Vampire: The Masquerade – Bloodlines a slightly more involved vampiric experience than most blood sucking games offer. Set in the vampire filled underworld of “modern-day” (circa 2004) L.A. you play as a new member of Dracula’s extended family tree trying to make your way up in one of the many undead factions.
Become absorbed in the afterlife
The gritty setting of Vampire: The Masquerade – Bloodlines allows you to be a part of vampire society, trying to build your reputation to move from child of the night to undead gangster. Taking part in quest lines set by various NPV (that’s None Player Vampires), you have to explore L.A. to do battle with mortals and other vampires in order to increase your character’s stats and standing.
Set in the modern world, there are lots of innocent mortals dotted around in the world, forcing you to frequently use stealth in balance with Bloodlines more action focused combat.
As a first or third person RPG, Vampire: The Masquerade – Bloodlines divided critics and fans at the time of its release. It's easy to see why too: the gameplay is stiff, and despite promising the “immediacy and brutal combat of a first-person action game” it struggles to live up to these aspirations.
Become a vampire socialite
The thing is, the story and characters are spot on and while technically elements have aged the writing and plot have not.
This sharpness of writing permeates the whole experience of Bloodlines. From the very beginning you can choose to build your own character or have one created for you by answering a range of appropriate questions. These determine your starting Attributes, Abilities, and Discipline stats that dictate your characters powers.
There are also seven clans to align your new vampire with. From the deformed Nosferatu to the aristocratic Venture – who you side with dictates many of your abilities. These usually act in balance, so while you gain some advantages some hindrances are also forced upon you. So, if you become a Nosferatu, you need to stay hidden from humans in the world due to your mutations, but receive buffs to your intelligence skills.
Feel it in your blood
Vampire: The Masquerade – Bloodlines technical issues remain a problem. But - while these have got no better over the years - these were never the draw, that was always the plot and writing. These have both remained as sharp as ever, making Bloodlines an RPG that is as fun to play today as it was back in 2004.