only tangibly related to what I've discussed so far, which means it is off-topic and I would rather we not unnecessarily proceed with it, it is obvious that it is an attempt at presenting my religion in positive light. But if you read my posts in GD, you will still see that I hold opinions regarded by many or everyone as "evil", so this "taqiya" accusation against me really is silly.
If he is from anywhere near what his sig would indicate, he doesn't need you to tell him that your religion and its adherents are Evil. He would know it from personal experience.
 

Zibniyat

Arcane
Joined
Jun 22, 2014
Messages
5,892
The game is decent, certainly worth some 15 to 20 euros, and proof of that is this very exchange we've had about the ethics that the idea of vampirism brings forth. :)
 

Zombra

An iron rock in the river of blood and evil
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Picked up the game. The beginning is immediately annoying with the railroading.

The very first thing that happens is dramatic and interesting, but presented in an annoying way.
Reid wakes up with the intense vampire thirst, finds a person and "press F to eat them". Then there's a cutscene about how horrible it is to do that and how Reid instantly regrets it.
This is all fine except it's irritating to make me press a button to do this. Gameplay and controls should be there for when I want to play, i.e. explore the environment, or overcome obstacles through my skillful use of mechanics and personal decision-making. It's called "agency". If I have zero agency, just make it part of the cutscene.

The next thing that happens (less dramatic so not spoilered) is that doods start hunting me and trying to kill me. This is fine too as I can choose whether and how to engage. I ran past a ton of guys, which felt empowering as I was clearly "supposed" to kill them but allowed to make a decision and play with my own style. Then I came to an area with a door which was magically locked until I killed everyone nearby. I didn't find a key on their dead bodies; it was just a door that was locked one minute and unlocked the next. This happened more than once. Again, taking away my agency with absolutely no justification is weak and insulting design.

Then another dramatic thing happens:
Reid is freaking out about what a nightmare this is and decides to kill himself. Pointing the gun at himself, it's "left click to shoot", and the game will patiently wait forever until I left click. There's no other option.
Dontnod, we are really starting on the wrong foot here. If it's a cutscene, make it a fucking cutscene; don't pretend this is gameplay.

Then I levelled up and the game forced me to spend xp on the skill they wanted me to take, instead of letting me look around the skill menu and decide where I wanted to spend my points, or maybe even save them up until later.

EDIT: I'm also mildly surprised to find I can't turn off UI elements. Quest compass is nonnegotiable, health and xp bars are on the screen 24/7 etc. I mean I guess every game doesn't give the option, but again, this is annoying. On top of that, the Ansel high def screenshot mode leaves the UI on also! Oh well, no nice screenshots for me I guess.
EDIT: Never mind, it's under the video effects menu, which is a little weird but OK. You can toggle the entire HUD on/off. Individual elements would be nice, but who am I kidding, I'm turning the whole thing off. :)
 
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Xeon

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Apr 9, 2013
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1,858
Yeah, those cutscenes options are kinda annoying, I hope they stop adding those and just make it full cutscene or something instead of adding fake options.
 

Zombra

An iron rock in the river of blood and evil
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One thing that does work really well in the game is the whole "xp for murder" idea. On Hard mode, combat is not trivially easy with no powers, so I find myself wanting xp ... seeing some nice healthy character walk by wearing an "8000 xp" sign is incredibly tempting. But I'm not playing to powergame, being a button mashing mass murderer is not why I'm here, so I'm not eating name NPCs (yet). I don't especially care about a "pacifist" run but so far none of these people deserve to die. It truly is a striking and fascinating relationship between gameplay and story. This part of the design experiment is an unqualified success and I hope that more games will explore innovations like this.
 

LESS T_T

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Codex 2014
A million copies sold, Dontnod renewed the partnership with Focus, and working on a new project to be "one of the most ambitious in the history of the publisher and the studio": https://www.dontnod-bourse.com/en/financial-information/press-releases.html?ID=ACTUS-0-57861

DONTNOD ENTERTAINMENT AND FOCUS HOME INTERACTIVE ANNOUNCE A NEW COLLABORATION

April 10, 2019.
DONTNOD Entertainment, an independent French studio that creates and develops video games is proud to announce the renewal of its partnership with FOCUS HOME INTERACTIVE.

