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Vampire: The Masquerade Bloodlines
If the rumors and speculation are to be believed, Vampire: The Masquerade – Bloodlines has been ready to ship for at least 7 months. Why the hold-up? Again, rumor has it that because Bloodlines is using Valve’s Source engine “the same game engine technology used
to power Half-Life 2” there was an agreement that Half-Life 2 would ship before Bloodlines.
Of course, there was that whole
electronic break-in at the Valve
offices about this time last year, which sent a firm release date for
the much-anticipated Half-Life 2 into the toilet.
It was anyone’s guess as to when it would ship.
There are clues that indicate Half-Life 2 will ship soon and when
it does expect Bloodlines to quickly hit the shelves.
It can’t come soon enough for fans of the White Wolf property.
At the helm is Troika Games, developers behind Arcanum and the Fallout series. Those games were limited to overhead, isometric views, Bloodlines is a shooter/brawler with less
emphasis on hardcore role-playing
elements. At least that’s what it might seem like at first glance.
I wouldn’t call Troika’s previous titles “light” RPGs by
any stretch and Morrowind has proven RPGs can be first-person/third-person and
still be deep gaming experiences.
Here’s the official line
Vampire: The Masquerade—Bloodlines continues the famous White Wolf gaming tradition in an all-new role-playing adventure, combining action combat with an open, non-linear world, rich character development and an immersive storyline. The game plunges players into the dark and gritty vampire underworld of modern day L.A. as a creature of the night, interacting with and battling mortals and other creatures of darkness with an incredible array of vampire powers, skills and traits. Based on Valve’s Source Technology—the same game technology used to power Half-Life 2, Vampire: The Masquerade—Bloodlines is being developed by renowned RPG developer Troika Games and is based on White Wolf ’s World of Darkness.
the darkness as a vampire—Gamers play as a member of one of seven
different Camarilla Clans, each with their own unique strengths and weaknesses. Utilizing
up to 12 different vampire powers including supernatural speed,
invisibility, mind control and superhuman strength, players embark on
quests, earning experience points to build their character and increase
powers, skills and traits. As
they progress through the game, players will rise up through the ranks
of Vampire Society to become the most powerful creature of the night.
RPG adventure—Journeying into the World of Darkness in L.A.—from
nightclubs and secret ceremonial caverns downtown to seedy hotels and
exclusive mansions on the Hollywood strip – Players will explore an
open, “living” non-linear world, interacting with characters and
unraveling story elements. Gamers can choose their own path to follow,
where each challenge has multiple solutions and each choice has
repercussions - help or hurt the denizens of the world while reaping the
rewards or suffering the consequences.
Replaying the game making different choices, players will find
that characters and the environment react differently depending on the
clan they choose, their Vampire abilities and their “reputation”
developed during the journey.
Next-gen gameplay—Built using Valve’s Source Technology, the same game technology used to power Half-Life 2, Vampire: The Masquerade—Bloodlines features fast-action gameplay, detailed graphics, advanced AI and incredible special effects. Gamers’ success will rely on a combination of their vampire powers and shooter skills, mixed with fierce hand-to-hand combat and the use of an explosive arsenal of weapons including knives, pistols, submachine guns, stake guns and more.
team-based multiplayer—Gamers can go online with friends and join in
the ultimate battle of light and darkness.
Choosing which team to join, playing as a vampire or as a vampire
hunter, with a variety of team-based mission objectives and character
stat development, online combat will always be a unique experience.
Cutting edge RPG gaming—Vampire: The
Masquerade—Bloodlines is the culmination of next-generation
first-person action game engine technology, a top RPG developer and a
renowned RPG franchise. Built
using Valve’s Source Technology— the same game engine technology
used to power Half-Life 2, the game is based on White Wolf’s
renowned pen-and-paper RPG series Vampire: The Masquerade and its
official clans. Developed
by Troika Games—creators of top RPG franchises such as Arcanum
RPG of the year—PC Gamer) and the Fallout
Vampire: The Masquerade—Bloodlines promises to take RPG gaming
to the next level.
(If you’re keeping track, Half-Life 2 is mentioned three times and Bloodlines is mentioned six times – I wouldn’t be half surprised if an ad for Half-Life 2 showed up in Bloodlines!)
hate to draw parallels with other games, but the description of
Bloodlines really reminds me of Morrowind.
A “living non-linear world” certainly sums up both titles
nicely. Course, Bloodlines
looks to have stronger combat elements, particularly with the inclusion
of team-based multiplayer and “Valve’s Source Technology— the
same game engine technology used to power Half-Life 2”!
Expect the blood sucking to
commence this Fall (or after Half-Life 2 ships).
(August 20, 2004)