Forever Young, The Tragedy Of Bloodlines

By Jim Rossignol on February 11th, 2009 at 11:54 am.


There’s a bittersweet flavour to playing Bloodlines. It’s not because of the vampiric moodiness and the twilight tales that it tells, nor the real-world tragedy of its costly development finally undoing brave development studio, Troika. No, the sense of sorrow comes from the realisation that there’s nothing like this on the horizon. The idea is begged: why should there be so few games like this? Oh right, because it’s so very hard to do.

Bloodlines – a clever, multi-faceted RPG – is a rare animal. Even under the blazing light of Fallout 3′s recent release, there’s a sense that we’ve not yet reached our promised land of games that do more, games that do worlds, games that do people. Bloodlines points the way to those games. Indeed, there’s a sense that these games might just be becoming a myth. Like the plight of an animal species on the verge of extinction, the lack of games comparable to Bloodlines is one of the great tragedies of our time.

Our plight is this: if your great pleasure is hybrid action-oriented first-person role-playing games, with nuanced, open-plan stories filled with interesting characters, then your fantasy life is necessarily stunted. You have very few options. Games that offer a personal experience of worlds that we could never otherwise access outside of film and literature are rare. Ultra-violent warmonger, battlefield overseer, even sneaky thief man – these are all catered for in some way. But other, wider ideas are harder to come by. What, indeed, would it be like to live life as a 1950s private detective, or an FBI agent, or a nano-tech enhanced super agent of the near future, or a vampire?

Not many games bother with such wide open scope. Bloodlines does. And it does what a select few videogames have articulated: giving us sudden, direct access to something wonderful and alien. But it’s drama, and pseudo-social, as much as it is videogame action. It is filled with brilliant artificial people. Bloodlines allows us – like a participant in some larger soap opera – to make decisions about what might happen to those individuals. In this case, it’s always something wonderfully dark. Bloodlines manages to be funny, humane (if not human), brutal, horrifying, and thrilling, all at once. Its vampires are larger than life and yet nevertheless alive. Their twisted traits come tumbling out in excellent dialogue and strange quests. It is heavy on heavy themes, ideas that might otherwise pervert the purity of any other action game. Seduction, sedition, schizophrenia, propaganda, pornography, purgatory: these thematic notions are the lifeblood of vampire fiction, and they’re essential what’s going on in here. The struggle between the vampire castes is at once noble and despicable, and picking your route between its pitfalls is a delight. Ultimately, though, this is about exploration: about seeing something out of the ordinary. Toxic tourism in vampiric clubland.

Bloodlines is something like an action soap-opera. I truly wish I could say that of more games. So few games have attempted to access this most natural of game approaches: analogy of the real world, with conversation and violence intermingled, rather than simply delivering uninterrupted carnage, or endless management. These ‘immersive sim’ games are tough to make, granted, but when you play something like Bloodlines they also feel like they’re the games we deserve. Game developers often talk about the strange sense of entitlement that gamers seem to bring to their hobby, but when you taste games like this, it becomes entirely understandable. To be to be stealthy or stabby, seductive or violent, well, it’s almost like the game is spoiling us with options. After ten hours in Bloodlines you’re struck by the nagging concern: why aren’t other studios reaching for the stars like this? Even Bioshock and Stalker seem vapid in their shooter-obsessions.

Of course, it’s a matter of complexity. To make a game like Bloodlines is a task of terrifying scale. It’s one thing to make a game about running around putting bullets into people, and quite another to make it the tale of a weak young vampire who can talk to almost anyone in a series of thriving city hubs, travelling back and forth between them amid of a web of quests that range from simple puzzle solving, through the seduction of innocent human victims, to the brawling battles with rival monsters. To make this, you really have to know what you’re doing. And therein lies the crux of the matter, the black heart inside the game: the crucial problem with Bloodlines was its complete and utter brokenness on release. Troika had tried to reach the highest peaks of game design, and faltered, and then fallen. My first journey through this glitchy underworld left my character stranded in a sewer pipe. I never did get any further and, savegame deleted, his weird adventure game to a permanent end. Getting past that point months later sent me trudging into endgame of horrifying hack-and-slash tedium, where nothing of the early game intricacy remained to give us respite from the melee. Even if you didn’t get that far, a sojourn with Bloodlines exposed you to animation failures, spelling mistakes, and all other kinds of design splatter. This was not a finished game. Bloodlines, despite all its riches, was incomplete.

