Vampire: The Masquerade – Bloodlines

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Vampire: The Masquerade – Bloodlines on Steam

MSRP: $19.99

Platform: Windows

Release: 11/16/04


It feels disingenuous to say that Vampire: The Masquerade – Bloodlines is far and away the best of the video games that have been set in White Wolf’s World of Darkness universe, since so few games based in this world exist.  I’m optimistic with the acquisition of White Wolf by Paradox last year, after the World of Darkness MMO was officially canceled after being in production for over five years, that we’re going to see some fantastic World of Darkness games in the future, but honestly, more than anything else, I have my fingers crossed for a full remaster of Bloodlines.  It’s not just worth playing; it’s almost mandatory for RPG enthusiasts.

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The fact that this 12 year old game has such a following would be impressive even if you weren’t aware of how many problems it had at release, and for a long time before that. It was such an absurdly ridiculous project for such a small studio, and was continually delayed and over-budget, and the publisher forced the release prematurely and up against such eagerly anticipated titles as Half-Life 2. To call Vampire: The Masquerade – Bloodlines an unfinished mess would be kind.

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But what was there, buggy and rushed, was also incredible and compelling. Troika managed to push out a couple of official patches before the studio closed a few months later, but there was still so much about the game that needed fixing.  Eurogamer tells the story of what came next better than I ever could; suffice it to say, the fans made it their mission to fix the seemingly unfixable, and over the next several years, have ironed out almost all of the major game glitches, restored cut content, and turned the game into the masterpiece it should have been in the first place. The way I see it, the core game was so strong, it’s like it fought to live.

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Which is all an incredibly long and convoluted way of telling you that if you want to play Vampire: The Masquerade – Bloodlines, you’re going to want to patch it yourself.  You will want to seek out the Unofficial Patch, which will give the option of either installing the Basic patch (which is only fixes) or the Plus patch (which includes modifications to content in the game). If you really want to play the game, but can’t be arsed to deal with unofficial patches on your own, the version available for purchase on GoG.com includes the basic patch in the installer.

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I realize that I have told you next to nothing about the game itself, and I’m honestly really very comfortable with that. Anything I’m going to say is going to be so obviously impartial anyway, and I trust you to do your own research. Vampire: The Masquerade – Bloodlines may not be the immensely popular classic it was meant to be, but unless you are a graphics snob of the highest order, there is absolutely zero reason not to play through it at least once.

One thought on “Vampire: The Masquerade – Bloodlines

  1. […] game itself a comic-book sort of feel, which when combined with the dark ambiance of playing as a Vampire: The Masquerade style anti-hero would have done wonders for this game if – and this is a big if – they […]

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