Vampyr, the first game of the partnership, impressed press and players from around the world. FOCUS and DONTNOD are proud to announce that more than a million copies have been sold to-date. Our new co-production promises to be one of the most ambitious in the history of the publisher and the studio.

We are delighted to continue the adventure with the team at DONTNOD who have already amply demonstrated their talents to create rich universes, enhanced by a masterful narrative and unique artistic direction. We are proud to once again allow the talent of the studio to express itself on this new project which is intended to be among the most ambitious in the history of FOCUS and DONTNOD” said John Bert, COO of Focus Home Interactive.

We are excited to be strengthening our successful relationship with FOCUS HOME INTERACTIVE," said DONTNOD CEO Oskar Guilbert. " Their proven and effective marketing, their ability to address new digital distribution channels, their experienced teams and the convergence of our editorial visions makes FOCUS an ideal partner for our new game. Vampyr is a great success and we are very happy to develop this partnership with this exciting new project. "

About DONTNOD Entertainment

Founded in 2008, DONTNOD is an independent French studio that develops "AA" budget video games in popular genres, such as adventure (Life is Strange, Twin Mirror), action (Remember Me) and RPG (Vampyr). Every new game is an original, natively multi-screen creation with a unique narrative experience and gameplay (consoles, PC, smartphones, tablets, Mac and TV) and is aimed at a wide audience, whether released in episodes by adopting the successful TV series format, or in "one shot” format. The studio has built an international reputation amongst leading publishers such as Square Enix, Focus Home Interactive, Bandai Namco Entertainment and Capcom.
 
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This is all fine except it's irritating to make me press a button to do this. Gameplay and controls should be there for when I want to play, i.e. explore the environment, or overcome obstacles through my skillful use of mechanics and personal decision-making. It's called "agency". If I have zero agency, just make it part of the cutscene.
Not sure if I agree.
You're forced to do it in the same way the character is forced to do it. Requiring the player to perform the action arguably has more impact than it simply happening in a cutscene.
 

Zombra

An iron rock in the river of blood and evil
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This is all fine except it's irritating to make me press a button to do this. Gameplay and controls should be there for when I want to play, i.e. explore the environment, or overcome obstacles through my skillful use of mechanics and personal decision-making. It's called "agency". If I have zero agency, just make it part of the cutscene.
Not sure if I agree.
You're forced to do it in the same way the character is forced to do it. Requiring the player to perform the action arguably has more impact than it simply happening in a cutscene.
Railroading has its place, but it's done poorly here. A choice should be a choice between at least two things, even if one of those things is a game over. The thing where you have to eat your sister would be a million times better if your hit points were quickly draining and you had to eat the first person to come by or drop dead. That's not much freedom but it's a meaningful choice. As it is, I can sit there doing nothing and stare at the screen for 20 years and nothing bad will happen. The "suicide" scene is exactly the same ... if I don't want to do it, nothing is actually making me do it except boredom and the impatience to get on with the railroading.

This puts probably every player in the same (dull) situation: not wanting to do something, looking/waiting for an opportunity to do anything else, and then disappointedly pressing the button they've been told to press, not because it's urgent but because the environment simply fails to provide them any other opportunities.

If you put the player on railroad tracks and expect him to run down them, have there be the sound of a train whistle at least.
 

cruel

Arbiter
Joined
Sep 17, 2014
Messages
510
Thinking about this... this game could really use a brilliant creative director, somebody who will put some magic into important parts. Let' say, give Yoko Taro a free hand and authority here - I guess all the game ratings of the game would be minimum 1 point higher on average. A little bit of mindfuck here and there, 2 or 3 surprises, and of course everybody suffers at the end.
 

Zombra

An iron rock in the river of blood and evil
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Make the Codex Great Again! RPG Wokedex Strap Yourselves In
8 hours in and I have mostly forgotten about the design mistakes from the beginning of the game. I haven't felt that "badly done railroading" feeling at all since the first hour. World is very open, almost intimidatingly so.

