When it first released in 2004, Vampire: the Masquerade – Bloodlines performed rather poorly (but was a cult classic), which lead to the dismissal of most in the game’s development team a year later. Though, being released alongside games like Halo 2, Half-Life 2, and Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater, one can see that the role-playing game never really stood a chance.
Now, with a new publisher, the game based on the popular White Wolf tabletop franchise will finally be able to get a new lease on life with an official sequel Vampire: The Masquerade – Bloodlines 2.
In 2015, publisher Paradox Interactive acquired White Wolf Publishing and all its assets, including the World of Darkness universe which Vampire: the Masquerade is set in. Since then, the team at Hardsuits Lab has been hard at work producing a sequel (or a “true descendant” as the team calls it) for the game which has become something of a cult classic over the years.
Over the years, fans and critics alike have started praising the game, citing that its ambitious storyline and emphasis on the player’s freedom are evidence that the game arrived before its time.
Vampire: the Masquerade – Bloodlines 2 is set in Seattle and focuses on an event called the “Mass Embrace”, a blood-filled night where a bunch of rogue vampires went about town, converting groups of humans (including you) into young, fledgeling vampires. This essentially breaks the Masquerade which for those not in the know about the game’s lore, is the number one rule that all vampires have to follow: to not reveal your true powers, strength, and vampiric habits to other humans.
As the player, you are brought before the vampiric court to recount what you remember of the Mass Embrace before you are to be summarily executed. Thankfully, the court is firebombed before you lose your neck and from there, you find yourself thrust into the streets of Seattle to try and figure out who is responsible for all this, whilst trying to learn the ropes as a new vampire.
At the start of the game, you are given the choice of three possible powers to choose from, each emphasising traversal and combat. You can choose from the Chiropteran tree, which lets you levitate and conjure bats to attack people, the Mentalism tree, which grants you telekinesis to manipulate objects from far away and snatch weapons from your foes, or the Nebulation tree, which turns you into mist to travel through narrow spaces like vents to attack your enemies.
Another important choice you will have to make in the game is on which clan you choose to align yourself with. Unlike the original Bloodlines game, this choice comes a little later so you will be given time to familiarise yourself with the different clans before needing to make the important decision. At the 2019 Game Developers Conference where the demo for Bloodlines 2 was revealed, lead producer at Paradox Interactive Christian Schlütter, revealed that there will be more clans added to the game post-launch.
“The one thing we can say, we will have a good amount of clans in the main game that are really interesting, but we’ll support it with more clans after launch, and one thing that you need to write down is that every clan that we release later on will be free. We will never charge you for any clan,” Schlütter adds.
Apart from the main story, there will also be numerous side quest for you to take part in. Remember those other humans that got turned into vampires? Well, they are still out there and they’ll be needing help to cope with the situation.
Vampire: the Masquerade – Bloodlines 2 is scheduled for a 2020 release and maybe this time, it’ll have a much better shot at success compared to its predecessor.