When I popped the disc for Vampyr into my PS4, I wasn't entirely sure what I should be expecting. I knew the broad strokes: That I was taking the role of a surgeon, newly turned into a vampire during the Spanish Flu epidemic in 1918 London. But beyond that, I knew nothing about the what the game could be. Starting a New Game, before I became a creature of the night, a message popped up on screen:
“In this game, difficulty is tied to your actions. The more lives you take, the easier the game will be.”
Without knowing it, I was already introduced to one of the most fascinating concepts in Vampyr. Other vampire games before this have tried to capture the constant push and pull between a bloodsucker's need to maintain their humanity and their need to feed. Vampires: The Masquerade – Bloodlines, for one, did this through the “humanity” mechanic inherent to the tabletop RPG series it draws from. The way Dontnod's Vampyr chose to systematize this inherent push and pull has stuck with me long after I finished my adventure because of how clever and unique it is.