Somehow I'd missed that Vampire: The Masquerade - Swansong, unlike most of the other VTM games these days, is not interactive fiction. Nope, apparently a 3D walking-around sort of "narrative RPG", made by the studio behind 2018's curious The Council. Huh! I'm interested. A new trailer out E3 introduces us to one of the three protagonists we'll switch between, Leysha - a Malkavian. Her fashion is truly great.
Malkavians are the vampire clan cursed/blessed/blursed with a madness which often gives them great insight but also, like, madness. They teeter between vision and delusion. And as Leysha demonstrates, they can go invisible. We'll also get to play as two other vampires from different Camarilla clans, who have their own abilities.
"Weaving between their intertwined tales, the player has to confront the different points of view of his characters to unravel fact from fiction," the blurb says. "With whispers of conspiracy, murder and power struggles, the player must protect his clan, discover the truth and above all enforce the Masquerade, the vampire law designed to conceal the existence of creatures of the night from humans."
Swansong is being made by Big Bad Wolf, the French studio who made episodic conspiracy story The Council. It sounds like Swansong has a fair bit in common, including difference approaches and consequences to how we approach investigations and interactions. Our Katharine said The Council was "arguably one of the more interesting narrative detective games I've played in ages" - but only "before it goes completely off the rails" with a bad ending.
While Bloodlines 2 is the VTM game I'd been really looking forward to, that game is fully cursed. Swansong certainly isn't trying to 'do a Bloodlines' but I am quite looking forward to it now I know what it actually is. See its website for more info.
Vampire: The Masquerade - Swansong is coming to PC via the Epic Games Store. Epixclusives often come to better stores one year after launch, though I don't believe that's confirmed for Swansong yet. The game's coming to PlayStations, Xboxes, and Switch too. It's published by Nacon, who also published Cyanide's World Of Darkness brawler Werewolf: The Apocalypse – Earthblood.
Another new Vampire: The Masquerade game is coming in Bloodhunt, a battle royale. Weird. Even more World Of Darkness is potentially on the way with shows and movies planned by a group of folks who've previously worked on live-action adaptations including The Witcher, The Expanse, The Punisher, and Shadow And Bone.
Disclosure: Cara Ellison, a former RPS columnist and my former flatmate, previously worked on Bloodlines 2.