Woo hoo! I win. I saw the two endings on the Anarch path, and then went on-line to see that the other endings are all, basically, variations of the – well, I won’t spoil it. But they’re all pretty well done endings.
Generally speaking, I found the end-run sequence very satisfactory. I have to be honest and admit that I thought I’d be fighting the Prince after I fought the Sheriff, but I’m glad I didn’t have to. By that point in the game, you just want to advance the story. You’ve killed everything in creation. You’ve proved your worth. There’s really nothing to be gained from a fight with the Prince right after a multi-round battle with the Sheriff.
Speaking of the Sheriff, I didn’t find him to be all that difficult. Sure, he killed me the first time I went at him, but the second time I used one of the rifles instead of my trusty katana; I sat on the stairs and shot at him while he jumped between floors. I don’t know if you’d call it an exploit since I still took a fair amount of damage, but it was definitely easier than, I believe, the designers intended for the fight – since he never used his sword on me. After he switched into the bat, however, I most definitely cheesed him (snarfage!). I ran over to a spotlight and activated it – which is supposed to blind the bat momentarily. But the bat got stuck on it and never moved again. I blasted two clips into him and the fight was over.
Yet another Bloodlines boss fight ended by bugs.
On the other hand, I had a much tougher time in the area immediately prior to the Sheriff. Why? Because of… bugs. Everyone was able to see – and shoot – through the walls and there was no place to hide. There was a computer terminal where I could deactivate the lights, which I’m sure would have helped, but even with a sneak around 10 I could not use the computer without a room full of baddies charging in to disrupt me. Trying to fight everyone from the level at once was definitely more difficult than I’m sure the designers expected, but I guess it all balances out in the end. To be honest, the bugs on that level, and with many of the boss fights in general, made me realize that while there were graphical glitches all over the place (light sorting, mostly, but there were a few other problems) the game itself was relatively clean. Then again, I was using version 6.0 of the community patch. I’d still be able to find a few hundred bugs were I QAing the title, but it was good enough to keep it fun to play through – minor frustrations aside.
So I beat the game, and I went the Anarch route. What else is there to know? Why, you want to know what my next character is going to be. Well, I have to admit I probably won’t play again. The game was fun. I definitely enjoyed it. And if I were to play again I know I would enjoy little deviations here and there – maybe playing as one of the crazies (Malkavians?) to see all the different dialogue or putting points into disciplines instead of everything else – but I think, with a game as long and linear as this, and with the gameplay not quite enjoyable enough to play it in a vacuum (i.e. I’d play GTA again just to drive around, but there’s nothing like that in Bloodlines for me), that I’m at the end of the line.