The long-anticipated sequel to the legendary and revolutionary Vampire: The Masquerade — Bloodlines is finally revealed in all its modern glory.
Developed by Troika Games and released in 2004, Vampire: The Masquerade — Bloodlines was and still is a masterpiece of a game. It set the industry standard for many future games, similar to how Half-Life did.
Vampire: The Masquerade owed this legendary reputation to a number of key factors:
- A unique blend of dark humor and a seedy atmosphere.
- An immense replayability factor. Every quest line can be approached differently — resulting in different endings. You can go through the game as a master persuader or as a stealthy ninja.
- Detailed immersion, right down to garnering different responses based on your faction.
- Outstanding voice-acting and music quality.
- Deep RPG mechanics based on vampire disciplines.
Tomes could be written on the many layers of excellence present in Vampire: The Masquerade — Bloodlines.
Needless to say, much is expected of the sequel — currently in development by Hardsuit Labs, which is known for its engaging Blacklight: Retribution shooter and porting Killing Floor 2 to the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One. The studio has also worked on Trove, State of Decay 2, Shadow Complex Remastered, Gears of War 4, Smite, Gigantic, and many others.
Hardsuit Labs has obviously specialized in collaboration and the refinement of existing intellectual properties. Based on the half-hour gameplay video revealed at Gamescom, it has done a good job so far.
Honestly, one could mistake the gameplay trailer’s contents for Deus Ex: Human Revolution gameplay — if you were to replace nano-augmentations for vampire disciplines. That doesn’t mean there is anything wrong with it. Quite the contrary! Hardsuit Labs managed to capture that dark atmosphere and greatly refine the original combat, which was somewhat lacking in the melee department.
You have three major vampire disciplines to play with:
- Chiropteran: become a bat hybrid or command swarms of bats.
- Mentalism: telekinetic manipulation of objects and creatures.
- Nebulation: stealth.
As has become a tradition in modern games, you will have a super-vision — which will make it easier to decide on how to approach combat. This time, it will be skeleton-vision.
The dialogue system is also streamlined, with coercion and negotiation as main differentiating mechanics to deal with NPCs.
With a dearth of hardcore RPGs, Bloodlines 2 can’t come soon enough — but we’ll have to wait until March 20, 2020, at least.
What do you think of Vampire: The Masquerade — Bloodlines 2? Let us know in the comments!
Images/videos courtesy of YouTube/IGN, IGDB/ Vampire: The Masquerade – Bloodlines 2 press kit.