A Vampyre Game
If you say ‘adventure game’ to someone they almost always think of point and click games, but A Vampyre Story
bucks the trend somewhat by being a totally three dimensional game controlled using a special cod-piece for players to thrust into and, um, point
OK, not really. It’s just a point and click.
More specifically, A Vampyre Storye
uses a radial-action menu and separate inventory screen to free up the game screen instead of cluttering it with an interface. That means the game itself is totally mouse driven, with players right clicking to summon up the inventory and holding the left mouse button to summon the action list.
The actions are kept fairly simple too, so unlike in classic adventure games you’re never stuck because you chose to ‘Examine’ instead of ‘Look’.
Just like The Curse of Monkey Island
or Sam and Max: Hit The Road
the menu has a contextual set of actions represented by a mouth, eye and hand. These options change depending on how you want to use them though – the mouth can be either talk, spit or eat for example.
Where A Vampyre Story
differs though is in that it gives players a few more options based on Mona’s vampiric abilities. Mona learns more about herself and what she can do as time goes on and learns to do all sorts of things, like transforming into a bat or hypnotising others.
Like some of the older LucasArts games A Vampyre Story
has a curvy, cartoony art style that’s quite similar to The Curse of Monkey Island
. In an effort to stay up to date though the game isn’t strictly 2D, but uses 3D figures imposed over a 2D background. It feels like a half-step between Grim Fandango
and Day of the Tentacle
, but works surprisingly well.
Unfortunately though one area where the design is lacking is in the detail on the 3D models. The 2D areas of the game are illustrious and well-developed, with dozens of little nuances in each scene that can be investigated or used to serve as part of a joke, but the 3D models are slightly rougher around the edges. It’s a far cry from the likes of most modern adventure games admittedly, which tend to use stock models stolen from Poser
, and the art direction is still unique... but a higher polygon count couldn’t have hurt.
Really though, we’re nitpicking at this stage as the game really plays very well from the start and the graphics are easily enough to get
you through the game.
It has to be said though that perhaps the biggest obstacle in A Vampyre Story
’s path though is that it just isn’t fast-paced enough to really make an impact on a player – which is also part of the reason why the adventure game genre is in decline.
Don’t get us wrong on this; we love adventure games totally and utterly and have even had a bash at making our own in AGS
, but even we find ourselves getting easily bored and fidgety when playing adventure games these days, though there are exceptions.
Unfortunately though, A Vampyre Story
isn’t one of those exceptions and the combination of grating, whiny voice acting for the main characters as well as a somewhat tedious pace means that the game isn’t going to suit the mass market. If you’re a fan of classic adventure games and fancy some nostalgia, or if you never abandoned the genre in the first place, then A Vampyre Story
will do you right – but otherwise don’t expect it to blow your socks off.