So, this is pretty exciting! I like the tone of the trailer, and I’m curious to see how they evolve it from the original of 2004.
I have some concerns revolving around the Vamp franchise’s choices recently of late, and Paradox is guilty of some troubling behavior as well, but this is a wild reveal!
Sired in an act of vampire terrorism, your existence ignites the war for Seattle’s blood trade. Enter uneasy alliances with the creatures who control the city and uncover the sprawling conspiracy which plunged Seattle into a bloody civil war between powerful vampire factions.
Become the Ultimate Vampire
Immerse yourself in the World of Darkness and live out your vampire fantasy in a city filled with intriguing characters that react to your choices. You and your unique disciplines are a weapon in our forward-driving, fast-moving, melee-focussed combat system. Your power will grow as you advance, but remember to uphold the Masquerade and guard your humanity… or face the consequences.
Descend into Seattle’s Dark Heart and Survive the Vampire Elite
Seattle has always been run by vampires. Hunt your prey across Seattle locations 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 redefining the city. Everyone has hidden agendas - so choose your allies wisely.
Enter into Uneasy Alliances
Choose a side among competing factions, each with their own unique traits and stories, in the war for Seattle’s blood trade. The world will judge you by the company you keep, but remember no one’s hands stay clean forever.
Experience the Story
Written by the creative mind behind the original Bloodlines , Vampire: The Masquerade® - Bloodlines™ 2 brings the ambitions of the first game to life and sees the return of a few fan favorite characters.
Heather Alexandra played some and asked about the more problematic parts of the franchise and video game:
“It was very of its time,” Ellison said of the first game. “It approached certain topics differently. How we look at stuff has matured since then.”
“It’s fifteen years later and things have changed,” Mitsoda said. “We have to be very sensitive about how we handle things like mental illness and that was a concern for us and for Paradox, in how we can make a mature story but if we do anything, we do our homework and make sure that we are punching up and not punching down.”
“We talk about these issues constantly,” Ellison added. “Because we care about including people, we want them to feel powerful and sexy, and we don’t want them to feel like it’s not for them.”
Considering Paradox and White Wolf have given the barest bones apologies for hiring sexual predators/serial harassers and the multiple controversies around the latest version of Vampire that they pulled with minimum response, can’t say I’m too excited for this.
Any “not actual gameplay” trailer leaves me pretty cold as well.
They address some of this in the Kotaku article I posted.
Also, this IGN quote is something to take note of:
This notion of coming to terms with one’s identity is present throughout the game, but is especially prevalent when it comes to character creation and how you’ll progress through the story. At the onset, you’ll be able to choose a background for your character, who they were in ther pre-vampiric life. Depending on this choice, you’ll experience different alterations in the world as you explore. For example, if you choose the “Cop” background and visit a police station, there’s a good chance someone on duty will recognize you. Alternatively, you could select the “Barista” background, and no one will remember you or give you a second look. The world is reactive to your character and your choices, the team says - and the effects of those choices can be far-reaching story consequences or something as simple as what pronoun NPCs refer to you with.
Knowing that Cyberpunk 2077 is still unsure about this very easy inclusion, it’s nice to see Vamp just DO IT without a care in the world.
Kotaku links to the Chechnya mess but didn’t really press the company on it or the other stuff I mentioned. I get being excited for a game and you can’t go full ham if you want to be invited back but even giving this company a chance to say something more substantial/press them a little on it would have been nice.
And there’s nothing in this interview that mentions anything about gender fluidity, just a reference to maybe certain pronouns being used but nothing concrete.
It seems like they are starting to talk the talk. Lets see how it shakes out and if they can actually walk the walk. I wouldn’t blame anyone for just being straight out on the vampire property at this point in its life cycle, but i know the first game is a classic in a lot of ways. I won’t be able to play it either way, no gaming pc, but still, i’m interested in how this one turns out.
It’s not just politics where Vampire: The Masquerade – Bloodlines 2 takes a progressive approach. The character creator, which players get to use twice – once at the start to define your human aspects and then a second time later in the game to flesh out your vampire – goes way beyond basic male and female models. Body type, gender pronouns, employment history and fashion can all be toyed with for a very modular build.
Excited for this. Bloodlines was my first WRPG, and I replayed it so many times trying out the different classes and all sorts of fan mods. Lot of nostalgia for it, and this announcement makes me want to go back, having not played it in… well over a decade!
I’d really appreciate a remaster for current consoles, too, with all the fixes from the fan patches, but if that doesn’t happen, at least I know my crappy laptop can run this 2004 game. I think.
Also… Waypoint 101 for VTMB late this year??? I don’t know if anyone on the staff has actually played it, so it should be super interesting to hear their thoughts on it. Like Heather Alexandra pointed out in her article, the game has problems with its portrayal of sex workers, mental health, and race. After hearing the crew, especially Rob, eviscerate RDR1 (another nostalgic favorite of mine), I think I can take them highlighting the really bad elements and maybe even showing the positives to be not so great.
Yooo, Cara Ellison working on it makes me more excited than any of the other news. It’s fantastic that Brian Mitsoda is back on it since he had such a prominent role on the first but these crowd pleasing sequels are in desperate need of fresh, uh, blood.
Also, in addition to the already mentioned bad writing and tropes the first game used with mental health, sex work and racism, it was really uneven about sexual representation. Female PCs could often flirt with and pick up both women and men, while male PCs were (at least mostly?) constricted to picking up women. The original game had a ton of baggage and the more they cut of it, the better. Them acknowledging this up front is a good sign.
“Because we care about including people, we want them to feel powerful and sexy, and we don’t want them to feel like it’s not for them.” is a really good quote from Ellison in the Kotaku article.