La Vampyr review to Nintendo Switch gave us the opportunity to immerse ourselves again in the extraordinary atmosphere of the action RPG branded Dontnod Entertainment, which arrives on the Japanese hybrid console almost a year and a half after its release on PC, PlayStation 4 and Xbox One.
La history obviously it hasn't changed and puts us in the shoes of Jonathan Reid, a doctor who finds himself transformed into a vampire in spite of himself and in his new condition, in the grip of an unstoppable hunger, performs an act that will haunt him forever
However, the man does not even have time to shed a few tears due to the fact that some hunters are already on him, hunting him through the streets of London dark and disturbing of 1918. A city on its knees since the terrible epidemic of the Spanish flu spread, which produced many victims and was accompanied by a sudden invasion of demonic creatures that seem to wallow in this climate of pain and death.
Gameplay and structure
Determined to find who turned him into a vampire, the protagonist Vampyr quickly learns to control his new ones ability, which include superhuman strength, the ability to turn into fog to cover certain distances in an instant, a supernatural charm it can exert on people before sinking its teeth into their neck, and great physical stamina.
A repertoire that will be enriched with new maneuvers and powers by proceeding in the campaign, gaining experience and unlocking a wide range of upgrades, which also include devastating special moves.
The setting that the French team has given to its project is that of an action RPG with a fairly consistent degree of challenge, although at the beginning of the adventure it is possible to choose between three different levels of difficulties to enjoy a more or less demanding experience.
Explore the map of London, divided into independent neighborhoods in terms of delicate social balance, implies facing increasingly intense fights against monster hunters but also pathetic Skal, vampires and creatures of the night, as well as powerful and dangerous boss. To defeat them we will have to dose the movements always keeping an eye on the indicator of the bunting in order not to remain defenseless, use the discard to avoid the blows and take advantage of any stuns of the opponent to bite him and thus reload the blood bar, which regulates the execution of the ability Special.
However, there is much more besides the solidity of the fights, in this case a role-playing substrate made up of dialogues and interactions with each of the various characters that we will find on our way, with the possibility of discovering clues that open the doors to quest and make choices that will influence the course of history, possibly making certain neighborhoods unstable (which will substantially increase the presence of enemies on the streets) and leading us to one of the four final possible for the game.
This system often uses narrative expedients that leave a little baffled, effectively preventing us from making a decision based on all the elements and placing us in front of an unhappy outcome even if our intentions were different, but it contributes in any case to enhancing the replayability. if you decide to try an alternative route.
The very fact of balancing the challenge on the basis of the people we decide to bite, making things easier for us if we accept to follow our lowest instincts and thus become yet another threat to the city rather than a possible savior, shuffles the cards of a experience that always keeps interest alive, involving us in the vicissitudes of protagonist and in his search for truth.
The progression system, in particular, allows you to enhance the character in various ways and to get hold of tools that go alongside vampire abilities, whether it's weaponry by cutting or by fire, all of which can be improved thanks to a simple system of crafting based on the materials collected around.
The Nintendo Switch version
We have seen several sensational conversions on the Nintendo Switch, but united by an inevitable constant: to bring a game designed for PC, PS4 and Xbox One on the Japanese hybrid console, you have to accept a series of more or less relevant compromises. The aspects that usually end up being penalized are the resolution and frame rate, closely followed by the quality of the textures and effects. In this case, the developers of Saber Interactive, in charge of porting, were they able to limit the damage?
Let's say the campaign of Vampyr starts well and there is no doubt that even on Switch the excellent atmospheres of the game have been preserved, thanks above all to a colonna sonora particularly inspired and with dialogues in English (subtitled in Spanish) very well interpreted.
Problems arise as soon as the complex game structure shows its peculiarities, identifying in each PNG a possible target and also providing us with precise information on enemies thanks to the "sanguine" vision that the protagonist can activate. By moving the view in the presence of points of interest, you realize the effort that the graphics engine makes to keep the frame rate stable, often without success. Very similar episodes occur during the fights, with clear jolts of fluidity that fortunately do not compromise the enjoyment of the clashes.
The big problems lie in the excessive impact of dynamic resolution on the quality of the assets, with faces that become almost unrecognizable compared to other versions of the game and obvious problems in the streaming of the texture, which has been tried to remedy by substantially lowering the quality of the objects and animations that are located at a certain distance from the character; but especially in the uploads sudden events that freeze the game for a few seconds without caring what is happening at that moment, perhaps because you are moving from one area of the map to another in the middle of a fight.
Surprisingly, in the portable version the situation improves markedly: the small size of the screen masks any exaggeration of the scaler, but it is more than anything else the greater stability of the frame rate to hit, giving us an overall better experience although also characterized in this case by the plague of unexpected uploads.
CommentTested version Nintendo Switch Price 49,90 € Resources4Gaming.com
Vampyr is an action RPG of great value, capable of telling an engaging story and plunging us into a disturbing atmosphere, that of a 1918 London plagued by epidemics and threatened every night by hordes of demonic creatures. The story of Jonathan Reid and the characters we will meet along the way is full of twists and turns, with a view to a system of choices and consequences that can dramatically influence the progression and lead us to witness different endings. The Nintendo Switch version goes down to inevitable compromises on a technical level, dramatically decreasing the resolution and quality of the assets in order to maintain a stable frame rate which, however, often and willingly shows clear uncertainties. However, if you want to try this portability experience, you are in luck: in this situation the game performs better and many of its flaws are masked.
- Great atmosphere, rich and multifaceted lore
- Challenging fights, beautiful skills
- In portable mode it holds up well ...
- ... but the technical compromises are several
- Sudden and annoying uploads
- Some elements do not fully convince