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Vampire: The Masquerade - Bloodlines (Windows)

83
MobyRank
100 point score based on reviews from various critics.
4.2
MobyScore
5 point score based on user ratings.
Written by  :  Scott Monster (922)
Written on  :  Feb 26, 2008
Rating  :  4.43 Stars4.43 Stars4.43 Stars4.43 Stars4.43 Stars

6 out of 9 people found this review helpful

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Summary

Ann Rice + Brian Lumley + John Carpenter = This Game

The Good

I bought this game from Gametap for 20 dollars. That was 5 months ago. I've been playing it every day since I purchased it. Its incredible.

You find yourself left in a City with little idea what is going on. You wander around and explore the city. You learn as you go by talking to characters who give you dialogue options. The choices you make impact the game play by giving you a benefit in one way or another.

If you were nice, you get cooperation from many characters. If you are mean, you'll make them angry and you may avoid getting interesting quests.

The biggest difference in play is the character you chose. A Noseferatu will send people running away screaming. A Toreador will seduce anyone and everyone. So you can play with the strengths of the characters to accomplish a multitude of things. Most of the choices impact how your character will do in future quests. You can intimidate or or seduce.

The Graphics are fine. The city areas are gritty and covered in graffiti. The characters are fully animated and responsive, courtesy of the Source Engine that powers it. Voice acting was consistently top notch, and added a lot to the game.

The sound is excellent. Many ambient sounds match the feel of their environment. Gunshots, sirens, People yelling.

The game levels were done with great care. Special notice should be given to the very spooky Haunted house and Chinatown.

But one of the star elements of the game was the music. It combined songs scored for the game and licensed songs from bands. Great stuff. Does a job setting the mood.

The fights are challenging because you need switch disciplines to win. Otherwise, you can't just shoot it out. Great story, and good characters make it a unique game.

The jokes and cultural references are everywhere. Cussing and swear words are the norm. This isn't a game for kids. The violence is over the top and very satisfying.

The Bad

Well, its more of a limitation of my hardware then anything else, but every time you load a game, the sound and video stutter for a good few seconds before it catches up. I found the load times to be fairly long and sometimes, the game would fail on on load.

The bugs were plentiful, but hardly a real problem. The physics engine was nice, but hardly necessary for the game play. I'm sure some would appreciate that the physics engine was applied in modelling the breasts of the women in this game. I found it a bit cheesy.

The Bottom Line

Great story B-Movie Vampire story wrapped up in a game. You can play it again and again to discover what different ways you can do things. Its easily one of my favorites.