Vampyr: An Awkward Trophy Guide

A while ago I wrote a review of the game Vampyr. At the end of the review I put a short section about one of the harder trophies to pick up if you’re going for the elusive platinum. I’ve had some great feedback about the post and how it helped them with something that was particularly difficult so I thought I’d do another post with some information on how to do some of the other hard to get trophies. Hopefully this guide will shed some light on them for you and help you on your way to platinum.

Unlife is Strange

For this trophy you need to water ‘Lisa’. This is the name that Jonathan gives to the dying plant in his room at the hospital. In order to save it and make it grow you need to pick up some fresh water and give it to the plant. This item can only be found upon beginning Chapter 4 of the game and can be found in a cabinet in a small shop across from where you save the citizen Mr Kimura from a level 22-24 ekon that you will have to defeat to gain access to the shop in question. Once you have the water, take it back to Jonathan’s room and give to the plant. After sleeping a total of three times, the plant will grow and the trophy will pop.

Bloody Roots

I’ve previously gone over the requirements for this trophy in an older blog post. But I feel there are a few things that need to be stressed about it. As well as bagging you a trophy, solving this puzzle will also snag you one of the best weapons in the game, so it’s well worth trying to get it.

  1. You need to find all documents in the game. If you’re doing a pacifist run this can be quite hard to do, but it’s still possible.
  2. DO NOT read Usher Talltree’s book that he asks you to collect for him. If you do, you won’t receive one of the other documents and so won’t be able to complete the requirements for the trophy.
  3. The puzzle seems to change depending on what the game randomises. The solution that worked for me (see previous blog post) might not work for you. You’ll need to check all the documents you collect for the small white pixel in the corner and the pattern displayed to make sure what your pattern is.

Tools of the Profession – Keep Your Distance – Weapon of Choice

All these trophies are impossible on a pacifist run. Some of the weapons you can only receive by killing a citizen and either picking it up off their body or by looting a key for their safe.

If you kill someone and then sleep, it might transpire that another character will go missing. If this happens, their weapon will be lost and you won’t be able to pick it up for the trophy. I’d recommend killing everyone in one night so this doesn’t happen.

Not Even Once

This can be easily missed. At the start of the game, Jonathan is given the option to bite or release a character called Clay. If you bite and kill him, that’s the end of your pacifist run. Letting him live will mean you can carry on and as long as you don’t kill anyone else you’ll get this trophy.

Doing a pacifist run however, isn’t easy. You won’t gain XP from killing characters and will only get it from healing them or through normal combat. This might mean that your pacifist run is considerably longer than a genocide run.

Lore Keeper

As mentioned in the Bloody Roots section you need to collect all the in game documents for this one to pop and reading Usher Talltree’s book will stop you from collecting one of them.

It took me three runs to platinum Vampyr, but it can be done in two if you do one pacifist and one genocide.

So that’s some of the more awkward trophies in Vampyr. Happy hunting!

Beneath the Earth: Undertale (Review)

Undertale is a 2D top-down role-playing game that was released for Windows and OS X in September 2015, for Linux in July 2016, PS4 and PSVita in August 2017, Nintendo Switch in September 2018 and finally for Xbox One in March 2021.

In the game, you take control of the character of a young girl who has fallen down a hole and landed in a place called the Underground. This area is beneath the earth’s surface and is separated from the human realm by a magical barrier. The main character aims to get to this barrier and escape this underground realm and return to the human one. On your travels, you meet various monsters, some nice and some not so nice, that will want to fight you. You have the option to either fight back or perform other actions to eventually be able to either spare the monster or flee from it.

The combat system involves navigating a heart (your soul) through mini bullet-hell attacks (think space invaders). How you approach these monsters impacts the story as a whole and determines whether you’re doing a pacifist run (sparing all that you fight) or a genocide run (killing everything in your path).

So, Undertale, yeah, well.

