Nowadays, you can see many series of video games getting numerous sequels and it doesn’t look like there’s an end to them. But, what about those older gems of the gaming world that never got a chance to expand? I wanted to look back at some of the examples and honor those standalone games that many gamers remember with fondness. Nostalgia warning ahead!
If you were one of those ‘80s/’90s kids who used to meet with their friends after school to play tabletop RPGs, and you thought vampires are awesome, you probably played White Wolf's Vampire: The Masquerade from 1991. If that’s the case, then surely you had to try the video game version, Vampire: The Masquerade - Bloodlines, as well.
Vampire: The Masquerade - Bloodlines is an action role-playing video game set in White Wolf Publishing’s World of Darkness. It was developed by Troika Games and released by Activision in 2004 for Microsoft Windows. You play either as a male or female character, presented from the first or third-person perspective, that has been killed and revived as a vampire.
Create your character by answering questions and by sorting points into three categories, it almost looks like creating a character for a D&D campaign. Choose one of seven vampire clans, depending on what you chose, combat, dialog abilities, and progress through the game will differ. I personally had a hard time deciding what clan to choose since few of them looked just awesome, fortunately, there are a bunch of online tests you can take to help you with that decision.
The game is set in the 21st-century Los Angeles, in a world where vampires, werewolves, demons, and other creatures shape human history. The seven clans are united by their belief in the Camarilla, vampire government, on the opposite side are the Sabbat, vampires who embraced the beast within, and the Anarchs who don’t agree with the Camarilla’s political structure.
You are newly transformed, unnamed fledgling vampire, employed by Sebastian LaCroix, prince of Los Angeles’ vampires, who sends you on a mission to help ghoul, Mercurio, destroy a Sabbat warehouse. After your success, you are sent to investigate a docked ship and gather information about an Ankaran sarcophagus which is rumored to contain the body of an Antediluvian, one of the oldest, most powerful vampires, whose arrival could bring the vampire apocalypse.
Now, let’s talk about why there is no sequel. Vampire: The Masquerade - Bloodlines exceeded the available resources and the team was left without a producer for almost a year until Activision assigned David Miller to the role. Three years into development and there was no end in sight, so Activision set a strict deadline that led to the game being released incomplete in November 2004; naturally, it had a lot of technical problems. That wasn’t the only issue, the game was released in competition with Half-Life 2, Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater, Halo 2, and more.
After the debut, the staff was laid off with few of the employees working to fix the game without pay. It received mixed responses and was called a flawed masterpiece by critics, it was praised for its writing and presentation. Despite generally favorable reviews, Bloodlines’ sales were too low in comparison to Troika’s other games which led to them going out of business. Since then, fans of the game created unofficial patches that solved Bloodlines’ technical issues and restored missing and incomplete content.
In 2015, Paradox Interactive obtained the rights to Bloodlines, with their CEO Fredrik Wester confirming the sequel was possible when the time is right. All I have to say to that is: better late than never! If you wonder what game I’m going to write about next week, better check out our PC, Console, and Mobile games news site - GameBuz.