Vampyr

Game review by
David Chapman, Common Sense Media
Vampyr Game Poster Image
Temptation and morality guide bloody vampiric tale.

Parents say

No reviews yetAdd your rating

Kids say

No reviews yetAdd your rating

A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this game.

Positive Messages

Reid's moral dilemma between his duty as a doctor and his bloodlust as a vampire is the central focus of the story. What happens and how events unfold are left in player's hands, who can choose to play either side of the moral spectrum or anywhere in-between.

Positive Role Models & Representations

Before becoming a vampire, Reid was an accomplished doctor who fought to save lives. He still tries to save those he can, despite his new predatory instincts. Other characters he comes across run the full range between good and evil. Most are still flawed in some way or another, but some more than others.

Ease of Play

It can take time to get the timing down for combat, particularly if you plan on chaining together combos and attacking multiple targets. Eventually, you'll get some patterns down and make quick(er) work of most foes.

Violence

No shortage of blood, death, and violence. At certain points, bodies litter the streets. As a vampire, Reid will feed on people, luring them away before biting into their necks, draining their blood. Combat is brutal, with violent attacks that can include bloody injuries and feeding animations.

Sex

No explicit sex or nudity, but occasional sexual references, including prostitutes soliciting for sex and discussions of a priest that molests children.

Language

"Damn," "f--k," and "s--t" frequently used in dialogue.

Consumerism
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

Drunken characters occasionally appear, as well as references to drinking, including an offer for sex in exchange for alcohol. There's a scene of drug use, with a character injecting himself offscreen.

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Vampyr is an action role-playing game available for Xbox One, PlayStation 4, and Windows-based PCs. Players take on the role of a doctor in post-World War I London that's recently been turned into a vampire. Players must deal with moral choices, balancing the character's belief in healing versus his new supernatural bloodlust. The game features plenty of violence, including lots of blood, gore, and corpses littering the environment. Other mature content in the game includes various sexual references and solicitation from a prostitute, although nothing is shown onscreen. Dialogue has frequent profanity, including "f--k" and "s--t," as well as presentations of drinking, drug use, and public intoxication.

User Reviews

There aren't any reviews yet. Be the first to review this title.

There aren't any reviews yet. Be the first to review this title.

What's it about?

VAMPYR takes players to the streets of London in 1918. In the wake of the first World War, the city is still being decimated by the effects of a lethal flu outbreak. Doctor Jonathan Reid, recently returned from the war, has a new mission to treat those infected by the pandemic and return to his family. Unfortunately, fate has other plans. One night, Reid is attacked by a mysterious stranger and seemingly left for dead. As he regains consciousness, Reid is overcome by a thirst for human blood and quickly learns he may not have escaped death after all. Reid has been transformed into a creature of myth: a vampire. Now he must seek out a cure to his condition while struggling to maintain his humanity. As a doctor, he was sworn to do no harm. As a vampire, he must feed to survive. With a supernatural threat now lurking in the shadows, Reid has more to save the city from than the flu. He'll need to choose his victims carefully, because with choice comes consequence. Can Reid save the city without losing his soul in the process?

Is it any good?

This action role-playing game pulls no punches with philosophical moral dilemmas, resulting in one of the more original tales to be released in a long time. Vampyr's focus on moral choices is a driving focus of the story. As Reid, the player is constantly struggling to balance their good and evil natures. On one hand, you'll want to feed to build up your vampiric abilities to gain the power you'll need to survive the onslaught of supernatural creatures. On the other hand, the person you feed on now might be been essential to the story later. Adding to the dilemma, feeding on humans delivers more experience than your garden variety enemies. Plus, the more time you spend observing, listening, and learning about your potential prey, the more valuable their blood becomes. It might be easy to drain a nameless face, but once you learn their story and they become more person than prey, can your conscience overcome your temptation for power? Who deserves to live and who deserves to become a late-night snack?

Vampyr has a fantastic and engaging story, personalized by the choices you make and the different possibilities those choices open up. But this is still an action-based game; there's a lot of fighting and bloody encounters on your quest for salvation (or damnation), and here, the game loses a bit of its bite. Combat breaks down to stringing together button presses to combo moves effectively, but the timing can feel off, making it difficult to land successful hits. Eventually, through practice, you'll get a decent rhythm going, but it's hard not to feel like you're just going through the motions. Things get substantially easier if you're willing to give in to your bloodlust and drink up extra XP from civilians to enhance your vampiric powers. But by doing so, you risk taking Reid fate further down a darker path. While it adds a certain challenge to the overall experience, it's also a little frustrating to feel penalized for wanting to make the most of your supernatural situation. Then again, it's that temptation to take the easy road that makes Reid's struggle for his humanity more personal to the player as well.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about violence in video games. How can the portrayal of violence in video games like Vampyr affect younger audiences? When given the choice of violent or non-violent responses in games, which direction do you go and why?

  • What sorts of choices do you make in games when given a choice? What's the appeal of sticking to the high ground or playing to a dark side?

  • Do you think Vampyr needed monsters and vampires, or could it have been just as engaging if it was a tale only about doctors fighting disease?

Game details

Themes & Topics

Browse titles with similar subject matter.

For kids who love choices

Our editors recommend

Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are created by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.

See how we rate

About these links

Common Sense Media, a nonprofit organization, earns a small affiliate fee from Amazon or iTunes when you use our links to make a purchase. Thank you for your support.

Read more

Our ratings are based on child development best practices. We display the minimum age for which content is developmentally appropriate. The star rating reflects overall quality and learning potential.

Learn how we rate