Here's how combat works in Dontnod's Vampyr

Dontnod's Vampyr is a game about being a vampire, something you probably gleaned from the old-timey title. You'll play as bloodsucking healthcare professional Doctor Reid, and unlike Max—the star of Dontnod's hit adventure game Life is Strange—he'll spend quite a lot of time beating up folks and sucking blood through a curly straw, in pox-ridden, Post-Edwardian London taaahn. (Max hardly ever does that.)

Vampyr has combat, then, and if you're wondering what that involves exactly, well, a new post on the PlayStation Blog by game director Philippe Moreau should sort you out. You can avoid combat situations entirely with the aid of your "vampire speed and agility", but if you do choose to get into scraps with your foes, there'll be a range of skills to buy and use in the third-person combat.

"Armed with an array of conventional melee and ranged weaponry," the article elaborates, "attack and dodge enemies to fill up Jonathan’s Blood Gauge, which is required to unleash powerful vampire attacks. From impaling enemies on a spike to draining them of blood at a distance, as Jonathan’s Blood Gauge fills during a combat situation, his Vampire affliction will start to overtake his more human side, unleashing destructive spells and abilities against those who try to stop him".

There's a "non-linear" skill tree, full of abilities that can be evolved in two differing ways, and if you're hoping to evolve all of 'em you'll need to fully embrace you vampiric side.

"Combat difficulty can be affected by player actions out of combat," the post goes on. "Feeding on civilians provides a huge XP boost, which will make combat situations easier—but that comes with caveats; an increased danger on the streets, and narrative consequences for the world’s citizens, to name a few."

You'll "have to investigate and determine who to feed from, and who to spare," when Vampyr arrives, sometime next year.

Tom Sykes

Tom loves exploring in games, whether it’s going the wrong way in a platformer or burgling an apartment in Deus Ex. His favourite game worlds—Stalker, Dark Souls, Thief—have an atmosphere you could wallop with a blackjack. He enjoys horror, adventure, puzzle games and RPGs, and played the Japanese version of Final Fantasy VIII with a translated script he printed off from the internet. Tom has been writing about free games for PC Gamer since 2012. If he were packing for a desert island, he’d take his giant Columbo boxset and a laptop stuffed with PuzzleScript games.