#4: Vampire: The Masquerade Bloodlines

I’m not saying that playing this game has turned me into a Vampire lover or anything. All I am saying is that this game is really awesome.

And no this game has NOTHING to do with TWILIGHT. SO DON’T EVEN GET THAT ASSUMPTION!

This game came out in 2004. And I’ve been playing it ever since. I think I got this the month or so after it came out. I really really REALLY love playing this game. It’s not about the gameplay really that keeps me interested it’s more about the story. Because when this game came out there was a ton of problems that needed to be fixed.

Plot: I am not going to completely ruin the game. I will just outline it.

So you start off as a newly formed vampire who is on a vampire trial. Your sire (the person who turned you into a vampire) is killed because they did not follow the rules and regulations in order to turn you into a vampire and is executed by The Prince, The head vampire of the Camarilla (it’s an organization that has rules and regulations in order to keep the vampire society a secret as much as possible). You are then sent by The Prince to do his bidding in exhange for not killing you at the trial. These quests are all over the place: Santa Monica, Downtown LA, Chinatown, and Hollywood. When you go from place to place you learn about The Anarchs (another vampire organization that does believe in rules for vampire life but has seceeded from The Prince and his ideals.), The Sabbat (the vampire “bad guys” that want to expose vampires to the public and destroy everything in their path.), and others like The Nosferatu (yes like in the movie: they are ugly and twisted and are shunned from society. In order to survive they must hide underground and not be seen in order to not let people know about them.), and the Kuei-Jin (chinese vampires that believe that they were not turned into vampires at all but rather “reborn” into a second life of the undead.).

About halfway through the game, you are tasked with finding the Ankaran Sarcophagus. It’s this ancient coffin that The Prince believes holds an ancient vampire that will awaken and destroy the world. The vampires call this event Ghena (guh-hen-na). You are sent to find this coffin at all means possible. You then are sent through town after town to find it and it ends up being a long and hard quest that will be surprising in the end when you open it at the end of the game.

Beyond that there is a ton of backstabbing, attempts to kill you, and plot twists that will force your character to make a choice of who to side with at the end. No matter what the choice, something will either happen to you or The Ankaran Sarcophagus… or both! And that’s all I will say about the plot cause I do not want to ruin this one.

There are a ton of problems with this game though. I don’t think that the developers of this game really took their time to explore all of the problems. But it doesn’t matter now because the company that made this game, Troikia, is closed! Yeah it closed down about a couple of months after this game was released! The only way that this game gets getting better is people make mods and patches for this game! YEAH! It’s been almost a decade since this game came out and people are STILL making mods and patches! This game really is a cult following! There are tons of people who love this game! And I do as well! Ok ok I’m going off topic! Let’s go back to the problems…

Anyways, like I said there are a ton of problems with this game. For example, there are a ton of glitches like people floating (sometimes but not often), cutscenes with characters go weird (it’s hard to explain. just believe me that you’ll understand when you see it), the characters dance really really akwardly (it’s like they are combining 3-4 dances into one and it just looks goofy) and some of the dialogue options just don’t make sense (like in one instance you are talking about these people who are after you, and The Prince just ends up talking about The Ankaran Sarcophagus!)

The game uses a character sheet to map out your points and experience to level up your skills. Here is a picture of it:

Yeah.. There is a lot of stuff to pick. And no the disciplines are not the same for all of the characters. This is only for one of the choices. This is for Gangrel. The best things to pick here are based off of stealth, and hacking because going in full frontal assult is not always the best idea. It’ll take some clever manuvering and strategies to get past some areas.

You know lets actually just go over what you can pick for characters shall we?

Character Options: (these bios were taken from http://strategywiki.org/wiki/Vampire:_The_Masquerade_-_Bloodlines/Character_creation#Brujah)

  1. Brujah (brew-ha): Hot-headed, brash, idealists, and rebels, the Brujah are a rather militant clan. Quick to pick a fight and just as likely to win. Brujah are harbingers of change.
  2. Gangrel (gang-rell): Wild and feral, Gangrels are animalistic and insulure. They care little for politics or society sticking mostly to themselves and their clan.
  3. Malkavian (mal-cay-vee-an): Cooks and crazies. The Malkavians are a clan embraced by madness. The depth of their oft unsettling insanity can provide abnormal insight. This insight and the instability of their condition make them unpredictable and dangerous foes especially since they have been known to spread their madness to others.
  4. Nosferatu (nos-fer-ah-too): The monsterous and deformed Nosferatu are cursed to live eternally with a horrible visage. They are forced to stick to the sewers and dark shadows as their appearance would quickly cause a panic. Information brokers and double dealers, the Nosferatu have made an art form of bargaining.
  5. Toreador (tore-ee-ah-door): Children of high society, the Toreador strive to maintain a connection to the beauty and life that the undead no longer truly possess. Artists, entertainers, and seductive beauties all squeezing the most life out of their death. They are social butterflies whose connection to society can be both a boon and a burden.
  6. Tremere (trem-meer): Wizards and warlocks, the Tremere are one of the youngest clans having stole the secrets of vampirism through their command of magic. In the act, they lost access to their mortal magic but quickly compensated by developing the unique discipline of Thaumaturgy; A dangerous and mysteriously insular clan, they pride order and thus are a backbone of the Camarilla.
  7. Ventrue (ven-true): Haughty and noble, the Ventrue hold possission as the wealth and power brokers backing the Camarilla. Elegent and refined to a fault, they hold themselves as superior to their fellow kindred. Natural leaders, they are often found holding positions within the Camarilla heirarchy.

I will say though that picking Nosferatu on your first play is NOT a good idea. You constantly have to hide everywhere and go through the sewers in order to get around from place to place because your character is so ugly and deformed. Also if you are seen by people, vampire hunters will come out and try to find you ALL THE TIME! … also the police will as well but they aren’t a threat. If you are playing this for the first time I would suggest using either Toreador, Brujah, or Gangrel because they are the easier characters to pick. (Also Gangrels can turn into a Wolf-like monster as one of their higher powers!)

All in all I would say that this is a great game to play despite some of the bad gamplay options and not so good textures (yeah I forgot to mention that but it’s really a minor thing). The only way you can find this game now is either through Steam, or buy an old copy for PC (however doing this is expensive cause this game is kinda hard to find and goes for some serious $$$ among fans).

Oh and btw John Di Maggio is in this game!! He plays the character named “Smiling Jack” in this game and you will meet him a lot. He is an important character to the story but I will not reveal why he is important.

IGN Score: 8.4

My Score: 9.5 (this score is based on my love for the story. For the score on gameplay, it gets a 7.5)

In case you want to see the video game trailer, look at it below:

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