I’d seen a fair bit about this game for a few years but had never gotten around to playing it. It’s only now that it has been put up on PS Now that I finally played it. And now I have, I’m not sure what to think.

First off, let’s talk about the graphics. Despite it being in old-school pixels, it looks pretty decent. Yes, some of the elements look like I’ve drawn them in Windows Paint, but I think that adds the charm. As much as some things look like this, there is plenty more that looks extremely well designed. The characters in both manner and appearance are unique and not something that you’d see anywhere else. At first, I thought it looked a bit sh!t, but as I played it, I grew to admire the design more and more.

Now, the story. Honestly, I don’t think I have any words to describe it, other than confusing. When you’re first thrown into the Underground, after being attacked by a sentient flower (yes, I did just say that), you meet a character named Toriel. Toriel seems nice enough to start with. She helps you through the first few puzzles and seems to genuinely care about you. But then you realise that she is trying to keep you there with her, and she doesn’t want you to escape. You quickly find out that many of the monsters below wish to stop you from reaching the magical barrier. As you go through the game, battling or sparing your foes, you meet talking skeletons, a weird scientist that looks across between a dinosaur and Lisa Simpson, a crazed knight and a killer robot. All of this adds to the confusion as you’re never quite sure who’s on your side and who to believe. Having gotten to the end of the game, I still don’t think I’m any the wiser of what the hell was going on…but I enjoyed the ride.

Confusing as the game is, the story drags you into it, and you find that you have a need to find out what’s going to happen next, and so you keep playing.

Undertale isn’t a long game – it took me around 3 hours to finish it – but you could easily spend longer as you talk to all of the characters and explore every inch of the Underground.

So having said all this, what are my thoughts on the game as a whole?

Well, it’s pretty good. I was a bit dubious about it, to begin with, and wasn’t sure I was A. going to play it, and B. enjoy it. But I’ve done both.

As always, for those of you that enjoy a trophy hunt, Undertale has pretty obtainable trophies, and if you’re on the PS4, you can get the platinum without even finishing the game! For the last trophy (reaching the second save point in the core) I will just say this…hang around and the path will open.

All in all, I think this game is really good. Of course, some elements could be improved – sometimes the combat is a bit confusing, some of the sprites could look a little better (namely, the main character that you control. But the story is great, and the music and sound are top-notch – even if the music is the kind that bores its way into your soul and will remain with you forever.

I’m going to give Undertale an 7/10, and I would recommend it, especially if you have a PSNow subscription. It’s well worth taking a bit of time to play through.

Mass Effect Andromeda (Review)

Mass Effect Andromeda is a space action role-playing game that was released in March 2017 for Windows, PS4 and Xbox One. It’s the fourth entry in the acclaimed Mass Effect series and is the first to focus on a new protagonist in a new galaxy. You take on the role of Ryder and have the choice of playing as either the male or female of the two siblings. Both are inexperienced recruits of an organisation named “The Initiative”, whose goal is to populate new worlds in this new galaxy.

The game is set between the events of Mass Effect 2 and 3 as the four council races – human, turian, salarian and Asari – plus the quarians send 20,000 citizens in what are termed “Arks” on a one-way journey to the Andromeda galaxy to explore and populate new worlds.

Through events that take place at the start of the game, your Ryder becomes a Pathfinder. A Pathfinder is a leader of sorts that leads a squad of military-trained explorers through the galaxy. They are trained in combat, survival and diplomacy. You have to lead your team through new worlds, against new enemies and establishing new colonies on alien planets.

Mass Effect is one of my favourite game series. It’s an epic series that gives you complete control over how you play. The first three games in the series told the story of Shephard, who you follow through to a massive conclusion. This new addition to the series had a lot to live up to, and it had a hard act to follow.

Of course, with this being a favourite series of mine when a new game was announced, I couldn’t wait to get into it. It seemed like a long road, filled with very little information and delays, but as soon as I could preorder it, I did.

When it arrived, I dove straight in. I wanted to know what the story could be after the massive events of the third game. But as much as I wanted to play it, I just couldn’t get into it.

