All RPGs do this so I can’t criticize Bloodlines specifically, but when things go from bad-to-worse-to-ugly and someone is telling you to run, there should be an option to run like Hell. But when you’re in a dialogue and your only response is “Run? Why? Is something wrong?” then it frustrates the player and makes your character look like an idiot – more so when you repeat this step three or four times before you actually get to run. That’s exactly what happens when Nines Rodriguez tells you to run – with the sound of howling all about you, the area engulfed in flames, and the one escape route (a tram) fading off into the distance. “But Nines, it’s just a lot of things going wrong at once. What’s there to worry about?” “Run, what do you mean run? Can’t we just hang out for a while?” “But I was hoping we could talk politics for a bit.” “How about we just blow the fire out? Maybe that would work.” “OK, I guess we should consider the possibility of leaving now.”
Running away from an invulnerable opponent for four minutes isn’t really fun. Figuring out a sequence of events while an invulnerable opponent hacks you into pieces isn’t fun, either. Unfortunately, Bloodlines forces you to pick one of these options when you’re attacked by a werewolf. You can either run in circles for four minutes, which is dull, or you can try to kill the werewolf by crushing him in the observatory door, which is not-at-all intuitive to figure out and made all-the-more difficult by the werewolf’s attacks. I’ve complained about some of the game’s difficulty before, but the Troika folks apparently love making stupidly difficult fights. The best was just prior to this fight, I had to fight a guy named Andrei. I lost to him two or three times before finding an exploit that removed any fun or challenge – but at least got me through the encounter. The exploit? I charged forward and hung out under the dock where he starts. He couldn’t pathfind to me, and I could shoot up through the dock and damage him. *yawn*
On the plus side, I’ve been meaning to comment for quite some time on the music. What a great job! Three tunes in particular, area themes, have actually made it to my iTunes library. The Chinatown theme, the Hollywood theme, and the Vesuvius theme are great gaming tunes. I could wander those areas for hours.
My “ghoul” died. She got killed as I walked into a room. There was never one line of dialogue or anything about it. Nice. 🙁