Ultimately the lamentable collapse of the final act of the game cannot be fixed without money and studio expertise, but many of the other problems have been dealt with. I’ve played through now with the community patch, and dozens of problems have been fixed. Dialogue trees have been trimmed and punctuated, animations have been been altered and replaced, bugs have been uncovered and squished beneath a fashionable gothic boot heel. Hell, the original boxed version of the game had glitches in the opening cutscene. Those have been mended. Bloodlines is so very far from perfect, but it is perfectly far from almost any other game we could pick up and play today. If you’ve not sunk teeth into it, then I fear you’re truly missing out.

A shorter version of this article first appeared in PC Gamer UK.

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173 Comments »

  1. Nighthood says:

    Hold on a minute, this seems very similar to a recent Long Play in PC Gamer. Copying is afoot!

    Still though, great article, great game. It’s my favourite game ever, and really balances the mix between linear and open world RPG.

    Oh, and toreador for the win.

  2. Lord Skwizzal says:

    The above person is clearly misinformed.
    The children of father Malkav are clearly the best clan.

    Ah man, this is making me want to play this game again :)

  3. Ian says:

    This is on my “Games to find cheap and play” list.

  4. unique_identifier says:

    those malkavian dialogue lines were scrumptious. i finished this game over a three day binge when it was released, pausing only to google for workarounds whenever it bugged out and crashed.

    best bit evar: the decreasing “brains!!!!” progress bar when attacked by zombies.

  5. Jim Rossignol says:

    Copying is afoot!

    Owning the rights to your own work is afoot!

  6. Diogo Ribeiro says:

    Oh, Jim. Where were you when fans of this game were being crucified as Troika apologists and fanboys?

    Troika was always the underdog, even if sometimes for the wrong reasons. There are only so many design concepts you can shove into a game without playtesting, and they were clearly a case of untamed ambition; small wonder their logo depicts a focus on design, with art and code coming in second and third, respectively.

    Bloodlines was likely their best effort – which is indicative of how, even in their last game, potential was still trying to claw its way through the rough edges. Yet, some areas still rise head and shoulders above the competition. There’s a good point there. Games like Oblivion, Stalker and Bioshock forget about humanity, coming off as a veneer for the empty house behind it. It takes more than lifelike photorealism and random routines to simulate that. With far less time and resources, Troika pulled it off in ways others have yet to achieve. But why would they care to, when so many applaud a bloom-infested facsimile with such ease?

  7. Gap Gen says:

    The article in Sunday Papers a while ago where the writer suggested that people had marked Fallout 3 higher than they wanted even though they didn’t like it raised an interesting (if flawed) point. He related the anecdote of someone playing Fallout 3 and being disappointed that much of the game relied on social interaction with fictitious people.

    I think it’s a very disappointing thing to happen. Maybe the anecdote is isolated and most people can be persuaded that complex social interaction can be a good thing in games. But if it is true that the majority of gamers are ultimately shallow, then it could be disappointing, as it’s true that complex, intelligent games often cost money to do properly, and while small, interesting indie games are good, few indie developers can fund epic, complex games that fulfill gaming’s promise.

  8. Xercies says:

    @Gap Gen
    I agree most gamers are quite shallow(there isn’t really anything wrong with that really its just some people want more) and something like this they can’t get into. I don’t think that anecdote is isolated, talking to people around me and on the internet on the “mainstream” forums they did have problems with the social action.

