With the hustle and bustle of the mainstream game release schedule, it’s easy to miss the many free-to-play indie games that are available online. I’m guilty of this too, often overlooking smaller indie content in favor of the latest AAA shooter or lengthy action-RPG. I was lucky then, to have taken some time this week to check out 2 Vampyrus Crimson Edition. This free-to-play, story-driven game was created in RPG Maker and was whipped up by one singular developer, Leenat40.
The Vampir Threat
2 Vampyrus mainly centers around Adrian, a young man living in the fantasy world of Endel. The land has been occupied by bloodthirsty creatures known as vampirs, rumored to be the manifestation of sin itself. One night, a group of religious cultists burns down the house of Alvah, Adrian’s father figure and role-model. Soon after, another tragedy befalls Adrian, setting him on a vengeful quest to eliminate an exceptionally evil vampir known as Cerberus.
Generally speaking, 2 Vampyrus is far more cinematic and dialogue-heavy than any other RPG Maker game I’ve played. There’s a big focus on character development and the plot is packed with twists and turns. While it’s obvious that some of the greater world-building is limited by the scope of the adventure, there’s plenty of narrative content in 2 Vampyrus that sets it apart from the pack. By the time the opening hour wrapped up, I was compelled to see the journey through to the end, which is more than I can say for most major releases.
Adrian’s adventure takes him to a variety of towns, villages, and landscapes, each with its own visual flair. Although a significant portion of the game is spent reading text, 2 Vampyrus stays interesting by switching up the visuals with consistency. From dingy mines to snow-covered plains, the land of Endel contains much more than a few quaint villages among grassy knolls.
A Brisk Journey
Since 2 Vampyrus is a story-driven game, there’s not too much in the way of actual gameplay. For the most part, you’ll explore your surroundings, talk to various NPCs, and partake in a few canned sequences. There are a few stealth sections that add a bit of suspense to the experience, along with a few puzzles and exploration areas. Various notes and scrolls can be found scattered in the environment, providing extra world-building and more interactivity.
Due to the emphasis on the story, most of the gameplay portions are relatively straightforward, making 2 Vampyrus an easy game to pick up for players of all skill levels. While the story content and use of explicit language make this a game that’s mainly for adults, the low difficulty removes any potential barrier of entry. It’s also a pretty brief experience, lasting between 2 – 4 hours. I always appreciate quality over quantity, and 2 Vampyrus does a great job of not overstaying its welcome.
How to Play 2 Vampyrus
If you’re interested in checking out the game for yourself, you can download it for free on the official website for 2 Vampyrus. There are a few different versions of the game, with the most recent release 2 Vampyrus Crimson: Special Edition containing an alternate “Story Mode” that removes puzzles and gameplay sequences. We recommend playing the original style anyway, but those who are looking to experience just the story can do so with this additional mode.
Although it’s light on gameplay and a bit rough around the edges, I still recommend you give 2 Vampyrus a shot. It’s very ambitious, and contains several memorable segments. The complex story is fun, and the tone is obviously inspired by games developed by Hideo Kojima, namely Metal Gear Solid 3. Where 2 Vampyrus falters in gameplay, it makes up for it in a unique story with compelling pacing. Plus, at the price of free, it’s a pretty hard deal to beat.