Playing Vampyr is tough as it is, even with the option to kill citizens, so can you imagine beating the game without a single citizen dying? I tried it both ways and let me tell you, the Vampyr hardcore mode is not for the faint of heart – or people with limited patience. Then again, having that ‘Not even once’ achievement unlocked feels like heaven.
Embracing, a.k.a. killing citizens, makes the game a whole lot easier, but keeping them alive also has its advantages – mainly the fact that the districts won’t go into a critical state, and you can roam around without having to worry about those nasty Skals.
Before you try the no-kill mode, you should know…
While it’s completely possible to beat the game without embracing citizens, it is significantly harder. Every enemy you face will take longer to beat, as they will always be 5 to 10 levels above you.
Another thing to consider is that, although you won’t lose XP and you will collect quite a lot of XP during missions and tasks, you’ll find yourself resetting your vampiric powers every now and then, in order to face different monsters as the game progresses.
I don’t mean to discourage you, but be prepared for some hard times, and quite possibly re-doing battles, since you will die mid-battle with most bosses. Nevertheless, I’m here to share my knowledge on the subject, so let’s go – here’s how to beat Vampyr in hardcore mode!
Focusing on your healing and defense
When the game starts, you’ll automatically be given the Healing skill, which sacrifices some of your blood meter in order to heal your character, Jonathan. This skill will be your best friend in this citizen-friendly game mode.
Aside from the Healing skill, you’ll also want to unlock the Blood Shield, as it activates instantly and does not cost blood. It just has an annoyingly long cooldown. Keep track of the cooldown in battles, and use it as often as possible, as it stuns enemies. The higher your shield level, the more protected you become.
Upgrading is key
Always check the local merchants for parts you might use to upgrade whichever weapon you want: handles, tiny handles, and triggers. Keep in mind that the best upgrades only appear after chapter four.
Put your alchemy apron on
You might have figured this one out on your own, but it doesn’t hurt to tell you: potions are life, quite literally. Since you’re going for the ‘Not even once’ achievement, you’ll definitely need to have healing, stamina, and blood potions with you at all times.
When in a fight with a tough boss, use the healing skill and save the healing potions for when your HP is dangerously low. If your HP is low, but not low enough to pop in a healing potion, use the blood potions so you can keep using your Healing skill.
Last but not least, stamina will help you keep up a good fighting rhythm, to kill your enemies faster.
Enemies are not citizens
Although citizens are completely off the menu for our Vampyr Jonathan, it is quite alright to bite your enemies. That’s right, equip that Combat Bite and make the most of it.
Even when fighting really difficult enemies, the Blood Shield has the ability to stun and knock them down. Hit them a couple of times and then bite the hell out of them. You’ll get your stamina back, and you’re good to go for another round.
Claw & Order: Special Victims Unit
Keep your Claw attack equipped at all times and upgrade it whenever possible, and you’ll soon find out you can hurt multiple enemies at once, without sacrificing much blood. Plus, this skill doesn’t require any ability, so if you’re prioritizing another skill and run out of stamina, then the Claw is the best backup.
Weapons count too
Alright, so we generally think of vampires as fast and vicious creatures that use nothing but their teeth and brutal strength to beat opponents. Then again, this is Vampyr, so make use of that awesome double-barreled shotgun. I tend to go for vampiric attacks most of the time, but I always keep an upgraded shotgun in my inventory, just in case. I mostly use it for fighting bosses, or to fight beasts when I come across one and I’m unprepared.
Complete all missions and tasks
Don’t shy away from side quests and tasks. In order to beat the game without embracing citizens, you’ll need to get a good supply of XP, and that means doing all missions and tasks. Always speak with NPCs roaming about, and check whether they need anything, from an investigation to a search and rescue, and so on.
You’re a doctor, do doctor stuff
Jonathan was hired to heal people, so you really should just do it. Healing patients at the Pembroke hospital and around the districts will award you with XP and an additional bonus: an increase in the district’s state.
The Abyss Ultimate
So far, this has been one of the best combat abilities of the game. The Abyss Ultimate allows you to stun an enemy, so you can then attack them while they’re still out. I find that using this skill and then using the Claw makes for the best combo possible.
Sneaking your way out of an unwanted situation
If you are not in the mood for fighting every enemy you come across, then you might want to unlock the Shadow Veil ability, as it allows you to sneak past them. However, there is a disadvantage: it doesn’t work on blind Skals, or Chaplins. Then again, if you’re doing everything right and the districts are at least neutral, you won’t run into a lot of them anyway.
And that’s it! That’s how I beat Vampyr in hardcore mode, and won the ‘Not even once’ achievement. By following these steps, you should be able to do it too!