    Games like this need money to create but because of the nature of gamers they won’t get that much money in return. Which means most studios would not do the risk and its only the indies that do but because they don’t have much money they can’t really do something as big as this.

    Money is the real problem here.

    • GOU_NoMoreMrNiceGuy says:

      it doesn’t have to be though – if we’re talking about not being shallow, we can accept low-fi or even no-fi graphics and concentrate on the social interactions and story.

      the problem maybe money but the solution is to do an end run around money – it’s possible to games like this for cheap.

      but then, we’ll just find that even more people will be discovered to be shallow.

  9. Lord Skwizzal says:

    I think the real reason people adore this game almost purely comes from the fact it reflects and transfers the dark beauty of the world of darkness without messing it up, something requim failed.

    About 80% of the people I know to own this game knew little about world of darkness, even I when I first saw footage of the game knew little. Hell, for a while I was put off by supposed “bad gameplay”. I don’t remember much mention of the games brillaint writing and faithfulness to the source, a rare thing in games where everything is dumbed down and pushed out to float for a larger audience instead of select groups.

    However, by the end of the game, most who I know have played it have shown keen interest in the WOD series, something I’ve never seen in any adaption of Warhammer/40k ect ect.

    And that’s why I love this game. It’s the very tip of the source but in such a brilliant way.

    • transientmind says:

      I’ve always been a W:tA man, in the WoD. The proud, noble, but cursed warriors of Gaia, knowing the truth of the Triat that underpins what all else call magic and science… The losing battle to reclaim the sacred places from the long, dark night? Good stuff. Mage, Hunter, Wraith, none of the rest really did it for me. But Bloodlines? Bloodlines made me really appreciate all those poncy, gothy vampire types. (Didn’t hurt that a friend of mine was the model behind the cover pin-up.)

      It is a DAMN shame that there is nothing else out there which stays as true to the WoD spirit as this. For a while I followed CCP’s upcoming WoD MMO, but it looks like they’re really trying to attract the same viciously toxic audience as EVE.

  10. Satsuz says:

    Playing Toreador is great, especially if you haven’t the patience for madness (no matter how delicious). Take Celerity for help in combat with them, btw. All that said, playing a Malkavian is still the must-have experience of the game; everything else is just gravy.

  11. Rei Onryou says:

    Still never got past the 2nd hub, but that first one is just dripping with well versed dialogue and interesting tales. The haunted hotel and the Therese and Jeanette “situation” are hallmarks in my mind. A game I always enjoy returning to, if only to play the beginning again.

  12. Erik says:

    I played this game vanilla and the only gamebreaking bug I encountered was down at the society of leopold which I managed to fix with some sneaky console commands. But yea, its not a finished game… A thing thats always annoyed me with Bloodlines is that the world in general is so wonderful but almost all the levels concerning the main quest just end up being very very generic and linear… Still one of my favorite games ever and as far as ‘modern’ rpgs goes this is still the best in my book… So much better than Fallout 3 where it seems like a fuckload of writers got together and threw ideas in a bucket but noone there to arrange it for them. Oh and yea, unlike Fallout 3 Bloodlines dosent cheat when it comes to voice acting.

  13. Senethro says:

    I was thinking of this game recently. I was playing Mass Effect and thought how flat and unexpressive many of the character models were during conversation. If Vampire did it so many years ago, where are our facial expressions now?

  14. Nny says:

    Replayed it for the nth time last year. Going to replay it again soon and I bet I’ll like it more than F3 :D.

  15. jalf says:

    I didn’t run into any significant bugs when I played it (and I don’t even think I had the community patch installed)

    I had a blast though, especially in the first half of the game. I never got around to finishing it though. I wonder if I still have my savegame.

    Oh, and playing malkavian was hilarious. Although it was a huge letdown when I convinced a friend to try it, and he didn’t get the funky silly font in the Malkavian dialogue. For some reason all dialogue on his machine was just in the regular font. Never figured out why, or how to fix it. But it was such a nice touch.