I don’t know what it was, whether it was because it was a new character or whether I just didn’t like the start of the story, but I spent a few hours playing and then just sort of gave up. Theirs is a lot going on in this game. It has a much larger open world than any of the previous games. There were new elements like the strike teams – teams that you send on missions for rewards that can also be played using multiplayer. There were new puzzles that I to solve – sudoku like puzzles that allow you to unlock technology on planets that make them more habitable (when aliens came across sudoku, I’ll never know.) It was all just overwhelming, and I didn’t feel any connection to any of the characters. First off, the main protagonist isn’t particularly likeable, and of course, you’ve not got any of the same characters you spent years getting close to in the previous games.

Recently though after playing through the original trilogy’s legendary remaster, I’ve restarted it and have actually now got the hang of it and am really enjoying it. There is a lot to it, and it is still overwhelming in parts, but I’ve just been methodically going through the list of quests and tasks and doing them in order rather than going all over the place to explore, and I’m finding this much better.

I still don’t feel like I have much of a connection to Ryder, but the other characters like Drax, Vetra and Peebee, I’m starting to like and enjoy having them around.

Once I got into it, the story is really enjoyable, and I am finding myself getting more engrossed in it, but like the rest of the game, there is a lot going on.

The graphics are amazing, and the difference between the worlds that you visit is amazing and variable. Each one has its quirks, whether being too cold, too hot (or just right) and having all sorts of different flora and fauna. There is a lot to explore on each planet and all kinds of hazards that you have to fight your way through or around.

Without a war going on in the background – as there is in the original trilogy – this game feels altogether lighter, and there is more humour peppered throughout, which does an excellent job of lightening the mood at times.

Mass Effect Andromeda is a good game, even if it does take some getting into. I would recommend to anyone that is a fan of the original trilogy to give it a go, but I would say to change your expectations. Although it’s a similar game, it’s still very different. I’m going to give it 7/10. I’m yet to finish the game and still have a long way to go, but what I have played is promising, and I feel like I will actually get to the end of it this time. Please give it a go yourself and let me know what you think.

Mass Effect and its Legendary Remaster

Mass Effect is a third-person role-playing shooter that was originally released back in November 2007 for XBox and later in December 2012 for PS3. The “Legendary” edition a remastered collection of the trilogy was released in May 2021 for XBox One, PS4 and PC.

I was a little late to the Mass Effect party. I only got an XBox 360 late and so missed out the games release. From the beginning of my first playthrough I was hooked. The story, the characters and the world built around them were incredible and not like anything I’d really played before. I particularly enjoyed the dialogue choice aspect and how you could be as good or bad as you wanted and it affected how characters would react to you. I think the only time I’d really come across this before was within the original 2 Fallout games.

Before you even start the game, you’re given free-reign to create your character. Not only can you design what they look like but also what their background was. This was a nice touch that gave your created character that little bit more depth.

From the start of the game you’re thrown into the world at breakneck speed. Your fist missions involves you landing on a human settled planet to find out what has happened to a colony. You’re dropped onto a world where something has gone horribly wrong and you find out that several of the colonists have be turned into something called Husks and are now very hostile to you. As you continue on your mission, fighting your way through enemies you find out that a member of the elite Spectre force has gone rogue and is responsible for the chaos on this planet. This first mission sets up the rest of the game so well that you have no option but to continue playing and when you’re introduced to the Reapers, it sends chills through your body.

As you progress through space with your version of Commander Shephard, you meet various alien races – some friendly, some not so friendly – but each race has a detailed and well thought out history. From the Turian, to the Krogan to the Volus and beyond. Every race is so well put together and you can really believe that they exist.

The game takes you to many different worlds, some world’s you investigate using a vehicle known as the Mako. This vehicle was the cause of so much frustration when I originally played it. These section were the only bits that I hated doing. The Mako just didn’t control very well, so it ended up taking me more time than it should to complete certain goals on planets and it meant that I didn’t investigate all that I could because I wanted to spend as little time as possible playing these sections.

