Vampire Bloodlines: Worth getting?

I’ve been reading **Anno Dracula **(good series, check it out) and it’s whetted my interest in being a “creature of the night”. Is the game any good? Does it have replay value? Will I sparkle? And being a nosferatu sounds fun but hard, so I apparently shouldn’t try that my first time if I get it.

The game is pretty darn good, yes (at least if you’re into half RPG, half FPS, half exploration games like *Deus Ex *or Alpha Protocol). A bit buggy and unpolished (it is, after all, a Troika game) but the setting, ambience and gameplay are very cool. Just remember to get the fanpatch, it corrects a bunch of stuff.

It does have some replay value through multiple endings/possible allegiances and Clan- or Discipline-specific content, but something like 80% of the game will be the same from one play-through to the next.

You will not sparkle, but you might just catch on fire if you apply yourself.

Nosferatus aren’t *that *harder to play, really, provided you do the sensible thing and get your Obfuscate up to 2 at character creation - at which point being butt ugly simply won’t matter as far as breaking the Masquerade goes, since you’ll pretty much just be invisible all the time when among muggles (and blood-wise, you’re actually better off than other clans in a certain tedious location). And even without that, you can still navigate around the city via the sewers (which connect to every place) or even the streets - NPCs seem to be very near sighted, they won’t freak out unless you’re pretty much hugging them. Nosferatus do miss out on a handful of quests, but have a few exclusive ones to compensate (and some hilarious and unique ways to resolve others).
I’d say the hardest Clan to play is probably Ventrue actually, if only because getting blood can be such a pain in the fangs for them. But even then, *Bloodlines *is not really a difficult game.

That being said, for a rolling good times I’d strongly advise playing a Malkavian. They’re brilliantly written. Also they can make people go giggling insane, so there is that.

(Actually, when I say that 80% of the game is the same, I mean that you’ll get the same quests in the same order and go to the same locations where the same enemies will spawn in the same spots - but there is certainly room to play each of them differently from one character to the next, either using guile/speechifying, stealthy sneaking around, dominating people into fighting for you or just busting dudes in the face with a fire axe)

That’s…3 halves. Is it vampire counting? :confused:

Thanks for the info. I will try Nosferatu when I get it. I’ve seen Malkavian’s arguing with a stop sign, and it DOES look fun.

Oh, another question: should I play another clan first to get a feel for it before I try Malkavian or Nosferatu?

Up to you, I suppose.

I played first as a Malk because it’s my most favouritest clan in the P&P game, and while it can be a bit difficult at times figuring out what your dialogue options mean*, for the most part it’s simply a difference in flavour. Aside from arguing with your TV and the occasional stop sign, or those few cases where you do come up with information/insights in your madness (or hear voices), the only change is that people you talk to will likely go something like “Yeeees. You’re a looney, you know that ? Whelp, guess you’ll have to do…” before getting right back on track. It doesn’t significantly alter the game experience, story or gameplay (plus, being one of the two Clans able to use vampire powers in dialogue opens up interesting/easier ways to solve problems). I guess people in California get pretty adept at understanding looney speak :slight_smile:

Nosfes do play a slightly different/more restricted game however, and some avenues of resolving quests are pretty much barred for them - not much talky for them, it’s pretty much stealth or murder, particularly in quests involving non-vampires ; and they get more opportunities to break the Masquerade as well if you’re not being careful.
I wouldn’t say it makes the game more difficult or totally flips the game experience or anything, as Obfuscate is pretty darn broken when you get right down to it :), but yeah, for them it might be more interesting to see the “normal” game first, then go back to see what changes, that sort of thing.
Or you could do it the other way - see the “weird” game first, then go back and try a more vanilla character to see what you missed.

  • (they’re essentially the exact same dialogue trees as “normal” vamps get, only phrased in weird or convoluted ways… that sometimes actually provide more info than the straightforward ones of normal vamps, provided you can latch onto the few meaningful bits in the sea of nonsense and decypher them - I hardly ever did, but it’s a neat thing to notice on a second playthrough)

Yes, get it. Full stop. Wait for a Steam sale if you prefer.

Buggy sometimes. There are two unofficial patches, up to you if you want to try them. One goes for simple bug fixes etc., the other tries to make major changes. The developers ran out of time, so some parts are uneven.

Still, one of my favorite games.

Nosferatu isn’t that much different. The fast travel system is the sewers instead of a taxi. People may make comments about your face. Random people will freak out, but it’s easily avoidable as long as you keep moving.

Malkavian is just hilarious. As said, they are kinda hard to understand unless you know the context. They spoil plot points sometimes, if obliquely sometimes. They often break the fourth wall, which gets funny.

I did Tremere then Malkavian. Nosferatu if I play again some day.

Too bad it’s not co-op, but then I’d imagine there might be an influx of “real” vampires or Twilight fans.

Can you spoiler some of those hilarious and unique ways?