  16. Jonas says:

    A nano-tech enhanced super agent of the near future, you say? I think I can help with that ; )

  17. Alex McLarty says:

    an FBI agent

    Original X-Files game was pretty damned good. You could even touch up your partner and get arrested and kicked out of the FBI.

  18. CdrJameson says:

    Perhaps they’re too ambitious in too many areas.

    Open the scope, but shrink the world?

    System Shock 2 confined you to a couple of space ships, and your interaction was all one way, but I found that more ‘complete’ than Bioshock’s sections of a wider city.

    Keep the world, but shrink the options?

    Mercenary gave you a whole planet, but only a few commands. (pickup, drop, board, leave)

  19. Jules says:

    Bloodlines was great. Definitely in my all time top ten. And yes, Malkavians are great! The outfits alone are wonderful :)

  20. Homunculus says:

    Yeah, seconding Senethro’s observation regarding the exemplary facial animation. Despite working on a beta of the source engine, Troika nailed the emotive expressions; a success that subsequent titles have mostly failed to build upon.

    I picked this up at the same time as Half Life 2 dropped, as its release was contractually delayed ’til then. The latter was rapidly sidelined in favour of the former’s skewed riff on Los Angeles nightlife.

  21. theanorak says:

    Bloodlines is one of my currently-playing titles, thanks to an article *ages* ago (here, if I remember correctly) about corrupting one of the characters.

    It’s interesting that, although the rendering is showing its age, some of the artistry (and plain *art*) in the game is still really great. Plus I’m a sucker for goths. Sue me.

    Anyway — does anyone know if the unofficial fanpatch can be applied to the Steam version?

  22. theanorak says:

    Oh yes, and another salute to the facial animation. It’s a little OTT at times, but if you turn the sound off you can still get a great feel for a character’s mood just by looking at their facial expressions.

  23. Homunculus says:

    I’d love to play a game set entirely in a single cramped tavern, with a cast of characters that barely numbers double digits, but detailed as all hell in terms of possible dialogue, characterisation, social and physical interaction, AI scheduling and responses, models, animations and textures.

  24. Tei says:

    @Homunculus: The Witcher as a set of quest on a social reunion, …was a hella cool part of it.

  25. Baltech says:

    Even after all the brokenness I still loved this game so very much, if only for it referencing Dellamorte, Dellamore… you don’t get more obscure than that.

    Maybe one day we’ll get another game like it, one can only hope.

  26. Vandelay says:

    Really making me want to replay this game now. I’ve only played it through once and may have started another time, but didn’t play much. This is really one of the best games I’ve ever played and puts many others that attempt the same to shame. I would even rate it higher than the likes of Deus Ex, particular in the area of writing and acting.

    Some of the quests on offer are so rich, so twisted, so perfect that the likes of Bioware and Bethesda could only dream of creating anything so far away from the basic black and white morality they have to offer. The twins, the girl who you save with a little of your blood only for her to become your slave, the haunted mansion, the prosthetic limb shop where you acquire a severed human arm as a weapon, the first encounter with the monsters from the snuff video, the list of incredible moments is just endless.

    Unfortunately, the list only really extends to the first couple of chapters and eventually it all falls apart. But for those early moments we truly are glimpsing into the power of gaming. I really hope that the article is wrong, and that this style of game isn’t a dead bread. We need more like this.

  27. Syneval says:

    I bought the game right on release, and strangely I don’t remember being much affected by game-breaking bugs. Sure, there was some sloppiness here and there, but it was all smoothed over by the excellence of the gameplay (with the firearm rebalance mod) and story.

    And yes, it’s worth playing through the entire game again just to check out the sublime dialogue options you get as a Malkavian !

  28. Sum0 says:

    But other, wider ideas are harder to come by. What, indeed, would it be like to live life as a 1950s private detective, or an FBI agent, or a nano-tech enhanced super agent of the near future, or a vampire?

