Bloodlines 2 asks you the same question of every vampire when they've gone through the Embrace: Do you hide in the shadows, or become fear itself? The original Vampire: The Masquerade - Bloodlines was a cult favourite, so beloved that the fans fixed the issues with the game. The team at Hardsuit Labs know all too well that it is a big deal that Bloodlines 2 is being made at all.
We will be going over all of that, including the Bloodlines 2 release date, as well as check out Bloodlines 2 gameplay, watch a Bloodlines 2 trailer or two, and check out Bloodlines 2 news.
Bloodlines 2 - everything you need to know
- What is Bloodlines 2? - Vampire: The Masquerade - Bloodlines 2 is the sequel to the much-beloved, if horribly broken, RPG set in the World of Darkness tabletop RPG universe.
- What is the Bloodlines 2 release date? - You'll be able to rain vampiric terror on the people of Seattle in Early 2020.
- Where can I buy Bloodlines 2? - You will be able to pre order Bloodlines 2 on Steam, from Paradox directly, GOG, and Epic Games Store, or via retail stores for the physical version.
Bloodlines 2 roundup contents
- Bloodlines 2 release date - Early 2020
- Bloodlines 2 gameplay
- Bloodlines 2 trailer
- Bloodlines 2 pre order
- Bloodlines 2 news
Bloodlines 2 release date - Early 2020
Bloodlines 2 release date is slated for the Early 2020 window. We'll bring you the confirmed Bloodlines 2 release date when it has been confirmed by Hardsuit Labs and Paradox Interactive.
Bloodlines 2 gameplay
If you want an in-depth look at just how Bloodlines 2 gameplay works, look no further than the video courtesy of our video team with the footage captured by Brendan. In it, we'll see everything from the demo, as Matthew points out the little details you might have missed, such as when the Masquerade is in effect - more on that later. Brendan also did a write up for when he recently got to play the game at E3 2019, awful dancing and all.
Our own Alice Bell heralded Bloodlines 2's existence, like a thrall butler announcing their vampire lord, by speaking to several members of the team creating the brand new Vampire: The Masquerade - Bloodlines adventure. It's quite a long read, but full of juicy details.
Not least of which is the fact that the "masquerade" is in effect at all times in public. If you give a person a nasty nip in a crowded street or use your Vampiric powers down at the pub to impress your mates, you may get a knock on the door from some surly henchmen who take you in for "punishment". There is also a humanity system where the cleaner, or more innocent your blood source, the more of a monster you'll become.
From what we know so far, there are various different clans of vampire, just like in the original. It'll also feature branching narratives and side quests, and you're able to choose which of the vampire factions you align yourself with and which ones to annoy.
Bloodlines 2 trailer
There have been quite a few Bloodlines 2 trailer videos showing off the game so far. Set in Seattle, you have recently been gone through the process known as "the embrace", where they are drained of blood to the point of death, before consuming some of the vampire's blood. Apparently, just like the first game, you're on trial because this was done without permission of the other vampires, only this time around, it was a mass embrace by a group of different masked vampires.
You start out as a Thinblood - which I've been reliably informed is basically a decaf version of a vampire that is about as effective against powerful beings as a wet noodle, and you'll need to grow in strength to realise your potential until you eventually join a full-blood clan. In case you don't know to whom you should declare your allegiance, there were a lot of vignettes introducing each of the vampire clans, including the insane Malkavians.
Bloodlines 2 pre order
You will be able to pre order Bloodlines 2 on Steam, GOG, and Epic Games Store. You can also opt to buy directly from Paradox, or via retail stores for the physical version. Note that the special editions are not available in physical form. Pre ordering the game will get you the "First Blood" edition, which contains the following items:
First Blood pre order pack
- Digital official soundtrack
- Engraved pistol weapon skin
- Civil war sabre weapon skin
- Retro hunter outfit
On top of this, there are also the special edition titled "Unsanctioned Blood" and the ultra-premium "Blood Moon" edition. Pre ordering either will still get you the "First Blood" edition bonuses, but each one also increases the stuff you get the more expensive the pack.
Unsanctioned Blood pack
- First Blood pre order pack items (Pre order only)
- 24-hour early access
- In-game developer commentary that features Brian Mitsoda
- Damsel's beret
- Jeanette outfit
- Smiling Jack outfit
- Voerman Family portrait
- Sarcophagus table
- Severed arm weapon skin
- Stop sign item
Blood Moon pack
- First Blood pre order pack items (Pre order only)
- 24-hour early access
- Unsanctioned Blood pack items
- Bludgeon weapon skin
- Story Pack 1
- Story Pack 2
Bloodlines 2 news
- Will Bloodlines 2 have post-launch support?
