Vampire: The Masquerade – Bloodlines Swoops To GOG

Hey I have to write this post first but after that, I swear.

RPS will not – cannot, even – stop going on about Vampire: The Masquerade – Bloodlines. Look! Kieron tried to be less of a dick, Jim wished for more games like its “action-soap opera”, we interviewed writer Brian Mitsoda, and Cara got all S.EXEtwice. And it’s one of the best RPGs, the best horror games, the best RPG worlds… we like it, okay. So sure, I’ll mention that Troika’s 2004 RPG is now sold on GOG too, with some vital community-made fixes included and all.

The great thing about Bloodlines, yeah, is that sure its plot has all those undead tragedies, but playing it lets you join in the real tragedy. You become an actor in the tale where we gnash our teeth and wish if only – if only! – its development hadn’t been so troubled, we tear out our hair and dream how glorious – oh how! – it could’ve been if Troika had time and money for polish, and we cry at the moon and wonder what – oh what! – could Troika have done with a sequel if they hadn’t closed, and we let the blood spill down our lips as we cry when – oh when! – will someone flipping well do something good with the World of Darkness again?

If you don’t play Bloodlines, you only get to play the game of wishing everyone would shut up about That Damn Vampire Game. Less fun, that.

GOG are selling Bloodlines for £14.19. They say it “includes third-party technical fixes” from ‘Wesp5’, the fan behind the acclaimed unofficial Bloodlines patch. It’s not Westp5’s full unofficial patch, but enough to make Bloodlines… work. If you do want restored content and other bits, the full unofficial patch is this-a-way.

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  1. Matt_Ceb says:

    You quote the WW interview and yet you talk about CCP? ;)

    White Wolf is owned by Paradox now (the CK2/EU4 folks), not CCP any more.

    • Alice O'Connor says:

      Oh, florf, yes.

    • PASchaefer says:

      Darnit, I went through password recovery just to post this very thing. Too slow!

    • Blastaz says:

      I was so “mildly miffed” when Paradox announced that their next collaboration with Obsidian wasn’t a VTM game…

      • Fnord73 says:

        Y`all should just hassle the new White Wolf/Para guys out of their LARP-part of the world into doing something about it. I know a few of them, they are the kind of people who listen to pressure if its polite :-)

  2. kud13 says:


    I own it on Steam, but since there’s like a million mods to use, i’ve been using an “otherwise acquired” version for multiple installs to run diff mods.

    I played this unpatched as a Malkavian first time through. Vanilla had 2 bugs- one required me to noclip through a door that should have opened but didn’t, and the other was the Society of Leopold boat crash bug, also fixed via console.

    Love this game to bits, will re-purchase when I get home

  3. gabrielonuris says:

    Now I can buy it again, my three disks retail version doesn’t work anymore (not even with unofficial patches).

    At least Gog do fix the games before selling it, unlike Steam, with its never ending catalogue of broken old games.

    • Darth Gangrel says:

      The Steam version works great, especially with the later patches. I’m using unofficial patch 7.0 together with Clan Quest Mod 3.0 and the latest is 9.5. It’s my most played game on Steam, 347 hours, but I only bought it after my CD’s stopped working. Did lots of playthroughs before I bought it on Steam.

      Dammit, now I want to play this game just to screw around with LaCroix (and perhaps also, like the header image, let him screw around with me). Unfortunately, I’m on a sacred backlog reducing mission.

      • Plake says:

        it doesn’t run on win 10 in steam. Can’t wait for the GoG version, which usually will run fine on M$ latest…

    • Emeraude says:

      I had the same problem. Microsoft recently removed a component of Windows that was used for the DRM in Bloodlines, making people unable to play their legitimately bought games.

      The latest versions of the unofficial patch fixes that issue though.

    • PancakeWizard says:

      GoG didn’t fix it, Wesp did. They’ve just included the modder’s bug fixes (bot not his restored content stuff). VTMB has been available on Steam long before that kind of thing was considered viable and not a massive legal headache.

  4. ZombieFX says:

    Some games dont age well.

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      Ninja Dodo says:

      Funny you should say that cause this one has aged extremely well. Not without problems but at its best it’s up there with the original Deus Ex.