    You’ve hit the nail on the head. Games should be a chance at escapism, to live a fantastically detailed simulation of something we’ll never get to try. Bloodlines was that, to a T.

    I’m gonna admit that I made myself enjoy Fallout 3 like everyone else, but in retrospect – and compared to Bloodlines – it’s really not up to par. It’s dog turd. Dull characters, dull quests, dull environments … It wasn’t a simulation of being a wastelander in a post-nuclear landscape, it was a simulation of being an RPG PC doing quests. Bloodlines actually felt like I was a naughty vampire fucking around with vampire politics and the lives of mere mortals.

    Same thing with Bioshock or whatever. We come to hail these games because they’re all we have, but compared to what we should be getting, they’re flat, unadventurous shite. Essentially what I want from games is the Holodeck from Star Trek – the chance to step into another world. Being a 50s detective, for example – can you not already picture coming down the stairs from your office after the opening cutscene with the femme fatale and finding yourself on a moodily-lit noirish street with strangers in raincoats wandering up and down? Aaagh, I want that.

    And finally, on the “game reviewing is broken” bandwagon – reviewers ought to give more credit to games that try, even if they end up buggy. Patches can always fix bugs, but you can’t fix a lack of imagination. (Except with hard drugs, maybe.)

  29. l1ddl3monkey says:

    I loved this game up to a point but the levels started to feel rushed and clever dialogue and exploration gave way to endless waves of enemies and tedious corridor running. I never finished it.

    In terms of creating NPC’s with distinct personalities (drawn wholesale from the pantheon of classic and modern vampire mythology though they might be) this is, IMHO, the only game that’s ever managed to do it well.

  30. Jockie says:

    A timely reminder to install this game and give it another playthrough methinks. I never played it as a Malkavian for some reason, this needs to be rectified.

    As for lessons not learned by the industry, how well did bloodlines do commercially? it must have been pretty poor given that it lead to the collapse of the studio. Maybe Age of decadence can fill the void in respect to games with choices, characters and dialogue.

  31. Syneval says:

    By the way, I always figured the cabbie was Kain … Anyone know if it was indeed so ?

    And the endings were a bit vague. Never did figure out if Gehenna really was about to start.

  32. fijam says:

    A timeless classic. Truly, I wish there were more games like that one.

  33. Evangel says:

    Sum0, I think it was Miyamoto who said it, but there’s a quote, “Bugs can be fixed, bad game design is forever” or something to that effect.

    Troika died because no publishers wanted their next game, which is unfortunate, since all their games made a profit (although not the “OMG MEGABUCKS LETS BUY A CITY” type money that the mainstream is interested in).

    If you haven’t, I suggest playing Arcanum, another game by Troika that was fairly buggy at release but has been patched to near perfection.

    The problem with Troika’s style (read: Well written, directed, animated and voiced) is that good writers are rare, whereas you can goto any art college and grab a dozen 3d artists/animators/texturers for a few bucks.

    Unfortunately, 90% of everything is crap, music, movies, TV shows, books, games. And due to 90% of people liking crap, it’s what we’ll get.

  34. Evangel says:

    Also, Jeanette Voerman and Velvet Velour are hot.

  35. danielcardigan says:

    Homunculus says:
    “I’d love to play a game set entirely in a single cramped tavern, with a cast of characters that barely numbers double digits, but detailed as all hell in terms of possible dialogue, characterisation, social and physical interaction, AI scheduling and responses, models, animations and textures.”

    Not exactly on that scale but I really enjoyed the Dark Brotherhood quest in Oblivion that was set in a single house and you had to kill all the other guests. Also, in a way wasn’t The Ship a BIT like this?

    Bloodlines was great. It’s on my list to replay but I was hoping to have completely forgotten the little twists that made it special before giving it a second run through . Unfortunately this thread has reminded me of so much about it that was brilliant.

  36. Lewis says:

    Conceptually, intentionally and intelligently, it’s far and away my favourite game in the world. But boy is it broken, and boy is that four-hour stretch of sewers near the end horrific…

    It’s so nearly my perfect videogame. How tragic that it falls so short in some basic areas.

