Although the Vampire: The Masquerade - Bloodlines game released in 2004 was barely playable, many consider it to be one of the best role-playing games ever to be published. The action RPG is a cult game for fans, who haven’t stopped providing it with mods and patches until today. Nevertheless, the game is also considered a gravestone of Troika Games due to its turbulent history. All the bigger was the surprise when Paradox Interactive announced a successor to the game with Vampire: The Masquerade - Bloodlines 2 at the beginning of this year.
The mix of vampires, leather coats, and gloomy gameplay of the first Bloodlines fascinated in an almost hypnotic way. It made you actually slip into the role of your character! The well-known headless carnage of other RPG games and awkward distribution of attribution points made way for a credible way of dealing with the world. Instead, one got rewarded with outstanding quests, noticeable consistency and a credible setting. The compelling story of a concealed vampiric culture is again the highest premise of Bloodlines 2.
This time around, however, you won’t be able to choose one of the distinctive clans at the beginning of the game: your character awakens as a Thinblood, a vampire of the 13th generation. Its characteristics are so diluted that all the classic clans feel nothing but contempt for this new wave of bloodsuckers. The Thinbloods are thus introduced as a new kind and you will be able to play the other clans off against each other. First, however, you will need to choose between three completely new disciplines. The choice of your starting ability influences the gameplay accordingly and you can choose between the Chiropteran (summon bats), Mentalism (lift or pull objects over long distances), or Nebulation (turn into a gas cloud and fly through fan shafts) discipline.
The rebellious and brutal Brujah, the hated, thirst for knowledge clan of the Tremor, the seductive Toreador, the powerful and unscrupulous Venture, as well as the crazy and mysterious Malkavianer are all present. The sewers are inhabited by the defaced Nosferatu. Your character is mainly driven by the question about why he has become a bloodsucker. To track down this mystery, you work your way up the vampire hierarchy and move through the virtual city of Seattle. Connoisseur of the city should immediately be able to find their way, as Hardsuit Labs has realistically placed well-known sights, like the Space Needle, or the Pike Place Market and its famous Ferris wheel at its correct locations. The city, furthermore, not only serves as a beautiful backdrop but also offers more protection in crowds, as well as space for illegal actions in dark back alleys.
Smalltalk or bloody violence
If your character is too thirsty, the monster in him will gradually awaken and you eventually lose control and enter the Frenzy mode. If you choose to suck blood from innocent people and even kill them during their involuntary blood donations, you further evolve into a bloodthirsty animal. By dropping your humanity value, you gain strength, but at the same time loose dialogue options.
As in the predecessor, you have the choice to solve problems by force or dialogue. The staging during the conversations is strongly based on the first Bloodline games, the camera is directed at the partner you are conversing with, allowing you to choose from several options. If you plan to opt for a more offensive tactic, Bloodlines 2 plays much like an ego shooter.
What we think
We are looking forward to Bloodlines 2 and are glad that a lot of our expectations have already been met. The missions look very well rounded and many nostalgic memories of the predecessor find their way into the game. Seattle looks atmospheric and wonderfully dark as a showground, while the speakers and dialogues are very convincing. Additionally, the graphics are very chic and the movement is fund. Paradox Interactive and Hardsuit Labs strike the right note and we are curious to see how the story around the Thinbloods will develop. The anticipation remains great, especially as it seems that Bloodlines 2 doesn’t seem half as flawed as its two predecessors.