Vampire: The Masquerade – Bloodlines 2 is finally happening, guys
March 22, 2019

The Wait is Over

Imagine, our dear readers, my excitement and pure joy upon hearing that Vampire: The Masquerade – Bloodlines, a game which we consider the best fantasy RPG ever made (and best RPG in general, to be honest) will finally get a sequel. I’ve never felt this excited since Square Enix announced Deus Ex: Human Revolution, a sequel to another (then) seemingly dead franchise.

There are lots of other reasons to feel excited beyond the mere fact that Bloodlines 2 is happening. Brian Mitsode, the lead designer and writer for the original Bloodlines, is on board for the sequel. This is very good news considering that he was the brains behind the very things that made Bloodlines an instant cult hit, namely the compelling characters, branching quest-lines and brilliant writing.

Welcome to Seattle, Kindred…

This time around, Bloodlines will ditch the glitz and glamour of noughties Los Angeles for the sleaze and moodiness of modern-day Seattle. While I would’ve loved to see the original setting revisited, I came to realize that Seattle is better-suited for the sequel for several reasons. According to the official website:

From its founding, Seattle has been run by vampires. In Bloodlines 2, you will stalk your prey across Seattle’s districts – faithfully reimagined in the World of Darkness. Meet the old blood founders present since the city’s birth and the new blood steering the tech money which is rapidly redefining the city. Everyone has hidden agendas – so choose your allies wisely.

One of the several plotlines in Bloodlines was the power struggle between the several factions sleazing through the vampire underworld. The ancient Camarilla wanted to centralize all the kindred under a single authority, while the Anarchs rejected the status-quo, arguing that no immortal being should be forced to obey to a set of arbitrary laws imposed by a group of privileged vampires. From the looks of it, Bloodlines 2 will revisit this theme, albeit with a modern twist.

There’s less Marxist vampires, gruff Vietnam vets, dominatrix club-owners and posh-talking vampires that could’ve very well been Downtown Abbey extras, and more Instagram and vaping. The original Bloodlines was, amongst many things, an extremely clever satire of mid-2000’s America, and if Paradox is willing to approach the whole ”world-dominated-by-tech” angle, it only makes sense to set the game in Seattle.

I think it’s reasonable to expect a lot of back-and-forwards between young hipster vampires who use Tinder to hunt some fresh blood (pun totally intended) and develop self-help apps in their spare time and ancient vampires who can barely hold a smartphone because they’ve been around since the time Caesar invaded Gaul. Plus, Seattle’s moody weather,  the dichotomy between its highly corporatized downtown, gentrified neighborhoods and its sleazy underworld, as well as the vibrant nightlife, makes it perfect as a setting for the World of Darkness universe.

Old Money vs Nouveau Riche

The information that the devs have so far shared in terms of gameplay sounds pretty exciting. Some gameplay mechanics from the original, like the humanity, clan and masquerade systems will make a comeback, albeit refined and tweaked to match the setting. As of know, the devs haven’t revealed the name or number of the clans, but we do know that players will be able to choose their ”human” background, which might affect how you talk to people. Currently, we know of three human backgrounds – cop, coroner and, because it’s Seattle, barista, which Mitsoda described as the default class.

This time around, you start as a thin-blood, a watered-down kind of vampire, and you’ll have to fight your way up to clan membership status. According to Mitsoda, a large part of the story will be dedicated to the ”transitional” phase between human and beast, namely how young vampires deal with aspects such as leaving their old lives and families behind and learning what being a vampire actually is. The branching questlines will also make a return, and this time you won’t be forced to work for the Camarilla. These side-quests won’t be offered on a silver platter. Some of them will be triggered by texting other fellow thin-bloods that have turned at the same time as you,  and the people that you’ve met throughout the story.

All in all, the details shared by the devs sound very exciting. Until they reveal more about the game – and footage showing actual gameplay -, I can only hope that history won’t repeat itself. I’ll leave this release trailer here and reinstall the original.

Marco Giuliani

Marco Giuliani

EDITOR

Although I’ve always had a love for everything related to pop culture (films, TV shows, comics books), video games were, and will be my one true love. My first contact with video games occurred sometime in the late 90’s when my parents got me a NES console.

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Marco Giuliani

Lead Editor

Although I’ve always had a love for everything related to pop culture (films, TV shows, comics books), video games were, and will be my one true love. My first contact with video games occurred sometime in the late 90’s when my parents got me a NES console.

I still remember the satisfaction I felt after beating the final boss in Ninja Gaiden getting past the first freaking level of Battle Toads after several weeks of excruciating pain. You can call it hopeless nostalgia, and you’d be right. And I’ll search for and dissect every video game that will give me even a tinge of that experience (Read more…)

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