If you are a Gamer who wasn’t born approximately 8 minutes ago, then you would know about a proper struggle that happened back in 2004 between two games: Half-Life 2 and the original Vampire: The Masquerade – Bloodlines.
Well, it wasn’t much of a struggle as Half-Life 2 was a hit right from the start and has a huge fan following to this day and the previous Vampire: The Masquerade – Bloodlines was full of bugs and didn’t run as smoothly. It also didn’t do well commercially but over time it had cemented a huge cult following that is still obsessed with it even after 15 years.
Adding fuel to their excitement, Paradox Interactive took things to the new level with the announcement of the new iteration Vampire: The Masquerade — Bloodlines 2 that will release in 2020.
Here’s all we know about the new Vampire: The Masquerade – Bloodlines 2 so far since its announcement on March 21 this year.
Release Date and First In-Depth Look
Well, there is good news on the date front as we will get to see the new game around March 2020 which is not a great amount of time so if you want to brush up on your vampire history or go through the previous iteration of the game to refresh your memory then you have plenty of time.
The new demo that we got recently is an expansion of the gameplay which was shown to us at E3 2019. The half-hour walkthrough will give you a pretty good idea about the terrain and what it’ll be like to roam around the city of Seattle in your Vampire persona. You can approach all the missions you want, the way you want to.
The commentary from the two developers is an amazing thing while traversing through the walkthrough because they will let you know what is happening at every given time of the presentation but if you prefer your demos silent, then there is also a version with no commentary in it.
Moving away from the previous setting that the first version revolved in, you get to the pacific northwest (Seattle). Here you get to know that the city is divided into different factions and they are all fighting each other at once, to get the top spot.
At the start of the game, you won’t get the traditional meet and greet from other characters helping you to understand the game before thrusting into action but none of that will happen for you in this game. You will appear straight into the middle of a mass embrace which is a movement by the vampires to kidnap humans and turning them forcibly into vampires.
In the vampire world, this isn’t a crime but one thing that is a crime is that you can not convert a human into a vampire without the permission of the city’s clan leader or the ruler of a city. If you don’t get their permission, then the Sire and the Childe will both get destroyed.
The Camarilla was the elite faction in the olden times who will keep things like these in check and punish anyone who dared to defy these laws ad break the Masquerade. But they don’t have the same amount of power they once had, and things are a lot more chaotic in Bloodlines 2.
If we follow the story from the roleplaying book, many of the leaders of Camarilla clan have perished and others have been called away by a phenomenon called Beckoning but some remain dispersed throughout the city of Seattle.
With many of the cities and towns where vampires are in abundance, everything is up for grabs because the Primogens and Princes are all but gone and their ranks and position are fought upon by different clans.
Big Cities, according to the roleplaying book are ripe for the taking by even the youngest of vampires who want to make a name for themselves in the Vampire community and seize more power.
The players might even meet some older vampires that might still be hanging around as part of the story. But that’s heavily shrouded in mystery and we can just hope that’s true because it would be awesome to meet the old founders of the city.
How many hours can we expect the campaign to last?
Hardsuit Labs has estimated that the campaign can last up to 25-30 hours, depending on the playing style of the player. The company also said that if you play the main storyline without speedrunning, you will get your first non-Thinblood in approximately five hours into the game.
Also, just like the first game, you can roam around freely and take a lot of side quests if you don’t just want to blindly follow the story. To engage people in the game, the developers have introduced multiple playthroughs to keep you entertained. And to make it more Vampire-y, the developers have stuck to the night theme from the previous iteration.
Will I be able to make my own character?
Unlike the previous iteration which greatly restricted your appearance to the clan you chose, the character creation this time around will be a lot more robust.
The unofficial patch for the original game added a few features to choose your persona’s background but that really didn’t really have any effect on the progression of the story. That’s all about to change.
Which clans can I affiliate with, this time around?
Paradox has confirmed the five clans which you will be able to play in Bloodlines 2. They are:
- Brujah: This is an old clan which is one of the seven clans that were playable in the first iteration. They are the rebels and rejects in the modern times in bloodlines 2 but they were a strong clan of warriors in the first iteration. The powers they possess are Potency and Celerity.
- Tremere: The Tremere clan has mastered the ability to control and use the vampire blood to their benefit. This ability makes them feared even among the vampire clans. Their powers come in two other forms which are Auspex and Thaumatergy.
- Toreador Clan: They are the most beautiful ones in appearance and that is their main power because they use their beauty and seduction techniques to lure their prey.
- Ventrue Clan: They are as Paradox describes them as “the clan that has already won”. They are the founders of the sect, the camarilla, which ensures that the Masquerade doesn’t break. They possess the powers of Dominate and Fortitude.
- Malkavians: The last clan that Paradox has unveiled is the Malkavians. This one is a fan favorite of the last iteration which definitely stands out because of their unique abilities that include the ability to see the future and get inside the heads of their prey to retrieve information. They have the amazing powers of Dementation and Auspex.
These are all of the clans that the company is talking about right now but there are more clans to come after the game release.
What Vampiric powers will I possess in the game?
