If Halloween wish-lists had been a factor, then information about Vampire: The Masquerade – Bloodlines 2 would probably have been what many people wrote about in our letters to Santa Pumpkin. And although I simply made him up, possibly he actually does exist in any case, as a result of that is precisely what we simply received: a shock stream granting a first-look on the narrative and RPG parts of certainly one of gaming's most long-awaited sequels.
The 18 minute video, which you'll watch beneath, is the primary correct look we have had on the resurrected Bloodlines 2 since The Chinese language Room — the indie studio behind Amnesia: A Machine For Pigs and Everyone's Gone To The Rapture — had been introduced as the sport's new builders again in early September.
Bloodlines 2 is a sequel to the 2004 PC sport Vampire: The Masquerade – Bloodlines, a cult traditional which continues to be intensely widespread after practically twenty years, regardless of its infamously troubled manufacturing and launch. It is a testomony to the standard of the writing and world-building that many gamers — myself included — nonetheless rely it among the many all-time biggest video video games, although you famously have to mod the dwelling hell out of the factor to get it to run easily.
There have been many different formally licensed VTM video video games launched within the years since Bloodlines from quite a lot of builders, together with a collection of textual content adventures by Selection of Video games, a duology of visible novels by Draw Distance, Sharkmob's short-lived live-service battle royale Bloodhunt, and isometric CRPG Heartless Lullaby from Entalto Studios. There's additionally Swansong, final 12 months's adventure-RPG from The Council creators Large Unhealthy Wolf, and upcoming VR title Justice — which is because of launch tomorrow — from Quick Journey Video games.
Bloodlines 2, nevertheless, is the sport many long-time followers have been holding out for, and for higher or worse that does imply that expectations are already sky-high for The Chinese language Room's providing. The define for the sequel throughout its preliminary improvement by Hardsuit Labs earlier than their elimination from the undertaking in 2021 appeared to take many cues from the unique when it comes to the protagonist and their story, whereas The Chinese language Room's near-total rewrite appears to have drawn inspiration from Cyberpunk 2077 for a really totally different expertise.
The brand new incarnation of Bloodlines 2 will see you taking part in as an elder vampire named Phyre. Their gender and clan could be chosen by the participant, their outfit (though not their look, by the sounds of issues) could be customised, and they are going to be totally voiced all through. However the Cyberpunk comparability actually kicks in due to the presence of Fabien, a secondary vampiric persona who's turn into trapped inside Phyre's consciousness, which has unmistakable overtones of Johnny Silverhand.
Evidently, that is already proving considerably divisive among the many followers who've waited practically three years for an replace on Bloodlines 2, with some lamenting that Hardsuit Labs' concept of a newly-sired and initially near-powerless vampire trying to unravel the thriller of their origins felt rather more like a direct sequel to Bloodlines thematically.
On that I do need to agree: what we have seen of Bloodlines 2's extra stage-managed story and skilled protagonist feels nearer to a different Swansong than the unique Bloodlines, which gave up its secrets and techniques provided that you selected to make your clean slate of an avatar somebody who took the initiative to discover each side-street and alley in its huge (for the time) open world.
In equity, the builders at The Chinese language Room make a superb case for his or her narrative being an inversion of Bloodlines quite than the parallel to it that Hardsuit Labs had deliberate, and due to this fact simply as intentionally tied in to the primary sport in its personal means; however the shadow of the Bloodlines 2 we virtually had nonetheless looms massive. The sport we noticed final night time appears to be like like an intriguing and well-thought-out addition to VTM canon, however I am unable to assist feeling that The Chinese language Room could be in a greater place if the “Bloodlines 2” subtitle wasn't there to dictate the viewers's expectations.