I initially expected Vampyr, Dontnod's action-RPG about a blood-sucking doctor plying his trade in the Spanish flu-wracked London of 1918, to be a solitary sort of tale about a guy who has to keep his true nature hidden from the world at large. But the ten-minute gameplay trailer release today suggests a more pervasively-supernatural game, where vampires, undead "skal," monster hunters, and even run-of-the-mill humans coexist in full awareness of each other.
The sanguine proclivities of Dr. Jonathan Reid, the game's lead "Vampyr," are clearly known to the administrator of the hospital where he works, and also to the hunters, known as "the Guard of Priwen," who sometimes conduct business there. They're clearly not happy to share the space, but the hospital is apparently Highlander-like "sacred ground," where it is forbidden to fight, and so conflict is limited to threats and the ol' stink-eye.
Skal, who appear later in the trailer, are flesh-eating undead who retain (or at least, can retain) their faculties. In fact, that's the central conundrum of the mission on display: Should a skal who has done no wrong—who is actually performing valuable services for the most vulnerable members of the city's downtrodden—be killed because one day he might lose control?
I thought the trailer would be much more combat-focused affair, but the one fight that is shown is fairly quick and straightforward, while a second opportunity to brawl is bypassed entirely. I think that's encouraging: It's impossible to say at this point how that talk-vs-fight balance will ultimately work out, but the focus on non-combat options in the trailer at least suggests something similar for the game.
Vampyr is currently slated for release in November. Find out more at vampyr-game.com.