Also, I wondered how one gets around when getting to certain missions. Let’s say I’m in the first location and want to visit the owner of a bar who’s a powerful vampire. I meet her on the dancefloor, talk to her and then she goes up to her suite through an elevator. In order to use the elevator to get to the owner’s suite, I have to talk to the barman. The barman will freak out and I’ll break the Masquerade, right?

A possible mistake you should avoid: You will sometimes be able to solve problems with stealth or talk or fighting. This might lead you to believe that you can pick any specialty and will always have an opportunity to solve problems that way.

Not so. There are some situations you can’t get past with talk or stealth so your fighting skills (mainly melee) have to be at least decent or you’ll get stuck. I played Malkavian on my first game and got stuck. Went Ventrue and found the fighting powers very useful while the blood-restrictions weren’t a big deal.

To answer your question: Get the game. It’s a rough diamond.

IIRC the bartender takes a dig at your appearance. Although not all humans are naive, he could be a ghoul for example.

Combat is minor in the beginning, but becomes unavoidable towards the end unfortunately.

Ocean House Hotel weeds them out. Even pre-Twilight, I remember frequent forum posts asking if you skip the place.

I played the original and have to give it a thumbs down. It was not my kind of game, just very dungeon crawly and not my kind of thing. Seriously, though, if you rather liked it, pay this one.

In fact, this one might be a lot better. Does it map your dungeons better?

I played the predecessor of Redemption and quickly gave up on it because of the difficult controls. They’re not the same kind of game.

You are unlikely to have great need of a map.

The demo is available and shows you the mechanics. You can also easily find gameplay videos on youtube. Unfortunately, it doesn’t show you how nice the story, sidestories and general mood are.

If you like the Ocean House Hotel, play Thieft 3 for The Cradle. Make sure to play it alone at night with a minimum of ambient noises and light. Scariest piece of media I ever saw.

Wha? What is “the original”? Redemption? It was alright. You do realize, if you did any research, that the first is Diabloesque, and the second is Deus Exesque? Not the same at all.

I only played some of the first one, although I own the third on Steam. The zombies in the second (?) level creeped me out. Blackjack didn’t help much.

The one that stuck in my mind was:

During the quest to track down the surfer dude’s girlfriend, at one point you have to go to the diner and ask the sweet elderly owner whether she saw them together. If you’re a Nosferatu, you’ll enter the diner, she’ll see you and have an outright heart attack. Then you’ll find Lily’s purse behind the counter.

How could you ? Malks have Obfuscate, man ! Stealth kills all day, erryday :).

Nah, he’s the barman of a goth bar. He’s seen worse :slight_smile: (and he’s probably a ghoul anyway).
That’s generally the approach taken when interracting with non-vamps is required for the main plot: either they’ll already be in on it, or they’re ghouls, or they’ll rationalize your appearance one way or another in order to not break the main thread.

OTOH, that bar in Downtown, owned by the sexy raven-haired girl whose name I forget, the one who has troubles with the Mob ? Yeah, I don’t remember if it’s a Masquerade break but she’ll just tell you to get the fuck out of her club, NOW.

Oh, the first one had much worse than zombies. Frickin’ Hammer haunts…

I really like the game, played the heck out of it. I use Wesp5’s unofficial Patch from here.

Personally, I’d recommend playing something else before a Malkavian; I think their crazy dialogue is funnier when you have some idea what the normal dialogue is. Oh, and if you do play one listen to the TV news reports occasionally; some of the ones for Malkavians are…special.

Even as a Ventrue I got used to stealth kills. The katana-jingle is etched into my mind.

However, stealth killing bosses is either impossible or requires a lot of skill. A certain sewer dweller you meet in a small enclosed area in the second world is a real plague if your melee skills are low. Stealth won’t save you there.

The game is great. Gangrel with war form for hand to hand or Brujah with meele are utterly awesome for intro builds. A Gangrel going full steam should be able to rip most kindred to pieces rapidly. Damn makes me want to reinstall.

Yeah, I forgot about bosses - but then, the grand majority of them (those that don’t quasi-require long rang power, but those are end-game bosses for the most part. I remember the Tzimisce being frustrating to deal with in melee though) can be dispatched with only 2-3 points in melee, a decent weapon and Blood Buff. That’s, what, 6 XP ?

Blood Buff is really, really, really fucking powerful an ability (if expensive to use) and every vamp gets it. Makes you hit harder, makes you take less damage… It more or less makes developing physical attributes a waste, since XP is a lot more precious than the money to buy blood bags, and BBuff only “tops them up” to 5 rather than adding 4 to existing attributes.
Helps with lockpicking, too (since it’s based on Dex, which is boosted by BB).

I found Brujah to be more spectacular as ranged builds - in the early game when firearms suck you can rely on your starting stats and a couple dots of Potence to muscle through the opposition bare handed ; and when you move on to Downtown or Hollywood dump your XP in shootin’ and Celerity.
Then you’re pretty much playing Max Payne :smiley: