The main questline will follow the mystery of who it was that turned you, as well as seven others, and why. An early phone call brings in another mystery, a woman who appears to help you, though exactly who she is and why she is helping will have to be solved over the course of the campaign. Like many of its ilk, the perspective in Bloodlines 2 is always first person, save for a few climbing animations where a third person camera is used briefly to show you ascending a wall or special combat animations.
Before you are free to roam the world you have to undergo some exposition on the rules of the masquerade, essentially keeping the existence of vampires secret. Once that is done you are able to freely explore and interact with the world and watch it react to you. A mugging can be stopped and you’re allowed to consume or spare the victim. Feed on someone in the open and cops will rapidly descend on you. Frequently breaking the masquerade will gain the attention of higher vampires who will see you as a liability and take the necessary steps to put you down, so tread lightly when not in back alleys or enclosed spaces.
Much has changed in the fifteen years since Vampire: The Masquerade – Bloodlines released. Just as the game acknowledges that everyone is carrying an internet-connected camera nowadays, making it harder than ever to stay hidden, developer Hardsuit also acknowledges the decline of expensive immersive sim RPGs. Prey, Dishonored, Dues Ex, and Underworld Ascendant aren’t exactly topping the sales charts.
That doesn’t matter to Hardsuit, whose love of RPGs as well as Bloodlines meant they approached Paradox with a pitch that was make or break for them, as they had invested a lot into the project. “We had not actually asked for submissions, we had not asked for pitches,” stressed Florian Schwarzer, a Senior Product Manager at Paradox Interactive, “It is very rare that a studio, independent studio, takes a risk going to a publisher with a pitch that hasn’t been requested that can only be pitched to one publisher.”