The combat was sometimes also a source of frustration. The cover system wasn’t the best so I would die a lot, and I mean, a lot.

Despite these couple of issues it became one of my favourite games and it contained some of my favourite characters. So when it became the fashion to remaster or remake games, I longed for a Mass Effect remaster. Eventually we got it, in the form of the “Legendary Edition”.

As soon as this new edition was announced and that it would contain all three games in the Shepard I was beyond excited. I recently picked up a copy and got stuck into the first game.

Now, it’s been a long while since I played the original game on the XBox so I can’t really remember what it was like – other than the bits I hated – but the remaster is great.

The graphics are definitely improved. They’re much smoother and the characters look smoother and less blocky. It looks prettier but still the same – if you get what I mean. You can tell that something has been done, but you can still see the original art beneath. As it’s been so long since I played the first game, I can’t really remember how the controls where other than that they were a pain in the ass at times. The Mako sections – the bits I was dreading – feel so much better. The vehicle finally goes where you want it to and so I’ve been able to spend a lot more time investigating the planets that you can land on although I don’t think the control scheme has change in this new version. The cover system also feels a bit different although I have a feeling that it’s the same too. I don’t know if it’s in part due to me now playing the games on the PlayStation rather than Xbox, or whether it’s just that my ability to play games has gotten better. Either way, it works in its favour.

All in all, this legendary edition of Mass Effect is well worth playing. It brings back all the memories that I had when I played the original game all those years ago. Although these days I’m playing it on the PlayStation not the XBox, so I don’t know if the controls feel better because I’m used to this controller now.

I can’t give this game anything below 10/10 it’s an incredible game that everyone should play.

I’m almost finished with the first game in this collection and I’m really looking forward to getting into the next. If it’s anything like the first one it’s going to be epic.

Werewolf: The Apocalypse – Earthblood (Review)

Werewolf: The Apocalypse – Earthblood is an action role-playing game that was released on 4th February 2021. It’s based on a table-top game and is part of a larger series called World of Darkness.

The story follows main character Cahal, an eco-terrorist werewolf (because, why not?) as he’s kicked out of his pack and now spends his time wandering the American Northwest and fighting against a nefarious corporation that is polluting the planet…yeah…

You have the ability to shapeshift between human and wolf at any given moment, to perform different actions such as conversations, combat and exploration.

So that’s what it’s about. But what’s it like?

This was a game that I’d seen trailers for, and it looked amazing, so when I got my hands on a PS5, it was the second game that I played – the first being the free Astro’s Playroom.

The game starts off with an intense cinematic which sets up the character and what he’s fighting against. This got me excited to play because it looked incredible. The cinematic was beautifully shot and rendered, and it really showed what the PS5 could do. But then the game started…

As soon as you’re in control of Cahal, you find out that the graphics on the cutscene were the best it was going to get. To me, it all felt like one of those game trailers that have the disclaimer “Not actual game footage” at the bottom. You start talking to a couple of the characters, and you see that the design looks like something that came out on the PS3. They appeared to be straight out of Morrowind or something similar. In short, it was a huge letdown.

The game throws you in at the deep end with all the random words relating to the Werewolf world, which may make sense to those that have played the table-top game but just goes well over the heads of those that haven’t.

The conversation options are alright, but the dialogue’s delivery just doesn’t hit the mark. The acting feels wooden and all together forced. If you’ve played the likes of the Mass Effect series, this dialogue just doesn’t compare.

When you go on your missions, you have the option to either be stealthy or to kill. There’s no real reason to be stealthy as it’s far easier and quicker just to wolf-out and destroy everything around you. It has no effect on the story whatsoever.

But hey, it can’t be all bad, right?. You get to be a werewolf; surely that’s a good thing? Well…yes and no.

