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Vampire The Masquerade - Bloodlines: A Worthy Addition to the Horror Genre

by: Eric Stallsworth ; edited by: Michael Hartman ; updated: 4/17/2012 • Leave a comment

This article examines the game Vampire: The Masquerade - Bloodlines, a interesting title published by Troika Games. The game is discussed in-depth as to its content, the unique flavor it brings to the RPG gaming arena, and why the game can still appeal to gamers despite being a few years old.

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    What Have We Here?

    Vampire: The Masquerade - Bloodlines is a first person/third person RPG involving a complex culture of vampires. It is based upon the tabletop RPG (of roughly the same name) created by White Wolf, Inc, and it brings to PC gaming an innovative storyline. The visuals are compelling enough and the combat system is implemented in a useful way. What truly makes this game worthwhile however, is its unique content. There just aren't that many games developed in the horror genre. The few that are available lack the depth that makes this particular title rise to the top. Lets dive in then and see what this game has to offer.

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    What Do You Need?

    The requirements for this game are fairly low, which is one reason this is such a nice game to play these days. For the most part you can expect a completely stable experience. As the numbers go, here is what you need:
    • Processor: 1.2 GHz or better
    • RAM: 384MB or more
    • Quad speed CD Rom
    • 4 Gig of hard drive space
    • Video card that is 100% DirectX 9.0c compatible
    • 16 bit Sound card
    As you can see, pretty much any computer still working these days should be fine - unless of course you're still trying to churn along with a 486 or something. And if you have a pretty decent setup, this game will fully make use of the excessive resources. One minor caveat is that no matter how much you throw at it, there still seems to be a slight delay when loading into different areas or starting the game initially. Its not too excessive, but it is something to note. Also, the company that put this out (Troika Games) disappeared quite some time ago but there has been a few unofficial patches created out on the 'Net that are worth applying - as well as hosting the official patch by Troika Games. These patches have made the game more stable and fixed minor bugs, so they're worth downloading.
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    Impressive Content

    The driving force behind this game that sets it apart from others is the content. You are able to pick your sex (male or female), but other than that you aren't able to customize your look - one area they could have done better. The game begins with you in a hotel room with someone of the opposite sex who offers to show you something. The actual biting and embracing of you into the vampire world is hidden from view, but next thing you know a bunch of other vampires are busting down the door. Evidently your new girlfriend/boyfriend was not authorized to turn you into a vampire and so they get executed for it in front of some sort of ruling council.

    Just as you are about to share their fate, one of the vampires sticks up for you and you are allowed to live. You get the hint however that there is some internal conflict within the vampire nation, and this just the beginning of your exposure to vampire politics.

    The story of being a vampire and how the average person would deal with it is handled quite well. This is not a planned choice, but something thrust unexpectedly on the player. The storyline starts there and winds you though some very interesting paths. There are plenty of side quests to be done, but they don't feel like sidequests because everything seems to tie together into one premise - dealing with your new life as a vampire. Whats more, there aren't a lot of boring "go find 10 of X" or "go kill 10 of X" type quests. This helps to keep the player intrigued, something most games fail at after a short time.

    In part two, we'll take a deeper look at the breadth of the vampiric society presented by this game as well as how this affects gameplay throughout.