Vampire: The Masquerade - Bloodlines PC

Metascore
80

Generally favorable reviews - based on 61 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 51 out of 61
  2. Negative: 0 out of 61
Buy On
  1. But if it's so splendid, what's wrong with it? The main problem is that V:TBM is completely ridden with bugs. From minor things (graphic glitches) to mid-range stuff (regular frame-rate problems) to absolutely shocking ones (bugs that stops your progress, crash-bugs), it's infested. [GamesMaster]
  2. A fun game that takes a while to fully complete, one filled with conspiracies in the world of vampires, tales of Gehenna, the vampire apocalypse, mysterious plots, and more. On the other, we've got serious problems that incredibly interrupt the gameplay, long and frequent loading times, and mechanical errors that make me want to cry.
  3. Easy to sum up: Game isn't finished.
  4. From a purely objective standpoint, the poor use of the Source engine's capabilities makes for a disappointing offering. Speaking subjectively, I've enjoyed Bloodlines more than any other RPG since "Knights of the Old Republic" or perhaps "Morrowind."
  5. GMR Magazine
    70
    While the action might not be outstanding, the game world itself is. [Feb 2005, p.98]
  6. This isn’t the game you’re looking for unless you are Vampire: The Masquerade obsessed or just completely strung out on buggy RPGs. There’s a lot of nice elements hiding under the hideously overwrought surface, but it’s hard to say that they’re worth digging for.
  7. netjak
    65
    It had the best story in a game in a long time and an incredible voice acting effort. Unfortunately, the worst engine coding I’ve seen in a long time, along with simple quality control issues, bog it down.
  8. The ideas and situations in Bloodlines are so rich they deserve more than just being abstracted into an unwieldy numerical system that can only roughly approximate the nuance of a world so vivid.
  9. Visually, the game is awe-inspiring.
  10. Edge Magazine
    60
    It remains compelling, but much of that compulsion is in expecting the game to truly deliver - a moment you'll likely still be awaiting at the anticlimactic conclusion. [Jan 2005, p.89]
User Score
9.0

Universal acclaim- based on 609 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Negative: 6 out of 149
  1. Jan 1, 2011
    10
    The stronger points of the game are that it has a fantastically dark atmosphere, believable and often intense characters (something which alotThe stronger points of the game are that it has a fantastically dark atmosphere, believable and often intense characters (something which alot of games lack), and a solid storyline that does the game justice. Also, you choose at the beginning which bloodline (faction) you are part of, which will directly affect your relationships with the characters in-game, offering variation and replayablility, if you don't mind already knowing the storyline the second time through. Finally, the level design is very well done, giving varied and interesting locations that will keep your interest, no rampant cookie-cutter design here.

    On the down side, it is a dated game, having been released in 2004, so you will probably only get the most out of it if you don't mind the avatars looking a bit blocky compared to what you might be used to. I'm sure it was 'fairly' close to cutting edge graphics in 2004, but if you can look past it, the game will suck you in and you won't notice.

    It was mentioned that the game doesn't feel finished by one reviewer, and while I disagree, I can see why that might come up. The game is completely set at night, so far as I can remember, so you won't get the bustling city feel that daytime would bring, and also it doesn't have a huge amount of side quests that seem to pack into games these days (to cover up lack of original content), but there is plenty to keep you occupied.. you won't get bored.

    Also, apparently the game was quite buggy at release. I'd used the official patch when I played it, and didn't come across any problems. I certainly didn't come close to checking on forums, as one or two others had, but everyone plays a game differently, and it's becoming standard practice to check forums rather than think a problem through, or work around it. Regardless, apparently the unofficial patch made by fans is the best, from what I gather.

    Overall I greatly enjoyed the game and thought it to be underrated, definately a pleasant surprise. At no point did I get bored, even though there are many areas, nor did I question whether I'd see it through to the end, unlike quite a few games which get churned out. The storyline was interesting, and I found myself carefully watching the behaviour of all the characters, not quite sure who to trust, as it should be in a vampire underworld. The hotel level was especially spooky, I might add ;) good job on that. I only wish that there was a sequel.
    Full Review »
  2. Dec 26, 2011
    10
    For roleplaying translated to video gaming, Vampire Bloodlines appeals like no other game out there.

    I start with its one flaw. When it
    For roleplaying translated to video gaming, Vampire Bloodlines appeals like no other game out there.

    I start with its one flaw. When it first came out reviewers more or less panned it because of its bugs which made it unplayable for many. I personally never experienced any bugs that destroyed my gameplay experience, but no doubt, it had a few glitches that forced me to save frequently to be on the safe side and be a little patient with it, like a wild animal - wondrous but unpredictable. That said, there are many free user-created patches which solve this problem, easy to install and find. I found them almost ten years ago, well-before I started using mods.

    But why bother with Bloodlines if there are other newer games with professional support? Well, there is still no game out there that captures horror cyberpunk in video gaming so well. It matches Deus Ex for crafty grit and conspiracy. It horrifies while pulling you in. Several stories play with zombie survival, even subtly introducing a George Romero-style character. Other stories feel more like the movie Session 9. Most stories, though, put you in the shoes of a capable investigator who's in way over his head - think Blade Runner, with less cyborg and more vampire. You rifle through drawers, question strange personalities, occasionally run for your life, sneak down hallways, fight notorious killers, meet a variety of damsels in distress which put Witcher to shame, and maneuver between gritty Chinatown Tong. There's simply enough style to cover 5 games and yet they cohesively run together to present you with "the World of Darkness."

    Aside from the stories and mood, the music supports the general atmosphere (with all its turns) with songs from artists like Collide, Massive Attack, Chiasm, and Rob Zombie, as well as some more ambient tracks. Bloodlines immerses, if nothing else. But what about the gameplay ask modern players?

    It's well-conceived but nothing spectacular. It will feel much like Deus Ex yet again, but with the graphics those fans wished for. True, by today's standards of fps, Bloodlines doesn't amaze. There are relatively few gun choices, relatively simple combat effects, and you don't get a ton of fancy moves or smooth-as-butter controls. What it gives up in combat play it makes up for in choices and character build: just like its runner up in rpgs, Deus Ex. Comparisons here are unavoidable since the controls can seem a little clunky compared to modern games, but the variety of choices balances this. Few games offer such variety in character building though, except for maybe Fallout 3. And few games emphasize those skills as well through multiple routes to solve almost any confrontation. One might sneak past guards, persuade them to allow you to pass, seduce them with a wink, intimidate with the help of some vampire glamour, find a back entrance and pick the lock, go in guns blazing, or even charge in with a katana like Musashi himself. There really, really, is no game out there that rewards attention to character creation like this. Between the quest options, the clan choices in character creation, the character build choices, and your influence on factions, possibilities are endless. It is literally the only rpg or fps Iâ
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  3. May 3, 2013
    10
    True to it's reputation, one of the best true RPG games ever. From an RPG perspective, an absolutely perfect experience. Perhaps the nicestTrue to it's reputation, one of the best true RPG games ever. From an RPG perspective, an absolutely perfect experience. Perhaps the nicest thing was that this is an RPG that is actually something other than sword&sorcery or cyberpunk. Based firmly in the well-established pen and paper game, which guarantees rich background and tried and tested game mechanics. Darkness, corruption, huge depth and variety. Side quests galore. I actually snuck hours of game time in my office I was so sucked into this game!

    Get the community patch

    Cons; a dated graphics engine.
    Full Review »