Combat is (for me) freakin hard. Kind of clunky but not bad. Satisfying when I win. I started turning the UI on again for boss fights, makes things a lot easier but still not easy.

It's great to have a ton of characters, all with their own stories and motivations. Dialogue is well written, engaging, convincing, interesting. Each person has their own "deal" and several secrets to uncover, some trivially easy, others buried deep.
The downside is there is a ton of conversation to get through. Sitting around listening to voice actors talk is the major activity of the game, with long unbroken stretches of having nothing else to do. (Wandering around pulling rusty screws out of trash cans in between talking does not add a sense of pacing.) No matter how good the writing is (and I do like it), this gets old fast.
It makes me not want to play the game for more than half an hour at a time - but I'm often looking forward to playing some more.

EDIT: I realize that talk like the above is what leads to minigame crap like Devil's Daughter. To all the many developers reading this, don't do that. Instead look to Crimes & Punishments which balanced its many conversations with environmental investigation, clue gathering, plus the "thought cabinet" interface which made correlating information fun. That's how you break up a conversation-heavy game without resorting to childish minigames.

Reactivity is there for sure. I was impressed when I walked into a new district and already some people were speculating on the repercussions of a rumored disappearance (I ate the guy).

Again, for me the game is doing exactly what it said it would. Combat is hard which makes me want to eat people to level up. I'm carefully paying attention to all the dialogue to decide whether anyone deserves to die. I just picked out my second victim, waiting for the time to be right.
 
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a cut of domestic sheep prime

Guest
got this during a GOG sale.

it kinda sucks. there's a lot of forced choices at the start. always bad.

the idea that they put so much work into making the embrace mechanics, yet punish the player harshly for embracing seems counterintuitive, but I don't mind the concept itself. it just doesn't make sense that eating a handful of people would turn London into a ghost town.

the combat sucks and the stat system is largely boring. oh yay, I get to improve X state or attack +1, or maybe I get the choice of improving in one of two ways, one of which being obviously the better choice and both of which are still pretty boring.

maybe it will satisfy my VTM cravings until Bloodlines 2 can disappoint us in 2025 or whenever it's released.
 

Yosharian

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Hammerfell
Is it really worth playing, though? I get that it's worth playing compared to gnawing my arm off, or shaving my ballsack with a rusty razorblade. But is it worth playing as opposed to doing something actually fun, like playing DOOM, or watching some hentai?

I tried to play Life Is Strange 1, once. It made me want to throw my computer out of the nearest window.
 

Starwars

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I kinda liked Life is Strange for what it was. Never finished it though as I did get bored with it.

Vampyr though? I just found it really boring right from the start. Never grabbed me in any way. Didn't even annoy me, just felt it was really boring and bland.
 

Zombra

An iron rock in the river of blood and evil
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Is it really worth playing, though?
I ended up abandoning this early on, though I still have it installed. I'd like to get around to it again sometime.

To sum up:

Moment to moment writing is good. Characters all have little secrets and stories to learn about. The setting is somewhat monotonous. After meeting my 5th 1900s English doctor in the first zone (a hospital) I stopped caring.
It's definitely interesting to compare the characters and decide who to kill and who not to.
Unlike Life is Strange, there's a balance between endless dialogue and action stuff.
Combat is challenging (on Hard) and feels good to win. Even running around town beating up nameless vampire hunter thugs and skals for no reason is fun (again, as a break from all the talking. It wouldn't stand as a game all its own). I thought the action stuff was going to feel stupid and tacked on; it's actually not bad.

Ultimately, I'm not motivated to keep playing because the protagonist is dull and I don't even know what the plot is. I'm trying to find out what's up with vampires I guess?
 

DalekFlay

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I like the concept and setting too much to not try it for $20 DRM free. Maybe low expectations will help with the issues it has.
 

Rahdulan

Omnibus
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I almost got it when it was 18€ on Chrono, but something keeps putting me off. Maybe a better deal during Steam summer sale? Or Humble Monthly.
 
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