      • klops says:

        I played Bloodlines about a year or two ago without having ever played it before. The game sounds very good but actually playing the game wasn’t that fun.

        • Premium User Badge

          Ninja Dodo says:

          What clan did you play as? Some are more fun than others. Especially recommended: Malkavian

          • klops says:

            I don’t remember but it wasn’t Malkavian, which I’ve later understood is “The Clan” to play. And to Killahmate below: I had the latest fan patch that time. Most likely read about it in RPS.

            I’m not actually trying to argue that the Bloodlines is no good. I was just surprised that I didn’t really enjoy the game, since it sounds just like a game I’d like. One particular annoyance was movement and combat Distec mentioned below, and getting stuck because of that just made me never return to the game.

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            cpt_freakout says:

            This is definitely one of those (weird) games you don’t play for the fun of the mechanics, but for how interesting everything else is. For example, I once (upon a time) played as one of the Nosferatu types, and it was cool how powerful and vulnerable I felt all the time. The crappy stealth made it impossible for me to finish the game as that character, but man was the experience totally worth it.

        • KillahMate says:

          Important question: did you use the fanpatch, or part of it, or any other patch?

        • Distec says:

          Kinda where I’m at.

          Played Bloodlines close to release (when it bothered to run) and enjoyed it, but never finished it. I bought it again last year in a Steam sale and added the unofficial patches and a few mods, but it never grabbed me again. Movement and combat still felt strange, the environments are generally pretty crude and without detail, and I ended up forgetting about it once the new and shiny came along.

          I like the idea of a Bloodlines game, and in no way do I want to shit on what this game did for me when it first came out. The premise is just waiting for an update with better execution. But Bloodlines today feels just a bit too janky and under-developed. DX has aged as well, and yet it still gives me compelling reasons to play.

          Part of this, I reckon, is because DX and a few other games from that era feel like they’re from a distinct crop of games BECAUSE of the time they were released in. It’s almost as if they’ve aged to the point where I can appreciate them on their own merits without making comparisons to recent titles. Bloodlines feels a lot more transitory by comparison.
          So maybe give it another 10 years and I’ll grow some of my own rose-tinted glasses to look back on it with.

          • Fnord73 says:

            Its kind of the Morrowind of urban RPGs, isnt it? The setting is so fabolous, the quests are very good, but the actual gameplay…. meh?

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          Ninja Dodo says:

          Combat was never the game’s strength even when it was new. I never delved much into the shooting, but with enough points in brawl and melee, and combining it with the various vampire abilities, I found that aspect enjoyable enough.

          One thing that holds up quite well is the art direction, especially on the characters. Technically it has aged of course, but being a bit stylized it’s done so much more gracefully than many later games. This was juuust before normal maps were a thing and all games were required by law to look like shiny plastic for several years.

          But most of all it’s the quest design and writing. Especially Santa Monica and Downtown but even the later parts (Hollywood and Chinatown) have some great moments. And the voice acting is still the best. Great music too.

          • Darth Gangrel says:

            I liked the combat, especially the guns. They feel good and it’s fun to shoot enemies, but you need to get 7 or 8 in the Firearms skill before you can get the most out of them. The disciplines add fun alternatives to just shooting. With the Arsenal Mod you get even more variety.

            The melee has a certain simple, but fun feeling to it and I never tire of sending enemies through the air. I really like the stealth kill animations as well.

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            Ninja Dodo says:

            Yeah, stealth was fun, especially with the Obfuscate ability, and it mostly worked ok as long as you accepted that the AI was magically nearsighted in some situations (the brightly lit tunnels beneath the museum come to mind), and yes, the stealth kills were a good way to methodically dispatch opponents.

            Maybe I should give it another playthrough some time and put more points in guns. One nice thing about the game is that it’s short enough that it’s actually feasible to replay multiple times and experiment with different approaches.

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            Qazinsky says:

            Yeah, I also felt like the firearms were kind of terrible the first time I played and hadn’t really spent alot of points into them. When you start reaching 7-8 points, they actually hit stuff and do damage and with 9-10, got that pinpoint accuracy you’d expect from a badass vampire gunslinger.

