Cult classic Vampire: the Masquerade– Bloodlines is getting a sequel. The 2004 roleplaying game left a lasting impression on roleplaying fans despite some clumsy gameplay. I spent time with the folks at Paradox Interactive and developer Hardsuit Labs to ask questions and see the game in action. It captures much of the original’s mysterious mood, with some modern flourishes.
Publisher Paradox Interactive purchased White Wolf Publishing’s assets in 2015, including the World of Darkness setting which Vampire the Masquerade is set in. The team at Hardsuit Labs has been working on a proper sequel (or, as they call it a “true descendant”) of the cult classic. Vampire: The Masquerade - Bloodlines 2 is awash with vampiric intrigue and blood and appears to live up to its pedigree.
Set in Seattle, Bloodlines 2 focuses on an event called the “Mass Embrace,” a bloody night where countless fledgling vampires were created. The player character is among the new vampires born from this event. Siring a new vampire without approval is a big no-no in the World of Darkness setting, and the player—like in the first game— is brought before a court of prominent vampires to recount what they remember of the Mass Embrace before being executed. Luckily, the court is firebombed before that can happen and the player is thrust into Seattle to find out who is responsible while also learning the ropes as a fresh-faced vampire.