What is Vampire The Masquerade: Bloodlines? You can always search the vast terrain of the world wide web but in a nutshell, VTM: Bloodlines is a first/third person computer role-playing game set in The World of Darkness, where you play a vampire of one of the vampiric clans that roam the modern world. It was developed by the now defunct Troika games and published by Activision in 2004.
Why it rocks:
- The ambiance is amazing! It gives me a sense of dread while my character prowl the streets of L.A. There is a constant feeling that something big is about to happen, the calm before the storm.
- The soundtrack is simply superb. With songs like Smaller God by Darling Violetta, Isolated by Chiasm, Swamped by Lacuna Coil, the game is worth buying just for the soundtrack itself. Heck, even the ambiance music is catchy, especially the main theme.
- It’s full of memorable NPCs like Jeanette, LaCroix, Jack, Nines, and Damsel. The dialogue ranges from serious, sarcastic to pure craziness.
- The quests were not merely created to keep you busy but were significant. There were no menial fetch quests. If there were any, I didn’t feel like they were.
- Deep and engaging storyline. It is set in The World of Darkness, where vampires have to abide by rules and laws in order not to be detected by human beings. Vampire politics and power struggles exists.
- Fight with your fists, baseball bats, swords or shoot enemies with a range of firearms. Bluff, intimidate or seduce the denizens of the game world. Sneaking past security, picking locks and hacking computers are also at your disposal should you choose to spend points in those.
Why it sucks:
- The game was released unfinished and full of bugs. The fans, though, released fixes and patches… for over ten years after its release. Talk about dedication!
- Awkward character movements. Sometimes your character (and NPCs) move clumsily, unrealistically. Personally I don’t like the way male characters walk as they tend to move their hips like female ramp models. If you play a female vampire, this would probably be not a problem. Jumping on movable boxes them can also be problematic.
- I think the stealth aspect is a bit inaccurate and incomplete in my opinion. The devs could have done better (but since they were plagued with problems during development, I guess this was the best they could do).
- Character customization at the start isn’t much. You can only choose your clan and your gender.
If you don’t own a copy, buy it. Install it. Play it.
You won’t regret it. I didn’t. It even made me read Vampire The Masquerade novels.