Back in 2004, a game called Vampire: The Masquerade – Bloodlines was considered one of the best games to hit shelves that year. It arriving close to the release of Valve’s fantastic Half-Life 2 game meant that it wasn’t a commercial success, though.
Bloodlines nonetheless became something of a cult classic, and is considered by many to be one of the best role-playing games ever made. And it also features plenty of first-person combat to boot too…
So it makes sense that fans were ecstatic when a sequel to the action RPG was announced back in 2019, even if said sequel seemed to have been stuck in development hell.
You see, the original developer behind the game (Hardsuit Labs) was removed from the project by publisher Paradox Interactive, who brought in UK developer The Chinese Room to finish the job. The latter has now revealed a release date for the game, with Vampire: The Masquerade – Bloodlines 2 slated to arrive in fall 2024, twenty years after the original game hit shelves.
Like its predecessor, Bloodlines 2 will be set in a modern-day American city (Seattle instead of L.A. this time as seen in the trailer below) and shares the same “World of Darkness” setting as its predecessor, offering a story involving vampires and vampire clans vying for power in an urban jungle.
And although the original version of Bloodlines 2 (which studio Hardsuit Labs was working on) was cancelled the team at The Chinese Room is reusing “a significant amount of art and level design” according to project lead Alex Skidmore. Nonetheless, this will have a different code base, while the RPG systems and gameplay mechanics will be different too.
Also, this will be different to the original Vampire: The Masquerade – Bloodlines game when it comes to the game’s protagonist, who will be an Elder vampire this time.
“We’re not doing what Bloodlines 1 did, which is a traditional RPG game start: the very first day you’re a vampire. The actual character you are has been a vampire for quite a while. And that was to create something different from Bloodlines to give a different experience”, said Skidmore in an interview with PC Gamer (via Polygon).
It remains to be seen, though, whether The Chinese Room can deliver the same exciting mix of role-playing and action that the original game offered. The studio, which is known for “exploration” games like Dear Esther and the award-winning Everybody’s Gone to Rapture, does not seem like the ideal match for a game like Bloodlines, but hopefully they will surprise fans of the classic vampire game when Vampire: The Masquerade – Bloodlines 2 hits shelves next year.