    • anHorse says:

      I’d say it’s one of those games that has aged well simply because nothing has come along and done it better

      Like Kotor does feel old in places because Bioware continued to work on the formula with their later games but nothing really stands up as a true successor to VTMB and it’s tone and gameplay.

      The closest thing I can think of for tone is stuff like The Secret World (which would probably be better than Bloodlines if they’d just made it a singleplayer RPG) and rubbish games like Dark.

      In spirit/gameplay the closest recent thing to it is probably Human Revolution, which is also a Hub based RPG with different approaches but that doesn’t have the excellent writing VTMB has.
      And that’s why I wouldn’t say it’s aged badly.

      For me the takeaway from this is that instead of going fully open world RPGs would benefit much more from being set in smaller locations with lots of choice and a focus on replayability rather than length. This style of game does exist but it’s mainly found in slightly wonky indie titles like Consortium rather than in the large budget leaders of the genre.

      • kud13 says:

        According to TV Tropes, Bloodlines’ spiritual successor is… Alpha Protocol.

        I can actually totally see that.

        Beyond that, it falls into that obscure “FPS with powers/RPG elements” category also known as “Immersive Sims”. There’s absolutely nothing quite like Bloodlines.

        And it’s one of those games still actively modded today. Last I checked a mod was close to completion where you can play as Sabbat (the evil, psycho-crazy vampire faction)

        And exploring the game as a Malkavian is one of those experiences everyone should have.

        • anHorse says:

          I actually totally forgot about AP despite liking it.

          Shame it’s also a spiritual sequel in that it’s half finished and janky as heck because the core game of decisions is the best thing Obsidian’s ever done

          • Turkey says:

            The conversation system in AP is actually kinda brilliant when you think about it. They presented it like you had 3 choices on what kind of agent you wanted to be, but it also works if you look at it like you’re an expert manipulator giving the AI what they want to hear in order to extract more information from them. Which totally works within the setting of AP.

    • Palladian says:

      I have mixed feelings about this. The combat is bad (I think it was acknowledged as bad at the time) and only gets worse towards the end since it becomes difficult and repetitive. From that perspective, yeah, it looks like a dated experiment in the still relatively uncharted first-person RPG territory, an inferior cousin to games like Dark Messiah.

      When I first played it way after it came out – about 2012, I think – I was really shocked and surprised by the writing in the best possible way. I’ve never known a videogame to be so sharply written or to inflect relatively minor NPCs with such a sense of character. No game since has touched it and unfortunately I don’t see any coming down the line.

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        gritz says:

        Bad combat, bad stealth, great atmosphere, great characters, outstanding dialogue, fun plotting, some truly memorable set-pieces, and level design that ranges from brilliant to tedious. Oh and lots of bugs.

        In other words, RPS catnip.

      • misho8723 says:

        I think games made (written) by Obsidian and now by CD Projekt RED are pretty close – if not at the same level – as VtMB when it comes to characters and dialogs.. they are brilliant and together with games like Planetscape Torment are maybe the best written games ever

      • Turkey says:

        Which clans does the combat get too hard for? I’ve played most of them except the biker idiots, the Anne Rices and the business Draculas, and I’ve never had any trouble.

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          gritz says:

          And now I want a fan patch that renames the clans to things like Business Draculas.

          • Darth Gangrel says:

            I think you can just edit a text file to rename the clans. Ask around at

  5. LetSam says:

    Do they sell the low violence version in Germany like Steam does?

    • Darth Gangrel says:

      They might. I have a GoG friend from Germany who wanted some old Wolfenstein games and he thought that if I gifted them to him, then perhaps he would get my European non-German version. No, he got the German low-violence version.

    • Chaoslord AJ says:

      Don’t think so and you can always refund.
      Wouldn’t have noticed about the problem with the steam version without your comment. So now I have to rebuy from gog I guess.
      Thanks, nanny state.

      • Legion23 says:

        Some more Infos about censorship: To my knowledge the only cut in the german version of Bloodlines is in the intro, everything else is uncut (which makes the whole thing even more laughable and the fan patch fixes that.) However: You CANNOT trust GOG to sell uncensored versions of any game, check the forums before buying if in doubt. (Other examples would be the orginal GOG release of Fallout and Gothic 2 I think).

