Bloodlines – First Impressions

(today’s post: 483 words)

I’ve started up a new game, “Vampire: The Masquerade – Bloodlines” (generally referred to as VtMB).

I’ve put about four or five hours into VtMB, including the tutorial, and I’m really enjoying the game. After all of the hours in Fallout 3 and the Witcher (back-to-back!), it’s nice to play a game where I can walk around on normal looking streets, check my e-mail, dance it up to modern music at a goth bar, visit a diner, or listen to talk radio – without worrying about super mutants, ghouls, or cockatrices.

Anyone who’s played the game is probably wondering what character class I chose.

From what I understand, the game can be played in a lot of different ways but the primary factor in determining the available choices is your clan. When you start the game, you have a choice to manually create a character or, what I did, answer a questionnaire. My answers tagged me as a “Toreador”. Toreador are the most human-like of the vampires, and Wikipedia says that “Their attraction to beauty is so strong that they have to force themselves not to stop at the sight of an aesthetically appealing work.” One of my primary powers is charisma, meaning that I can charm the pants off of just about anyone – which has turned out to be a good way to keep me full on blood.

I haven’t done a lot so far. I’ve been trying to help some surfers track down this girl Lily. I got some morphine and explosives for this guy Mercurio. And I’ve been spying on cops at a pretty cool murder scene that I first read about in the newspaper (and later caught on TV).

Troika (and the unofficial patch?) did a lot well with this one. There’s a lot of actual color in the game – something I always appreciate. And it’s not affected by limited view distance. Graphics (with a widescreen-stretch hack!) are more than good enough to impress me and get the point across without killing my processor. The starting area is small but packed with stuff to do. Combat is fun, albeit rare. I got into a fight at a beach house that was pretty exciting and seemed packed with ways to resolve the encounter. Load times are quick and infrequent. And the story/setting is doing a good job of hooking me.

Side note, the inspiration to give this one is a go was the news that the unofficial patch hit version 6.0. And the story there is that the original developer, Troika (now out of business), was rushed in their creation of the game. The final version was buggy and incomplete. The fans have been polishing this gem ever since. Version 6 included not only a ton of fixes but a lot of content the developers intended to implement. The game is now supposedly pretty close to original intentions. In a way, I’m glad I waited. 🙂

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