Vampire Origins


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Vampire Origins Review

Current law dictates that every review of a vampire-based movie or game must open with a tirade about the Twilight series, so here we go: If you’re exhausted by the excess of froo-froo, sparkly vampires who have recently pirouetted into pop culture, the blood-soaked battles and Gothic imagery of Vampire Origins will refresh your damned soul.

You are Vincent, a stone-faced gentleman with powerful enemies of the pointy-toothed variety. Vincent lost his wife to an assassin who mistook her for him. Consumed by rage, Vincent slays vampire after vampire, aiming for the top. Along the way, he meets old acquaintances and makes strange allies.

Eat my balefire.

Vampire Origins’ story is told through cutscenes and some well-developed scenery that’s right at home in a vampire tale: courtyards, cemeteries, and a big, beautiful church. The game’s pre-rendered backgrounds and its greenish, falling-apart zombie vampire cast are reminiscent of an old Resident Evil title. And, like any good survival horror game, Vampire Origins will inspire an inward prayer as you frantically switch weapons and pump shambling fat vampires full of lead and silver.

Gunning down the undead is easy thanks to the game’s tap-to-shoot option. If a vampire is coming at you, tapping it will target its head and then Vincent will blow it away. It’s not a perfect setup, though: There is a noticeable delay between targeting and shooting when the action gets thick. But it’s a much better system than the offered alternative, which is a feckless auto-targeting system.

Bats in the belfry.

Vampire Origins isn’t all about whipping out guns and making vampires wallow in their own ichor. There are a lot of puzzles to solve, a good deal of exploration to undertake, and a few “Oh crap, run!” quick-time events.

Boss fights are particularly original. When Vincent locks swords with the upper tier of vampires, you get him through the ordeal by tracing lines of blood on the screen.

The boss fights are fun to behold, but it can be a challenge to find them. Vincent has a crude compass to guide him through the streets of Vampire Land and its churches, but a map would have been welcome.

Getting through some of the “Aaaah, Run!” moments can be a trial, too. The game is composed of several pre-rendered backgrounds linked up together. When Vincent enters a new area, he’s often facing a new direction. Pressing right to escape a rolling boulder on one screen and then suddenly being expected to press down on the next screen is pretty jarring, and until you memorize the scenery’s patterns, Vincent is going to get squished or speared over and over.

Vampire Origins’ flaws aren’t insurmountable by any means. It’s a fun adventure game with a few minor problems that don’t put too much of a damper on a bloody and satisfying experience. Think of it as enduring a vampire’s bite to gain cool powers.

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News

New Vampire Origins Screens and Video

Vampire Origins, which we originally previewed back in July, seems to be back from the dead. We now have an even clearer look at the game, with new screenshots showing boss battles and comic book-style cutscenes, plus a new gameplay trailer.

First, the video:

You can view the screens by clicking through them on the right, with a few more below. We’re excited to finally see this game, and it looks even better than it did six months ago. The one-on-one boss fights seem to be intact, but now we’re seeing a lot more of how the story will unfold with those graphic novel cutscenes. No word on a final release date yet.

Previews

Vampire Origins Preview

Vampires have been around for ages. Through countless appearances in movies, games, and books, they have become one of the most famous villains of all time. But we still don’t know how they were discovered in the first place, and that’s where Vampire Origins comes in.

The gameplay in Vampire Origins is based around what Ice Hill’s Roman Mazovetskiy described in an e-mail to us as an ‘intuitive point and click controls that give a player a unique opportunity to interact with a game.’ Basically, you tap where you want the character to shoot, and he does it. Mazovetskiy said there will be an alternative control method to further enhance the gameplay, but he did not elaborate on that in his e-mail.

Aside from battling hordes of zombies in an overhead view, the game also will include close-up sword fights, putting you face to face with your opponent. Most of these battles will be against the main enemies of the game. ‘These highly detailed combat sequences will be like mini-games,’ Mazovetskiy wrote. They will also control differently, having the player slide his finger around the screen to attack and defend.

However, Vampire Origins is not all about the action–Mazovetskiy boasts of a strong storyline to complement it as well. As the title suggests, it will be about the first confrontations between humans and vampires.

‘There are few games in AppStore that possess an immersive atmosphere and give players something more challenging than just kill-them-all gameplay,’ Mazovetskiy wrote. ‘A strong storyline leads the player through the game. We created a game where you don’t just play the game to look at modern graphics with stunning visual effects, but you also sympathize with the main hero and try to steer his destiny.’

Mazovetskiy noted that the game won’t launch with any 3.0 features, though he said it could be a possibility for future updates. At this time the engine is almost complete and too far along to include 3.0 features at launch.

Mazovetskiy said game will launch with the full storyline, so future content updates will likely consist of new features and improvements to extend the depth of the gameplay, not the plot. Vampire Origins still has no set price, but Ice Hill is aiming for a worldwide release this fall.