Vampire: The Masquerade—Bloodlines is one of the greatest role-playing games I have ever immersed myself in. Published a decade ago, the title is still enjoyed by loyal fans around the world. There is a community patch, resolution fixes and mods that expand on the original content by adding quests and bonus characters.
Back in 2004 I bought a copy of Bloodlines on CD-ROM. The installation process was far superior to Half-Life 2 because I didn’t have to rely on dial-up internet (56K) to install overnight. The online distribution program Steam has improved considerably since.
I rolled a Toreador for my first playthrough. Toreadors are like Anne Rice’s depiction of our favourite creatures of the night. They’re pale, beautiful, seductive, romantic and the most humane of the clans. As a happy-go-lucky vamp diplomacy always trumped violence. Of course, there are boss fights and conflicts where a silver tongue will not talk you out of trouble.
Take two involved seeing the world through the eyes of a crazy Malkavian. The most demented of the Kindred, Malkavians utter off-hand remarks that turn out to be quite profound and insightful upon reflection (a testament to the clever writing). Every dialogue option is twisted—you can even talk to the wall. Just as well this was not my first outing in gothic Los Angeles because there are frustrating moments that can test your patience when your avatar does not make any sense.
Take three was very recent and informed my review of the game. Every bloodline offers something very different and what better clan to choose than the Tremere, vampire wizards! Yes, a vampire that can cast spells. I dominated mortals to get my way, entranced sentries to slip past unseen and threw blood at people (thaumaturgy).
Due to the physics glitches in the game I took full advantage. When I fought the Tzimisce flesh-shaping monstrosity I wedged myself between the wall and the stairs. Little two-legged creeps could not touch me and neither could the boss. You spend blood points to use thaumaturgy however there is a chance that the spell will return blood to the caster. If you are very lucky you can constantly hurl spells until the baddies are all gone.
If this sounds like your kind of fun read the review. Have you played Bloodlines before? Which vampire clan do you prefer?