- What are the confirmed vampire clans in Bloodlines 2?
- How long is the Bloodlines 2 campaign?
- What are the disciplines in Bloodlines 2?
- How are the Malkavians being portrayed in Bloodlines 2?
It's odd that this needs to be said in this day and age, but for Vampire, there is some history behind it. Unlike the original that was left to languish in the broken state that it was until fans nursed it back to health with patches, the sequel will have a more dedicated approach to updating and fixing the game.
This includes ongoing support in the form of a Season Pass. The "Season of the Wolf" is included for those who buy the "Blood Moon" edition but will be available elsewhere. It'll include two story packs and an expansion to the game. Aside from that, two additional clans will be added post-launch for free. Given the Season Pass name, I'd say it's highly likely we'd see the savage Gangrel turn up, but fans would also probably like the rather restrictive challenge of playing as a hideous Nosferatu.
Here are the confirmed vampire clans in the game:
- Brujah - Once philosopher-kings of ancient civilisations, but are now unstable rogues with a penchant for violence.
- Tremere - Sorcerers that wield supernatural powers from their old history.
- Toreador - Vampires that are attracted to beautiful things, like art, and thralls they own.
- Ventrue - The vampire clan most likely found in aristocratic society or as CEOs, as they're proud nobles.
- Malkavian - They're more than just a bit mad and it's all their progenitor's fault.
How long is the Bloodlines 2 campaign?
The current estimation from Hardsuit Labs is that a single playthrough will take around 25-30 hours, depending on your playstyle. There will be branching narratives and side quests galore, so if you want to see everything, it'll likely take a lot longer.
The world of Bloodlines 2 puts players in the role of a vampire. Much like the World of Darkness tabletop RPG, they'll be able to use up to six disciplines at once. Most are gated when they begin as Thinbloods as their powers are not finalised.
- Chiropterans - Turns the vampire into a bad, or can summon a small swarm of bats to distract or disable enemies.
- Mentalism - Vampires can also be telekinetic, able to move objects around with their mind.
- Nebulation - This is their ability to shroud movement in fog, or envelop enemies in smoke.
As for the powers for when the vampire fully awakens to their powers and joins a clan, there are a further eight that will be made available.
- Auspex - Sense enemies or other NPCs from a large distance away, deciphering their weaknesses in the process, or psychically project themselves as an astral projection to overwhelm minds.
- Potency - Look as hench as is physically possible with the ability to punch down walls, throw people far, or just punch the ground to create earthquakes.
- Celerity - Move at speeds their enemies can't cope with, either by not being able to hit them with bullets, punches, or just disorientate them with their sheer swiftness.
- Thaumaturgy - Uses blood powers to create spikes, make enemies purge blood, or even explode foes by boiling their blood.
- Presence - Makes everyone notice them by either entrancing NPCs to follow them around or pull everyone into admiring them with their animal magnetism and stunning good looks.
- Dominate - Hypnotises their enemies and NPCs; even going as far as commanding them to do their bidding.
- Fortitude - The vampire absorbs and deflects attacks, even able to turn their own skin into stone.
- Dementation - Either used by vampires to enrage their target into doing something rash or scare them so much they flee from the scene.
How are the Malkavians being portrayed in Bloodlines 2?
In short, while they're still being seen as unhinged, there seems to be a lot more care to make them more than just crazy. During an interview with GameIndustry.biz, Bloodlines 2 writer - Brian Mitsoda, detailed his hope that this time around the Malkavians would be better written. Lamenting about the original, he said:
"I think more time could have been spent developing [these characters] at the time, but their presentation in the first game is due more to the strain of having to get them out quickly. I think people still enjoy the unique experience of them, but I don't think they're a great examination of mental illness and shouldn't be held up as one."
He goes on to explain just how recent trends have hurt the conversation on mental illness and how they're tackling it differently this time around.
"I'm pretty tired of any weird, over-the-top, or violent characters being dismissed as 'Well, they're crazy.' That's just lazy. I still see this in movies, games, and TV all the time."
"But at the same time, being a stand-in for people with similar problems, I don't want them to be purely comic relief. As I said before, I'm pretty tired of mental illness being used as a crutch in writing—the twist or punchline being the character is crazy. It's pretty obvious when a writer has just written themselves into a corner if they use the 'They're crazy' excuse to justify sudden shifts in motives or character traits."
Disclosure: Cara Ellison - a former RPS writer - is the senior narrative designer on Bloodlines 2. I've not personally met her, but she seems nice from what others here have said.