Like the previous game, players will possess a few vampiric powers that will aid them in combat or other scenarios throughout the game. You can get up to six active ones which will be clan-based, but since you start as a novice in the game, you can get one of these powers in the start:
Derived from the biological name of the bat, these powers will give you the flying and movement abilities like a bat which will help you glide like one and even summon a Bat swarm to inflict damage on your enemies.
These are the telekinetic powers that will enable you to move objects with your mind. You can even pull objects with these abilities and once your abilities grow, you can even levitate enemies.
If you are a fan of the mystique that vampires bring along while hunting their prey then you would love this ability, because you can summon a whole Mist Shroud to hide and even your footsteps. You can also surround your enemies in a choking vortex.
As discussed above, newborns don’t really have a lot of powers and are the weakest of the lot but once you progress in the game, you can possess a lot of cool powers. These powers are connected to you being a clan member and yes you will keep all of your Thinblood powers when you get new ones. They are:
- Auspex: You can use this ability to see enemies through walls and get to know their weaknesses or Psychic Projection that will enable you to detach from your physical self and explore the surroundings as a projection.
- Potency: This makes you incredibly strong which will let you knock down walls and even send out a shockwave to inflict damage on enemies.
- Celerity: This makes you faster and grants you more agility so that you can move around quickly to take down enemies or even slow time around you to dodge bullets or physical attacks like punches and stuff.
- Thaumatergy: This lets you play around with blood (Finally a vampiric power). You can turn your blood into spikes or even make your enemies vomit out blood that will heal you in tight situations.
- Presence: With this power, you can turn the whole room into your biggest fans that will literally dive in-front of you in tight situations to shield you from getting hurt.
- Dominate: You can control the minds of the NPC with this ability which you can exploit into having them move stuff for you and even attack enemies.
- Fortitude: You can fend off incoming attacks and heal wounds by this ability.
- Demention: You can literally scare your enemies away with this power or even make them so full of rage that they would start lashing out at everything around them.
Will the players be able to choose their faction?
Yes, this is one of the main differences between the two iterations that the storyline will not be so linear in this new version. Given the disturbance in the Seattle vampiric world, you can pledge your allegiance to one clan, but you also be a double agent for the other to progress your own individual interests. Your choice.
How do the “Resonances” work in this new iteration?
There will be five resonances that will help you lead to additional abilities. These resonances were a concept introduced in the first game which gave different qualities to blood. Resonances act as your backup XP to activate and unlock different Merits.
Also, with heightened senses, you will be able to look into the blood system of the prey’s body. The blood in it is different because of the different emotions they feel.
What changes have they done in the romance department?
Well for starters, as it is a vampire-related story, there are bound to be romantic aspects attached to the gameplay, but they are of the romantic kind or not is a totally different story. According to Cara Ellison, the relationships will be very “fragile, volatile and mature” in nature.
Is it exclusive to any single platform?
Paradox was happy to announce that the game will not be exclusive to any single platform and it will be available to be purchased on the Paradox store and also,
And if you are very eager to get your hands on the earliest copy, you can pre-order it on all of the respective storefronts mentioned above.
There are three different versions of the game to be pre-ordered which are:
The last one is quite amazing and feature-packed than the other two because it contains two DLC story packs and also a werewolf-themed expansion pack which is pretty awesome.
There is no official date as of yet when the physical copies of the game will be available on stores but hey, there are not going to be any Loot boxes in Bloodlines 2, so that’s some good news.
What else do we know?
Well to fuel your happiness some more, Ray tracing and DLSS are coming to Bloodlines 2. And also, you can natively mod your game without any third-party mod apps. This mod-ing ability was a big part of the original game, so it’s quite fitting that the new iteration also comes with this feature which will allow the players to max the gameplay experience with different and unique mods.
Ray tracing/DLSS support is a huge improvement over the last game and if you don’t know what these features mean, then honestly you don’t have the gaming heart, which a true gamer possesses.
These features will let you experience the ominous and mystique world of the players as it was intended to be. Because of this game’s night mode setting throughout, ray tracing will make those beautiful night shadows in those dark and creepy alleyways look more and more threatening and scary to both the humans and supernatural beings alike.
So, what do we really feel about the game? Well, the new iteration promises a lot of new features that are amazing and some power upgrades that are mind-blowing. With new clans introduced and some newer ones on the way, you will truly get to experience the world of vampires in the truest form and yes it was a pun intended for all of the True (Fake) Blood fans out there.
This game will let you wander in the most accurately designed vampire world you could ever think of and yes it will let you turn into a bat and do mind tricks.
The environment is a lot different this time around because you travel to a whole new city where there are different rules. Everything is up for grabs if you have the power to overcome the many obstacles that the players will face in the 30-hours or so gameplay.
While there are many new changes, there are a lot of developers and sound effects team which are returning for the development of the new iteration. So, if you are a fan of the original then you need to chill because the company is not going to lose any of the flair, the original game had.
So, all in all, if you want to play an awesome game which lets you fulfill your dream of being a vampire and use all of the cool powers you have seen in movies and tv series about vampires, Buy the game and you will not be disappointed.