  37. danielcardigan says:

    “Unfortunately, 90% of everything is crap, music, movies, TV shows, books, games. And due to 90% of people liking crap, it’s what we’ll get.”

    Can’t remember where I heard it (This Week In Tech? maybe…) but someone brought out that quote and one of the responses was that all that proves is that some crap is really really popular. That’s why you have McDonalds, High School Musical movies and Deer Hunting sims.

  38. Schmung says:

    I found my original box for this in the detritus of my last house move the other day and thought briefly about playing this. The someone posted about it on the forums. Then I read this. Must be time to re-install and go for the long put off playthrough as a Nosferatu methinks.

    ’tis truly a lovely game and as others have said it creates a world with characters that are a way more compelling than the cardboard cutouts in Fallout 3. I really enjoyed playing Fallout, but I can only point out maybe three or four characters from it, whereas I can reel off the names of a good ten or fifteen from Vampire without trying. I don’t even really like RPGs per-se as I’m a twitch gamer at heart, but it was just so easy to become immersed in this.

  39. Gilzor says:

    Anyone know if you can apply the community patches to the Steam version???

  40. sbs says:

    Evangel: I think the quote was “Late games are late until they are released, but bad games are bad forever”.

    The only game I know that compares to Bloodlines in terms of what the world feels feels like was the original Deus Ex(or rather the other way around). I was not able to shake off this impression for the entire time I played it(VTMB that is).

  41. Paul Moloney says:

    One of the greats. Even before I actually finished the game (only on my second playthrough), I got involved with the patch, spellchecking (and in the process, finding mispelled variables that fixed some issues) the dialogue files for Werner’s Bloodlines patch. It’s a game with genuinely great characterisation and dialogue; I love characters like the genteel old vampire movie mogul in Hollywood. And the scene when you meet someone on the street who knew you as a human is clever and touching. It genuinely is a one-of-a-kind game and it’s tragic there aren’t more like it.

    P.

  42. Brother None says:

    Bloodlines is not really the most complex game from a technical world design aspect that these guys did. For the Troika trio, Fallout and Arcanum were both more complex in underlying design mechanics.

    Bloodlines kind of combines (and simplifies) that complexity with some of the most fantastic storytelling and great characterization we’ve ever had…it’s a great game for it, but it’s not necessarily the most complete design approach Troika took (ToEE is similarly “incomplete” in design, Arcanum isn’t, it’s as close to a complete game as they could get).
    I love Bloodlines for what it is, but make no mistake about it, it hides quite a few of its largest flaws – which aren’t necessarily all related to technical polish – within great writing and creating a living, breathing world. Immersion in the true sense of the word, rather than the PR abomination that term has become.

    Besides, Jim, I’m not sure if you land on the crux of the problem exactly. It is a matter of publisher approach if one wonders “where has Troika gone?” It’s simple, Troika is not viable in the game industry as we made it, there’s no real room for these mid-tier publisher-supported studios, at least not in the US. Even without making a loss, Troika never managed to find a proper way to manage its time or funds compared to what they wanted to accomplish, and none of their publishers cared enough for it…

    Hell, and why take the hard way if the easy way even offers better rewards? Take your budget and cram it all into graphics and PR, letting half a dozen half-competent developers take up the reigns of the rest. No one cares. Fallout 3 was atrociously written, with one of the most horribly tepid video game plots of any RPG. Yet it is covered in critical accolades, including – bizarelly – awards and nominations for writing.
    BioWare? BioWare has been making the same model games for years without any honest attempt at innovation. When you hear Dave Gaider speak, you get a good sense of why that is so; they have no wish to invest in truly reactive and diverse storylines or even a small world with fleshes-out characters when the method of a linear storyline crammed mostly with archetypical characters and predictable plot twists is all the much more cost-efficient.

