Vampire: Bloodlines Preview

Boomtown has put together a preview of Vampire: The Masquerade – Bloodlines, based upon some hands-on experience with the RPG and some face-to-face time with Troika’s Leonard Boyarsky and Activision’s Thaine Lyman. Check it out:

Basing their game in the popular tabletop RPG world seems to be a good fit though, for the developers of such RPG classics as Fallout and Arcanum: Of Steamworks & Magick Obscura and Boyarsky is keen to make it clear that the team includes (lots of vampire fans). What they don’t have though is a lot of expertise in first person shooter developers, although this we are assured will not be a problem even though the majority of the game can be played from a first person view.

In fact considerable effort has been made to ensure that FPS experts don’t have any kind of special advantage in the game, with the ability to use advanced weaponry and the size of your on screen sight being determined by your weapons use statistics. So even if you are a crack shot yourself you’ve got to ensure your character is as well in order to make the most of it.

As Boyarsky points out though, as he begins to demo the game, the game is bias towards the RPG elements not the shooting, so even if you decide to shoot your way out of every combat encounter there’s still plenty else in the game to contend with. In order to demonstrate this he takes control of a middle of the road character one that is neither biased towards combat or stealth – and sets of to find a NPC called Mercurio, who has some special explosives that your vampire boss wants to get his undead hands on. Finding Mercurio turns out to be pretty easy; the only problem being someone else has got to him first and scarpered with the explosives. This being a RPG interrogating him is as complex as you want it to be with multiple options to bully, cajole and flatter the information out of him. As long as you don’t mind the fact that he, and pretty much everyone else in the game, swears like a trooper this is all terribly enjoyable.

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