The combat is basically just your werewolf self bouncing around a room and button bashing until enemies are dead. There’s no real skill needed, and as far as I can see, the different skills that you gain throughout the game, don’t really mean a great deal. These werewolf fights involve several different types of enemy, none of which pose much of a threat as their attacks are easy to avoid. At these points, the game gets exceptionally gory, to the point where after a fight, the room is covered in blood. It’s almost like the developers thought, “Hey, I know, the game is a bit sh!t, but if we put a load of blood in, people won’t notice.”

Werewolf: The Apocalypse – Earthblood, aside from having a very long title, feels like a game that should have been released several generations earlier. There’s nothing really new about it, and what it does do, it does poorly. I’m struggling to find any redeeming features other than the extremely well done cutscenes. But unfortunately, that’s just not enough for this game to be enjoyable.

I can’t bring myself to give this game anything higher than ⭐️ out of 5, and I feel awful for giving it this rating, but it just doesn’t cut it. I found the free Astro’s Playroom far more enjoyable, and despite getting the platinum in it, I’m more likely to go back to that than I am Werewolf.

I don’t recommend this game. I’d say just watch some videos online for it or buy it when it’s dirt cheap; it’s just not worth the price…and it’s cheaper than most PS5 games.

Vampyr: Not Just a Vampiric Killing Spree

*DISCLAIMER: THIS POST MAY CONTAIN SPOILERS AND SOLUTIONS TO PUZZLES*

In my time off over Christmas, Alex and I thought it would be a good idea to try to get the platinum trophy on Vampyr for the PS4. In the end we eventually got it for both of us, and I thought the game would be a good subject for a blog.

DONTNOD’s Vampyr isn’t just your standard vampire game where you wander around hunting vampires or normal people (if you’re a vampire.)

The game is set in London during the 1918 Spanish Flu pandemic – something that plays a little close to home at the moment. You play as Jonathan Reid, a doctor who is returning home from the trenches of World War I. At the start of the game you wake up in a mass grave – bet that smells lovely – and discover that you’re now a vampire – or Ekon as you learn they’re called. The game follows Dr. Reid through different parts of turn-of-the-century London, including the boroughs of; Whitechapel, Southwark and The West End, as he tries to find out what happened to him and what is really behind the vampire epidemic that’s hit London.

Through your playthrough you have two to options, to kill or not to kill. You will meet around a dozen characters in each borough which you can choose to kill – or embrace as it’s called in game. Which choice you choose affects how difficult the game is and what upgrades you can get.

As an Ekon, Dr. Reid has different abilities; from being able to hide in the shadows, to jumping to distant places easily, and making the ground beneath an enemy boil and burst with what look like pustules – nice eh?

As you continue your journey through London you will meet a number of citizens. You’re able to talk to these characters with a series of branching dialogue options, learn more about them, cure any disease they may have (more on that soon), and embrace them. Embracing them too soon will give you less XP, turn other characters against you and you may also lose certain in game items.

The branching dialogue options include hints that will give you allow you to learn more about the character and their story as it relates to the world and characters around them. Gaining more of these hints as they’re called, will raise the amount of XP you get when you embrace them.

Each character can also get sick. There are a number of ailments – including headaches, sepsis, fatigue, and pneumonia – and cures for said illnesses which you can craft using the workbenches in safe houses you will find dotted around the city. As you progress you will learn more cures but based on your actions, you may not be able to learn some of them, so be careful. The characters UI will show you which characters are sick and need your help, if you leave them too long they may even die – you know, just like real life.

There’s a fair bit going on in Vampyr, but it doesn’t feel overwhelming at any time and everything fits and doesn’t feel superfluous.

Eventually you will learn what’s going and will come face to face with some of the games enemies and bosses.

The main enemies of the game that you will meet often in the streets are the Skals – a lower form of feral vampire – and humans who are members of group called The Guard of Priwen – who are basically vampire hunters. Thrown in with these enemies are Sewer Beasts – werewolves – and Vulkod – which are huge tough enemies that look like they will crush your skull with a single look.

