I remember that when I was a little boy, I used to be a big fan of one specific writer. The man's name was "Paul van Loon", a man who specialized in writing horror stories that were meant for children. In one of his books though, Paul wrote a store in which a young boy plays a game in which he takes control over a vampire, picking from a list of dialogue options to determine which actions he wished to perform. At the time this seemed fantastic to me and as years past it remained one of the main concepts that I wanted to play in a video game on day. And now? Now we have Choice of the Vampire!
Choice of the Vampire is exactly what you think it is: a text-adventure in which you take on the role of a vampire and have to pick between several different ways to deal with various situations. Where the game shines though is it's eye for detail and the amount of variation it contains. You are not just constantly selecting between "suck blood: yes/no", but there are genuine moral questions that you will have to deal with and every choice has impact in one way or another. For example: early on in the game I told my master to go suck his own blood and left his care, moving to rural countryside and taking it over. Almost three hours later in the game, I received a message from my master in which he asked me to meet him for an important lesson he had never thought me. Can you imagine that? Three hours into a game and a decision is still affecting the overall story-line.
The game also contains a number of stats that are determined by what you train and how you react in situation. Statistics are your regular RPG-affair; strength, fighting, intelligence, agility and all the sorts. These statistics however determine what you can and can't do, there is no way you are going to infiltrate a party with a low sneaking for example, but beating up the guards and forcing your way in is an option if you have the strength for it. This adds a lot more meaning and depth to the game and makes sure your character becomes an actual person with lore and background.
The game is also good for multiple playthroughs, as the slightest decision can drastically change your position and standing. You can start in New Orleans for example and find yourself halfway across the continent by the end of the game and never does it feel out-of-place or unrealistic. Side-stories are everywhere and once I spend an entire two hours working my way through a fascinating love-story before making even the slightest progress in the main story-line. The funny thing is that I could have also approached this love-interest otherwise and probably spend the entire side-story trying to bring her down.
The game has a very linear mind on when you have to move on, for example: I had a very good and stable farm-village set up along the Mississippi where I had remained in charge for a good fifty years. I had won the hearts of the citizens with my helpful and kind attitude and was a men worthy of respect. However, after a while the game must have realized it ran out of scenarios, so it pulled out of its ass that a priest showed up, won over all the citizens in a week and had me ran out of town on charges of heresy by the end of the month. With all my servants, land and income gone, it pretty much felt like a restart, but with higher stats.
The game can also be a bit vague at moments. After the incident at my farm, I moved north to some city under the rule of the federation. The place was naturally booming with soldiers, but when I got into trouble with them, I was unable to charm the derpy idiots. I had a character aimed completely at charming and persuasion, but when I most needed it, I couldn't even charm my way past some random twenty-year old private with a fake blunderbuss in his hands.
The Bottom Line
It's hard for me to review this game because I have no freaking clue how. As much as I have waited for a game like this since childhood, I have never seen anything like it and thus lack material I need to draw comparisons. I can't say that I was disappointed with the game though, it's fun, it's a worthwhile and satisfying experience, but it does have some lacking moments that made me shut down the game over and over again.