What is Vampire: The Masquerade - Bloodlines?
Bloodlines is a first person shooter/role playing game hybrid, similar in concept to games such as System Shock 2 and Deus Ex. Unlike an ordinary first person shooter, Bloodlines uses elements which are the staple of the role-playing genre:
Who is behind Bloodlines?
Bloodlines is based upon the popular pen and paper (PnP) roleplaying game "Vampire: The Masquerade" developed by White Wolf in 1991. A license to produce computer games based on their property was acquired by Actvision and a game called Redemption was developed by Nihilistic Studios for Activision and released in June of 2000. For the next game in the series, Activision has signed Troika Games as the developer. Troika was founded in April 1998 when Leonard Boyarsky, Jason Anderson and Tim Cain who formerly worked at Interplay set off to create their own studio.
What's so good about it?
Where to begin? It was developed by the same team who delivered the much loved Arcanum and the founders of Troika are responsible for the legendary Fallout, it is powered by Valve's Source Engine which is the technology behind Half Life 2 and its deep story unfolds in the dark underbelly of a world where death awaits at every turn. Cool, huh?
What are the system requirements?
Supported Chipsets for 98/ME/2000/XP:
Where does Bloodlines take place?
The story of Bloodlines unfolds in modern day Los Angeles within White Wolf's "World of Darkness" (WoD). The WoD is very similar to the real world we live in only it's a darker and much more sinister place. Think of the bleaker settings and dysfunctional societies from movies such as The Crow or Dark City and you have some idea of how the WoD is supposed to feel.
Vampires, werewolves and other creatures exist within the WoD although their presence is largely unknown to the general population as their machinations take place behind the scenes of our every day lives.
What is Bloodlines about?
In Bloodlines you play the role of a newly created ("embraced") vampire. However, you were created illegally. In vampire society there are very specific rules about creating new vampires. A vampire seeking to create another first needs the permission of their clan's elders to do so and usually a vampire who was created without authorization from the elders would be destroyed along with his sire (creator).
You're fortunate though - even though your sire was killed for his breach of the rules and by rights the same fate should befall you, a recent upheaval in the highest ranks of the vampire ruling class of Los Angeles has seen a new Prince (the vampire ruler of a given city) installed. The new Prince of Los Angeles could make use of a vampire like you and so you're spared your sire's fate. After all, you're young, naive, easily manipulated, entirely expendable and too weak to be a threat to him.
Or are you?
What do you do in Bloodlines anyway?
It's a safe assumption that you've played a first person shooter before although (somewhat regrettably) it's possible that not too many people reading this FAQ will have played a solid RPG.
It won't be a simple matter of getting your mission briefing and then shooting your way to the end of a level. Bloodlines requires the use of your wits as much as your crosshairs and left mouse button.
There's more than one way to skin a cat, and there's more than one way to play Bloodlines. You can choose to play one of seven different vampire clans in Bloodlines. Each has their own strengths and weaknesses and all are predisposed in one way or another to a certain style of gameplay.
Do you want to be a strong, shoot-first-ask-questions-later Brujah? A smooth talking Toreador? A sneaky Nosferatu? An intimidating Ventrue? Your choice of clan will affect a raft of things in the game including how NPC's react to you, your approach to different problems and what dialogue options you will have. For example a Toreador cornered in an alley by a bunch of enemy vampires will have an easier time talking his way out of a fight than a Brujah, but at least if you're a Brujah you'll be a lot better at kicking their asses.
You will also get to use your vampiric powers, called "Disciplines" to help you along the way. These include powers we're used to attributing to vampires like mesmerizing mortals, super-human speed and strength, drinking blood and also other more exotic things like seeing auras through walls, turning yourself invisible and even making people regurgitate their own blood. This game won't be for the faint of heart.
As you complete quests and gain experience points you can allocate them to improving aspects of your character. You can increase your firearms skill allowing you to use more powerful guns (and use them more effectively) or you could use them to improve your charisma and give you an edge in conversations by broadening your range of responses.
A role playing game is all about choices. Bloodlines takes the best of RPG and combines it with the best of FPS.
What are the different clans and what sets them apart?
If you would like more information on the playable clans you should take a look at the Clans section of the site.
What are these disciplines and what do they do?
Discplines are special vampiric powers. They have all sorts of different uses. Check out the Disciplines section to see what they're all about.
Is this your first FAQ?
Uh, yeah... does it show?
No, no... you're doing fine.
Honest, I like it.
Well, good. Remember if you have any suggestions for additions to this FAQ you can just email them to firstname.lastname@example.org