When you’ve got enough XP built up from killing, healing or completing quests. You can learn new skills and level up. This is done at the bed in one of the Dr. Reid’s safe houses. When you sleep, it progresses game time to the following night. Before you start your night, you can see who has gotten sick and what state the district is in – Hint, if it drops into hostile; bad things happen. You will also see the consequences of your actions with short newspaper articles that say how the characters in that district are doing.

So that’s the game in a nutshell. Now I’ll do a bit of a review.

Vampyr was a game that I was waiting for it to come out, but it was one of the ones that for some reason I didn’t go out and buy straight away. It was one I picked up for cheap in a PS Store sale.

I enjoyed it from the outset though and I quickly found that I enjoyed the mix of RPG and horror. The added historical factor and the fact that it brought in Spanish flu was also big tick. I played through my first game without killing anyone – other than the guy at the beginning which is a kind of tutorial – but by the end of it I was in the kind of mood where nomming londoners felt like the right choice, so before the end boss I went around and did a bit of chomping on necks – very satisfying, I might add. Oh yeah, to refill your blood meter, you can also nom on rats which Reid tells you on a regular basis is “disgusting” and he “can’t believe he’s doing this.”

The game isn’t without it’s problems though. Through our many playthroughs on the way to the platinum trophy we had a lot – and I mean A LOT – of games crashes. After a while we figured it was because we were skipping dialogue or cutscenes and it didn’t seem to like it. This didn’t stop our overall enjoyment of the game though as the glitches we found were few and far between.

The graphics are pretty good, if sometimes a little rough around the edges but that just goes with the overall aesthetic of the game.

The different view that Reid has where he tunes in to the darkness and can see blood lit up like a very bloody Christmas tree also works very well.

The cut scenes between chapters also add that little bit extra as they are just single images but are so well done that they work amazingly.

Vampyr is enjoyable and is quite pretty to look at. The story elements are well put together and along with the different ways you can choose to upgrade and play out the story it makes it playable, at least a few times. If you’re a trophy hunter and want to go for the platinum you’ll need a minimum of two playthroughs anyway. The voice acting is good, if a little over the top at times, but nothing too bad. Overall I’d give this game a rating of ⭐⭐⭐⭐. It has it’s problems, but it’s still a great game, and I would recommend to any RPG lovers out there.

You can find Vampyr on the Playstation and XBox stores, it’s also on PSNow but unfortunately not XBox Game Pass.

*Puzzle Solution*

At the top of this post I warned about spoilers and a solution to one of the puzzles. The puzzle in question is one you need to solve in order to get one of the games best weapons the Recollection of Paulus Aurelianus. As the solutions I found online were a little lacking in detail I thought I post one here in case anyone needs assistance with it.

First off, you’re best off collecting all the in game artifacts. These consist of various written documents that give more in depth detail about the Vampyr world. Several of these items will have a small white dot in the top left hand corner and will display one of 4 symbols – fish, circle, square, diamond – along with what looks like the face of a dice – this is the order in which you need to step on the corresponding symbol. One of the documents, available from a side-quest gives the placement of the symbol. Mine was as below, but on another playthrough the circle and square symbols were on opposite sides, so watch out for that.

Once you have all the documents and symbols, you need to go to the area of Temple Church, where a character named Usher Talltree will be found. In the room before Usher will be 4 pressure plates in the floor. The symbols in the document above correspond to those plates. You then need to step on them in the order that your documents give you. In our multiple playthroughs the order remained the same only the placement of the symbols differed slightly.

The order is as follows; Fish, Circle, Square, Circle, Fish, Diamond.

When stepping on each symbol you need to be sure that the previous plate has risen back up. If you do it to quickly the code won’t work and the hidden door won’t open. If you do it right the wall in front of the fish plate will slide open and you can pick up the weapon.

I’ve marked up a couple of screenshots below to see the way that you should face and the order of the symbols from my playthrough.

I hope this helps, and good luck out there.