        • kud13 says:

          GOG comments are discussing it right now: it’s the US version. But it’s patched, so the intro movie was “fixed” to avoid the clipping bug that comes with having the camera zoom in on the beheading. If you run vanilla, unpatched game, there’s a very obvious stutter there-it’s not “censorship” but a “bug”

          Not sure if i’m explaining it well, check out that comments section, :)

          • LetSam says:

            Thanks, that’s good to know. GOG’s getting my money then.

  6. Freud says:

    I haven’t played it since it was released. I enjoyed it back then. There are lots of clever design decisions but as I recall a weak last third of the game that felt rushed and a bit tedious prevented it from being a classic in my mind.

    Perhaps I should give it a go with one of those big patches that fixes some of the problems with the game?

    • Premium User Badge

      Lars Westergren says:

      > as I recall a weak last third of the game that felt rushed and a bit tedious

      You recall correctly.

      > one of those big patches that fixes some of the problems with the game

      There is one patch which removes much of the sewer maze. But I don’t think any of them fundamentally change the mechanics of the combat-heavy ending. It is more along the lines of fixing scripting bugs. Though it has been a couple of years since my last playthrough…

  7. Premium User Badge

    caff says:

    Installed this recently from Steam and patched it up fully. Looks good and scales well at 4K res.

  8. Premium User Badge

    Ninja Dodo says:

    Out of curiosity, does anyone know if the money for this is going to Activision or to the new owners of World of Darkness? Already have both the retail and Steam version so not especially inclined to fork over another $19 just to have it on GOG, especially if it’s just feeding the Acti-Blizzard machine but if it’s going towards another Vampire game…

    • Press X to Gary Busey says:

      Activision likely still holds the publishing rights for the game since they’re still listed as publisher on Humble Store, Steam and GOG. It’s possible they have some licensing deal with Paradox getting a percentage though and GOG will of course get their seller’s cut.

  9. sebmojo says:

    I have to be one of the only people who didn’t really like the Malkavian mode – yes, it’s amazing that it exists at all and the argument with the Stop sign is great (and a few other things) but it’s like being a nerd quoting monty python. Tiresomely wacky.

  10. Lena78 says:

    moves well, nice design

  11. JcDent says:

    “You’re so broke, you can’t even afford to pay attention”

    The game had great jokes, sexy vampires, OK combat and tasty rats.

    It’s a pity I never finished it. Also, I was playing the clan that ran around in a business suit most of the time, which was a little strange.

  12. Premium User Badge

    Risingson says:

    The game does really go downhill fast in its second part. I get the feeling that most of its praise is from people that did not finish it or jump into the bandwagon because it gets really really rough and boring. Despite of being one of the best during the first hours (iirc up to the haunted hotel).

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      Risingson says:

      It’s no Outcast or Nomad Soul anyway. The game lasts a bit more and it never goes fully into crapness.

      • Premium User Badge

        Ninja Dodo says:

        Did you seriously just call Outcast crap? You do realize Outcast is the 57th greatest game of all time, right? (source: link to Also the game that did open world action-adventure years before anyone else figured out how to design those… only reason it doesn’t get the credit it deserves is it was thrown under the bus by Infogrames/Atari in North America and so basically no one on that side of the Atlantic played it.

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          Ninja Dodo says:

          (note: only half-joking with the 57th: Outcast is a true classic and a milestone in gaming history, and unjustly forgotten)

    • HopeHubris says:

      I mostly played through it cheating heavily, since the combat and the like were not great, but I loved the characters and story

  13. xyzzy frobozz says:

    IMHO what made VtM:B so great was the characters.

    Flawed and deeply interesting. As vampires they were some of the most convincing humans in video gaming history.

  14. cdkutusu says:

    Vampire The Masquerade: Bloodlines

    Official Game tagline should be “Every time you mention it, someone will reinstall it.”

    • kud13 says:

      Deus Ex has that title sealed.

      I propose “Any time it’s mentioned, someone downloads the next fan patch for it”

  15. Premium User Badge

    Angstsmurf says:

    I spent like three days of my life on that (very optional) quest where you have to kill all the zombies in the graveyard in less than a minute. I’m pretty sure I failed more than a thousand times before making it.

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      Ninja Dodo says:

      Heh, I took a stab at that once and was like “yeah, no, this is not balanced properly” and went back to the other option.

