After releasing the critically-acclaimed Life is Strange, Dontnod Entertainment has gone in a very different direction with their latest game, Vampyr. The action-RPG is slated for a 2017 launch, and to generate some excitement, Dontnod dropped a developer walkthrough of a lengthy 10-minute gameplay demo, showing a variety of mechanics that will be featured in the game.
Vampyr shows off Dontnod's trademarked style in their recent games while pushing in a new direction. Interactions between characters are guided by dialogue options, as seen in Life is Strange, the third-person combat resembles Remember Me with a touch of Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor, and there are supernatural powers reminiscent of Arkane Studios' Dishonored franchise.
The gameplay tour starts with protagonist Dr. Jonathan Reid entering the head office of a hospital. There is a struggle between the vampires and the Guard, but this hospital is a place of neutral territory. Reid finds out that several patients are either killed or missing and he looks to take care of the threat so citizens can restore their confidence in the hospital. Through the use of chosen dialogue, Reid finds the location of Sean Hampton, the man who might be behind the hospital attack.
From there, the tour shifts to exploration and combat. Immediately, a power is shown off to travel across big gaps, or to normally unreachable platforms like "Blink" or "Far Reach" from the Dishonored series. Reid goes into a warehouse and enters combat against three enemies. The setup of the combat looks like The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt, and is based on "timing, positioning, and management of resources," with a mix of melee weapons, ranged weapons, and vampire powers.
While exploring the visually impressive Victorian London, Reid discovers that Hampton killed one of the patients and retreated to his sanctuary after becoming a vampire. Unfortunately, Hampton is one of the best doctors in London, so his fate could impact the entire city. The gameplay video ends with a conversation between Reid and Hampton regarding his new condition.
Vampyr seems to be ticking all the checkboxes that make for a successful action-RPG. The combat looks fluid and satisfying, choice-driven dialogue helps the player feel more immersed, and playing as a vampire is fairly uncommon in modern gaming—at least in a main storyline. With all the promise seen in this developer walkthrough, hopefully Vampyr can keep on track with its 2017 release window.