Vampire The Masquerade: Bloodlines – Review

By Alexander Kratochwill

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Bloodlines (or rather: Vampire – the Masquerade: Bloodlines) is a single player RPG for PC. It’s based on Vampire: the Masquerade by White Wolf, thus a pen and paper game. It is rather old (published in 2004). And, truth be told, it rocks.

A moment ago someone showed me one of those motivational style images you often find on the net, its caption reading “Bloodlines – Every time you mention it, someone will reinstall it.” Rarely, if ever, have truer words been uttered. Well, typed.

So what do we get in this game?

Vampiric Fun

That really is self-explanatory. You are one of the fanged creatures of the night, lurking in alleys to get a bite on that pretty lady over there – or luring that guy into a dark corner to not only lift his wallet, but also suck him try. And if the latter happens, you’d better pray nobody spotted you. Because this game actually cares about the Masquerade, the imperative rule that reigns them all.

Intrigue, Danger and Romance

Plot-wise there really is a lot happening. Lots of quests to be played, including, but certainly not limited to, mad women, madmen, gangsters from all walks of life, werewolves, kue jin, ghosts – without even mentioning the fun you’re about to have with your own clan, your own ghoul, the prince of the city, his scourge and basically every undead creature out and about town!

Several Playable Characters

Not only do you get to set various stats of your character on your own, but also you get to play the seven Camarilla clans – all of them, if you so choose to. Yes, even the Tremere. And if you can’t make up your mind, you can start your game off by taking a little test, which will then place you in one of the clans – this thing in particular is what got me hooked in the first place, back when there was no Facebook and hardly any personality quizzes online. Anyone remember those days?

Different Endings

This was one of the first games which really took the RPG seriously. Depending on what you do and decide, the ending for you, the city and quite a number of characters will go a different way. Heck, who knows just who you may bump into along the way…

A Multitude of almost Everything

Back in the day when the game came out, it was riddled not only with riddles, but also a number of bugs. Fans rose to the challenge and fixed a larger number of them, and also managed to bring to light another story arc that otherwise would have never seen the light of night. Their dedication didn’t end there. If there’s anything in the game that you’d have loved to see but sadly never got to, chances are someone will have written a mod for it at some point (like – better clothing, for example). Alright, alright, except a multiplayer option…

The Icing on the Cake

Not only is Bloodlines one of the first games I have any recollection of having real voice acting, it also features some of the most memorable lines in video gaming that just stick. If anyone has ever played the bloody thing and you mention a quote, chances are that person will either burst out in amused laughter or get that dreamy gleam in their eyes, causing them to reinstall the game yet again a couple of hours later.

Like me. Right now. See you in a week or so!

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Bloodlines
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During daylight hours, Hazel is a freelance copywriter and editor crafting copy and offering marketing training for businesses and entrepreneurs around the world. After dark, she morphs into an Urban Fantasy and Dark Fantasy author with a penchant for all things dark, twisted and geeky.