Vampire: The Masquerade Bloodlines Review and Discussion
By: Justin Hopkins
It is that special time of year. The best time in fact. Scary movies abound and might as well throw in a few Horror Themed Games while I am at it. With the sequel due out next year and desperately needing a break from Pokemon. No better time to go back and check out Vampire The Masquerade The Bloodline. I didn’t play it when it came out. Never heard of it in fact, till I saw the sequel, but they had me the moment it said, Vampire RPG. So, I picked it up on Steam and played through and now am here to talk a bit about my playthrough and how nine yards. Lets dive in shall we.
When you select new game, you are given two questions. One, can skip to your create a character option or go to a short questionnaire, in which your answers will dictate your clan. Which is what I did and the powers to be placed my in the Brujah Clan. Dished out various points. Leaning heavy into the Melee and intimidation and away we went. Getting a cut scene where it shows you becoming a vampire and are attacked and the two of you are taken to a committee. Seems that turning someone without permission is against their laws and they kill the guy who turned me. Before my verdict is said, a man interrupts. Getting everyone worked up and Lacroix decides to take you in and sends you on a mission to Santa Monica, but not before getting to know a Vampire named Jack through the voluntary tutorial. As well as the Sabbat. A clan of more viscous vampires. Once you get set loose on Santa Monica, tasked with helping your contact who got beaten down, get a bomb to use on a Sabbat warehouse, but once you get the bomb. You have to find a Vampire who is in hiding from another vampire named Therese and she isn’t going to call off the vendetta till you help with a ghost issue and all made worse due to her issues with her split personality Jenette bubbling to a boiling point and you get caught in between. Once one of them wins out, you get to find the Vampire who can help, blow up the warehouse and off to downtown you go. To report in with Lacroix, only to be attacked by Sabbat and saved by Nines. The same man who intervened during the opening scene and the leader of The Anarch Clan. Wanting you to meet him at the Last Round for the real story. Before though, we got to report in with Lacroix, who will give you a job of checking out a ship called the Elizabeth Dane. Which has a sarcophagus which may house an Antediluvian. An Elder Vampire who will kick of Gehenna, The end of time. After checking it out, he wants you to steal it from the museum. Only it is stolen before you can get to it and now you have to track down the Nosferatu to find out who else knew and get it back. Along the way, you meet various other groups and colorful characters and try to decide which group you want to side with at the end or if you want to make a run at the end, solo.
This game has got so much going for it. The Main Story arch was enticing. Wondering just how far down the well you have to go. Wondering what group you want to side with and is this all real. Is Gehenna really upon you or is it all just a superstition. My first playthrough I sided with the Anarchs, but there are so many different avenues you can go that I hyped to play again and see all the various endings for myself and the main story is only part of why I want to play again. The side quests and various clans all play heavily on replay value.
Clan wise, you got the Brujah, who are the Anarch rebels. Gangrel are your brooding loners who get a bonus for frenzy. Nosferatu is your hardcore mode. They are mutated to the point where you can’t be seen and stealth is a must. Torredors are all about sticking close to human as you can an being more class while Ventures are your high society type who will vomit if you drink from Prostitutes or homeless. Tremer are magic and Malkavians are your wild ride. They are schizophrenic and minds are broken. Can see bits of the future and have the craziest dialogue options because of it. If you want a crazy ride, Malkavians are defiantly the way to go, but regardless of which. They will change up how you want to go at things. Making each run something a little different.
The side quests are abundant and highly enjoyable throughout. Mostly due to the charismatic characters and just how much detail and time they put into them and kind of entwinning them together. In Santa Monica, you meet a group of Thin Bloods, who want to know who they are and see his Lily again, but can’t find her. So you set off to find her and takes you to a Bail Bondsman, who needs help finding his Bounty Hunter. After finding him, you are asked to check to see if Muddy skipped town and he has and that ties in with a serial killer story down the line. You can become a silent partner in the club Confessions, by helping Venus and get an 250 every once in a while. Fight off zombies, a Plaguebearer, and deal with a Werewolf, and the best man, Jack. So much you can do besides the main story and your choices, humanity and deciphering the insanity that is the Malkavian.
Now this game does have some flaws and I made it a lot harder on myself then it probably should have been by making a full blown melee character. Waves of enemies towards the end starts to become a bit daunting and Ming Xiao fight towards the end was nightmare fuel because of how difficult she was for me. I didn’t have a lot of ammo due to the fact that wasn’t the style I was going for, my fault, but the fact you have the option to build up melee characters and drop a boss fight like that on you is almost a bit uncalled for. All for difficulty but Ming Xiao is on another level. So make sure to drop a few points into ranged and have some ammo.
It is a bit rough around the edges fighting wise. Playing very much like a game from 2004. I read a lot in the comment section of game breaking bugs in this game if you don’t download the unofficial patch to fix some of it. I never had anything like that. Had one bug that was more entertaining then frustrating. I died in the maze at the FU Building, but during the Final Death animation I was teleported to where they were keeping the vampire prisoner and succeeded the quest, but when I still had to go through the level anyway. Bringing up the patch, because I do suggest picking this game up.
This game has some deep extricate stories, even some of the side quests and everything is really up to how you want to play. Mix all of that with Vampires and various monsters running around. Makes just the perfect game to play, especially during this, the best time of the year. Looking forward so much to the sequel. Final Grade – S
As always, I hope you enjoyed, and….
Thank You For Reading.