Vampirem by WRF Studios is a unique action adventure game where the player hacks and slashes through hordes of enemies as they control the Vampirem lord named Raven. There’s enough here for any vampire lover to sink their teeth into.
The gameplay for the most part follows the standard hack-slash rules with some RPG mechanics thrown in. Spend your time running through the various zones, breaking containers carrying various loot and killing enemies, which come in several varieties. Each enemy slain grants XP which will eventually level Raven up, which grants a few attribute points and a skill point. The level ups feel far and in between, so it’s up to the player to carefully choose which skills meet their priorities.
Where Vampirem really shows its flavour is in all the little additional mechanics that William, the sole creator of WRF adds in. A relatively common item are the Elemental Stones that come in varieties such as fire and poison, among others. Have them next to each other in the inventory, and they’ll light up, giving Raven extra damage to the stone’s type.
Vampirem also features puzzles both in the environment design and small mini-games that if completed give further rewards. Usually these are in the vein of consumable blood stones which allow Raven to use his healing ability and elemental stones. The most common being the tomb puzzles, these involve matching glyphs that are picked up exploring the world and killing monsters. Be wary, though, because if Raven makes a mistake when placing a glyph, it’s impossible to get it back.
The boss fights, and there are several, all have mechanics that are unique to them. In the end, Raven still beats most of them by stabbing them to death, but with different attack patterns and it generally being fun to dash out of the way, it remains fun.
Players that jump in expecting a straight forward hack and slash are in for a small surprise. While linear, each level is larger than one might expect, with hidden doors and treasure chests hidden in various crannies within. Those treasures can really make the experience more rewarding, so it’s highly recommended that Raven explore as much of the castle as he can.
Visually, each zone is different, but outside a select few they all seem to blend together as a series of hallways and dungeons that ascend and descend on your way through.
The game’s writing is classically campy and cheesy, but still has enough details that it’s clear that WRF chose every minute of it with intent. Players familiar with the Vampire: the Masquerade series of games will notice small little details of deeper vampire lore, however, that shows that the dev team is a genuine fan of classic vampire mythos in all its fanged glory. The plot is simple but is exactly what it needs to be, simply there to drive the player and raven toward their goal. In the end, it’s love it or hate it.
For those who want more after completing the main story, Vampirem has got you covered. The game allows you to loop back through the levels of the game. This allows you to play for as long as you want. Perfect for those who fall in love with the game.
Vampirem is a unique action rpg with puzzles, decent boss encounters, and just enough story to keep you happy. The game is available on Steam, where you can also check out the developer’s other games: the Last Half of Darkness series and the BloodLust series.