Vampire the Masquerade: Bloodlines Review 

The last dialogue option pretty much summarises the game/plot progression.

Recently, I completed my first run through of Vampire the Masquerade: Bloodlines.
The character I played was a Toreador, but I've read that playing through as a Malkavian is the most memorable albeit challenging clan. Along with the other clans, as far as I know, each adds a unique feature to gameplay. Malkavian enables you interesting dialogue options and the ability to speak to inanimate objects, Nosferatu enables you to drink blood from rats etc.

Speaking of Nosferatus, Gary has to be one of my favourite characters. Since, he's incredibly dry humoured. Although, I would say the majority of the characters in this game carry an eccentric charm (even the crazy Sabbat leaders).

Absolutely loved the attention to detail paid, despite VTMB's age and accompanying aged graphics. It has a wonderful timeless value and retains the ability to create unnerving environments. While there have been a few glitches that needed working through, it has been such an enjoyable experience being immersed in this game and playing it in the dark (if you're brave enough). The original instrumental soundtrack was fantastic in every area - but also featured were Ministry, Lacuna Coil, Darling Violetta and Tiamat. There have been a lot of comparisons between the main theme and Massive Attack's Angel, and being a fan of both I'd still say VTMB's theme is better.

The Ocean House Hotel segment along with the Giovanni Mansion, Pisha's lair in the abandoned hospital, and Gimble's Prosthetics were notable locations. Everything from the little toy car in the Hotel, to the operating tables/chair and mannequins in Gimble's warehouse, added to the impressiveness & immersive quality. There was plenty of Lacuna Coil's Comalies album & Bella Morte posters I noticed plastered around most of the walls in the game. There was also Collide album covers on the outside of the theatre opposite Club Confession. Which, of course, I approve of.

There are quite a few pop culture/song/game references and humorous bits and bobs, in dialogue, your emails and other interactive features, which I thought was a nice touch. Some of the dialogue options are hilarious, I found, even as a relatively level headed Toreador. So I can't wait to see what the Malkavian spin is like. A lot of easily missed features are quirky and funny, so it's worth taking your time to explore the environment and digest everything available.

Perhaps this was peculiar to my experience, but I found you have to be rigorous about picking up all the clues and not missing anything. As, a lot of objects (newspapers etc.) are important triggers for the plotline, and many things you may be able to do in quests are linked to others. Certain points in the game were extremely frustrating, such as certain parts of the testing chamber. But overall, VTMB was suitably challenging and I would highly recommend it. The plot itself was definitely engaging and worth not spoiling for yourself, as there are plenty of great twists.

Overall rating: 10/10

Reviewed by Abigail Lewis, August 2014.

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