    Bah. It was the wrong time for Troika, and it still is. Nobody is going to care about people shouting “we deserve better” as long as critics lap up and praise inferior products, steep them in awards and accolades to see the effective PR campaigns result in millions of sales.
    Honestly, why should anyone care if consumers aren’t even capable of really rewarding Troika for their work?

  43. Schadenfreude says:

    Oh, and playing malkavian was hilarious. Although it was a huge letdown when I convinced a friend to try it, and he didn’t get the funky silly font in the Malkavian dialogue. For some reason all dialogue on his machine was just in the regular font. Never figured out why, or how to fix it. But it was such a nice touch.

    His screen resolution was set too low. Not sure why but the special Malkav font only shows on the higher resolutions (1280×1024 and up I think).

  44. Brother None says:

    Anyone know if you can apply the community patches to the Steam version???

    You can find the game’s folder under Steam\steamapps\common\Vampire – the Masquerade: Bloodlines. Install the patch there.

    • transientmind says:

      Anyone who jumps into that folder would also do very well to rummage around and grab the awesome soundtrack.

  45. Tim says:

    This was a great article, and a really insightful discussion. I agree entirely – Bloodlines was an unforgettable experience that I have returned to, again and again. Fallout 3 – in spite of its undeniable quality and my love of the franchise – was little more than a wondrous simulation. It had some really great moments, like crawling through and uncovering the secrets of the other vaults, but it was still a game I stopped playing (and subsequently deleted) a bit after I reached level 20. It’s enchantment wore off once the sense of progression ceased – I didn’t even bother completeing the main quest.

    At the same time, I keep returning to my favourites – Bloodlines, Deus Ex, Baldur’s Gate 2, Fallout, Planescape Torment – because they offer more transcendental experiences. I don’t accept that this is habitual, gaming nostalgia – these games all delivered an overwhelming sense of immersion. There was too much to experience and to do, and you felt it on your first play through; your heart ached at the knowledge of all the content and subtleties you were missing, and it encouraged you to positively drink the details of the game-world, and play through again.

    It is a sad reflection on the state of the industry (the commercial industry, at any rate) that there are so few releases that truly excite me, yet I can’t wait for the release of Deus Ex HDTP. Dragon Age looks promising, I must say, but BioWare’s latest effots have felt a bit like truncated experiences – too linear, too little to explore.

  46. DusttoDust says:

    God’s teeth but I hate vampires. The actual life-from-blood mechanism itself might possibly be a bit cool…actually, no: it’s ALL pants. What gets me most, what really gets me grinding my tooth enamel, is the simpering goth/emo mythology they always try and pull, like it’s all so worthy and about death and god the pain makes my skin split open – (ref: anything by Anne Rice). Hence I ignored this game completely on release.

    Still, if the prices on ebay, amazon and others is any indication (holy s**t) this is still a highly regarded game. I’ll add it to the list of ‘RPS Recommends’, then, and see what happens. Always willing to be proven wrong, me.

  47. SpoonySeeker says:

    These kind of games aren’t hard to make, you just need the right people to make them. The problem is that the gaming industry is filled with enthusiasts who are entirely the wrong kind of person to do anything.

  48. Jim Rossignol says:

    These kind of games aren’t hard to make, you just need the right people to make them.

    Even if that first assertion is true, that second bit still means they’re difficult to make. Getting a team together is half the battle.

  49. Dominic White says:

    @DusttoDust – Bloodlines isn’t the SLIGHTEST bit angsty. Your tutorial is given to you by Smiling Jack, a fantastically snarky vampire biker, (voiced by John Di Maggio, aka Bender), who may have been a pirate in his earlier days. That tone pretty much stays throughout. Your character takes about thirty seconds to adjust to the concept of being an immortal, bloodthirsty predator, and it just gets more and more badass from there.

  50. Heliocentric says:

    Dont get stuck playing this… finish it, cheat… Just experience it all.

    And dont rely on guns unless you can get the infinite ammo cheat.