  16. Premium User Badge

    Qazinsky says:

    I still remember buying this game when it came out. Going into the store and finding a new Troika RPG out, and not just that, but also a first person RPG! It needed one of those newfangled 3d cards (probably a voodoo 2), which my computer did not have. The thing is that many games that needed a 3d card still worked without one, so I took a chance. Bought the game for the equivalent of 50 euro and took the train home. Fired up my computer and… it didn’t work. No matter what I tried, it didn’t work. So into the nearest drawer it went.

    Probably had the game for a few years before I had a computer that could even run it.

    • Press X to Gary Busey says:

      I think you’re mixing up Redemption and Bloodlines. ;) Otherwise it’s no wonder it didn’t work if you didn’t even have 1998 Voodoo 2 card. :P

      Bloodlines was released in 2004 and requires a Pentium 3 with a 64MB DX9 video card.

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        Qazinsky says:

        I gotta admit, I am super terrible with time frames past a few years, I know it was Bloodlines though, the whole “Not allowed to release until Half-Life 2 is out since they use the same engine” and all that jazz. I gambled on several games that claimed to demand something we didn’t have in our computer (I guess some newer videocard, what else could it be?) and they usually worked, slowly, so sloowly. Until Bloodlines… *sniffle*

        • Press X to Gary Busey says:

          No worries. I remember that feeling from those days all too well. :(
          The mid 90’s to mid 00’s was an amazing time for the PC platform but it was a constant source of disappointment if you were a poor kid with a computer constantly behind the requirement-curve. Add to that some stores’ refusal to refund games due to rampant piracy.

  17. Joe The Wizard says:

    I’ve tried half a dozen times to get into this game and have just never been able. It’s weird, too, since I’m a huge RPG fan, especially the old Infinity Engine/Troika/Fallout-y games. You would think it would translate, but something just doesn’t click for me with this. I wish it did since everyone seems so moved by the game.

  18. PancakeWizard says:

    It goes without saying, but in case there’s any holdouts here’s a new player’s guide:

    1. Install Wesp’s unofficial patch. The whole thing, not just the bug fixes. Fuck the purists, the game ‘as is’ is missing important stuff and isn’t balanced right.

    2. Play once through as anything but Malkavian or Nosferatu.

    3. Play through second as Malkavian (crazy differences), third as Nosferatu (outside-the-box thinking/hard mode).

    Following these steps will ensure maximum enjoyment without you getting feeling like you’re missing out just because you aren’t familiar with the game or license, or getting frustrated with broken shit.

    • PancakeWizard says:

      I should add, that if you don’t like after step 2, then you never will so stop beating yourself up.

    • kud13 says:

      I didn’t know anything about WoD. I had just discovered Deus Ex, played Invisible War, and was looking for more games like it.

      I played as a Malk and loved it. Yeah, it’s batshit insane, but stealth (obfuscate) WORKS, without having to be a Nosferatu (which actually DOES play totally differently). And Dementate is insanely powerful later on, when you put the points in it.

      So, no, you can totally play Malk first-in fact, if you’re looking for a deus-ex like hack/talk/stealth’em up, you SHOULD play a Malk first- because the amount of options you get the widest w/o becoming pigeonholed by playing a Nossie and being confined to sewers most of the time.
      Though Tremere also rock hard- with high Thaum you waltz through Venture Tower in a shower of blood-none of it your own. Best entry for someone coming to Bloodlines from Bioshock and its ilk.

      • Press X to Gary Busey says:

        I did my first attempts with a Malkavian but I think it’s better saved for later runs if you want the best possible experience. The insane dialogue is full of correct vague predictions and easter eggs when you already know the game.

        Playing Malk first is almost like doing a New Game+ as your first run.

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          Qazinsky says:

          Yeah, it’s not that Malkavian is harder, it’s that it contrast the more normal version. You can get at least two (three with Nosferatu but that seems like it would cut so much of the talk, so I never tried that)pretty different playthroughs and it’s probably better to start with the “vanilla” version when you experience it for the first time.

          Malkavian, fun playthrough. Funnier when you know the characters a bit and see them react wastly different to your screwball than they did to your normal vampire.