Vampyr is here, the latest game from Life Is Strange developer Dontnod and Focus Home Interactive, and it can be quite a daunting game to get started with, as there are a lot of systems to think about. Combat is particularly difficult, so we've got a Vampyr Combat Guide for you!
We've played a significant chunk of the game (you can check out our review tomorrow) and we're here to help you through with everything you need to win at combat in Vampyr!
Vampyr Combat Guide
Combat in Vampyr can be frustrating if you don't handle it correctly. It is undeniably influenced by Dark Souls, although is a little more lenient than From Software's finest or any true imitators like Focus Interactive's own The Surge. We'll be honest - if you're playing on PC, you should consider playing with a gamepad. It's not perfect, and we don't deny that many UI elements are built for mouse and keyboard, but it'll make combat far easier.
Your main pillars are Health, Stamina, and Blood. You can heal with limited health vials or, more likely, your main Autophagy healing power - which drains Blood. Stamina governs dodges and attacks, and while it returns quickly you should be careful not to let it run out, in case you need to dodge. Blood provides Powers to give you an edge in combat. You have an attack button, a secondary weapon button, a dodge, and your various powers - and that's it, really.
To get Blood during combat, you'll need to Stun an enemy using stakes or certain weapons - handguns can work too, although more slowly and with limited ammo. Once an enemy's Armour bar is whittled away you can press Interact (highlighted) to drain their Blood. Very useful, but it'll be more difficult to stun them the next time.
Otherwise play it like Dark Souls - concentrate on the quick to kill enemies first, try and separate them, don't let them crowd you or back you into a corner, let them make the first move, and keep an eye out for a surprise attack. Then kill them all.
Vampyr Enemies Guide
There are many different types of enemy in Vampyr. They fall into two basic categories - Human and Undead. You can play the two off each other, but don't expect either to be friendly to you. This is by no means a full list, and not the proper names, but here's some of the major enemies to watch out for:
Guards of Priwen (Humans)
- Flame Sword - do not underestimate these guys. They look like the basic soldiers, but they can counter and that fire sword of theirs does a lot of damage, and can interrupt your attack.
- Brawler - tough with a lot of health, don't let these guys get you in a corner. They frequently pack shotguns, so always keep an eye on them and prepare to dodge when they take aim. Watch when they charge at you, they'll skewer you if you don't dodge in time.
- Flamethrower/Gas Thrower - a pain in the arse, these guys spew badness and getting caught in their toxic gases or fire probably means a quick death. They're also well armoured. You'll need to hit them with long-distance powers and stay away from their front.
- Priests - wielding holy crosses on staves, these guys can blind you and break your lock-on link. They also can do a quick holy blast when you're attacking them directly. Wait for them to pause and raise their cross, and then get behind them - you can easily dodge and get a few free hits. Just watch that staff, it's got a long reach.
- Skals - Basic Skal vampires aren't too much to worry about, but they do have an annoying habit of jumping at you and draining your Blood. Watch out for that.
- Werewolves - the first truly tough enemy you'll face outside of a boss fight. Watch their long-range three-swipe attack, and their charges.
- Brutes - less common, the first towering brute you'll meet is called Fergal and he's a tough boss battle. Much like werewolves, watch his multi-attacks and his charges, and with Fergal in particular watch his shadow attacks.
- Ekons - your fellow Ekon vampires should be on your side, right? Wrong. They don't trust anyone, and they can be as strong as you are, with a similar power set. You know the powers, so you should be able to counter them - just dodge, basically, and don't be tricked by a teleport.
- Toxic Skals - later on you'll find this variety of Skal that's both tougher, and harder to get close to. They'll spew toxic vapours either near or far, so wait for them to disperse before you attack. Oh, and they explode when they die, so watch out for that.
Vampyr Powers Guide
Only you can decide what Powers you want to choose. Passive Powers such as Health and Stamina should be regularly levelled up, and your Bite powers should probably get a go too - the rest are up to how much you use them.
Everything else, remember the RPG motto - "a jack of all trades is the master of none". You can only equip certain powers at any time, so choose wisely and concentrate on improving them.
Defensive Powers - they don't cost Blood so can give you a brief advantage, pick either a shield or a freezing power, both have their uses.
Tactical Powers - Spring can quickly close the distance of a target and does damage, but Shadow Veil can let you slip away or slip by enemies so might be useful.
Aggressive Powers - Claws are a good quick devastating attack but you have to be close to use them. Bloodspear is nice and long distance, but not too damaging. Shadow Mist creates a cool explosion at any distance, but takes a little while to charge and enemies can easily move out of it.
Ultimate Powers - the most devastating powers, these have a long cooldown so use them sparingly - and while they cost no Blood their XP cost is high, so definitely just pick one. Beast hits all enemies but doesn't do massive damage. Abyss concentrates on one enemy and does loads of damage, so is good against boss characters. Blood Cauldron is like a more powerful version of Shadow Mist, but it also gains you Blood.
Do as you will!