Focus Home Interactive and Dontnod Entertainment have released a new cinematic trailer for their upcoming game, Vampyr, showcasing its Gothic environments and chilling atmosphere.
Titled ‘Darkness Within’, the trailer introduces viewers to the plague-ridden streets of 1918 London; the game’s protagonist, Dr Jonathan Reid; and the mystery of a murderer in the night. These pieces of information are divulged through snippets of conversation between unnamed NPCs, powerfully evoking a sense of fear and uncertainty.
The footage itself shows no gameplay, instead capturing the intended tone and symbolism of the game, with darkness, fog, and blood among the recurring images. Taken as a whole, the trailer reveals an atmosphere steeped in the traditions of horror that stretch back to the genre’s origins.
Indeed, the game seems keenly aware of that tradition, echoing John Polidori’s seminal short story ‘The Vampyre’ with its premise of a well-respected, though vampiric, figure entering London society with questionable intentions. Where the game deviates from the text, however, is by casting the vampire as both the protagonist and a doctor, creating for the player a moral conflict between helping, as the profession dictates, and harming, in accordance with the needs of vampiric life. The effects of this dilemma extend to the gameplay, as players do not need to kill or consume in order to complete the game, though doing so allows Dr Reid’s powers to grow.
With its open-world environment and Gothic horror aesthetic and atmosphere, Vampyr represents a departure for Dontnod Entertainment, the previous titles of which include 2013’s Remember Me, and 2015’s breakout success Life is Strange. OnlySP conducted a two-part interview with Life is Strange’s writer earlier this year.
Although this trailer does not show off any gameplay, the developer released fifteen minutes of in-game footage at Gamescom 2016.
Vampyr has no set release date, though it is scheduled to arrive on PC, PlayStation 4, and Xbox One in 2017.