Generally favorable reviews - based on 61 Critic Reviews

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 51 out of 61
  2. Negative: 0 out of 61
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  1. The use of the Source engine gave Troika the ability to use their talents on fleshing out the incredible storyline and remarkable atmosphere.
  2. The amount of choices you have to "do it your own way' are impressive. Things get even more open when you learn the art of intimidation, persuasion, seduction or domination.
  3. With a comprehensive RPG structure, exciting action elements, and an engrossing story rich with gothic flavor, Vampire: The Masquerade - Bloodlines is one of the best PC games of 2004. You're going to love the original characters and the quality dialogue and how it all comes together in one of the best narratives of our time.
  4. 92
    Bloodlines manages to deliver an enjoyable RPG experience, while at the same time providing high-quality visuals, excellent audio, and a truly fantastic story. If it hadn't been for the bugs, this game would have been one of my favorite RPGs of all time.
  5. It's an absolutely beautiful game and really sucks you right into the world. I don't know that I've been as immersed in an RPG since "Knights of the Old Republic."
  6. Yes, Troika has delivered an action-RPG that's on par with the System Shock or Deus Ex while delving into a unique and compelling setting.
  7. The game has a great fun feel too it, from little quirks like an arcade filled with Activision classics such as Pitfall, Call of Duty and River Raid, to a school girl outfit wearing nymphomaniac vampire and her power hungry business woman sister who continually fight and bicker; moronic ghouls (vampires grunts), cheating doctors that you can blackmail for some easy cash.
  8. From downright creepy to challenging, Vampire: The Masquerade ' Bloodlines has an immersive story and maintains a foreboding tone throughout.
  9. With the chance to play a myriad of characters in many different ways, this is my favorite RPG of the year.
  10. AceGamez
    Whoever wrote the music for Bloodlines deserves a solid pat on the back; the creepy music really adds to the ambiance of the game and the action music is just great for drinking blood to.
  11. The roller-skate movement and shooting are poor, but the adventures and melee fighting are lots of fun.
  12. 88
    A game that has one of the strongest single-player campaigns to ever appear in an RPG and it possesses a world so lush that you will literally want to sink your teeth into it.
  13. Had the melee combat been more refined, the engine used to its full capabilities and the niggles ironed out, then you'd be looking at perhaps the finest RPG of all time. As it is, it'll have to make do with the accolade of being one of the deepest, most engrossing and entertaining PC games of 2004. [PC Zone]
  14. A fantastically cool game for the people that love a good mix of FPS action and RPG adventure. The game has a good story-driven flow to it that is fueled by the gothic themes usually associated with the vampire stigma.
  15. If the combat were handled a little better, then Bloodlines would be a real RPG benchmark. As it stands, the battles will prove a bit frustrating to both RPG and action gamers.
  16. If you were disappointed with the recent FPS titles and their somewhat lackluster plot and linear storylines, then you will probably find Bloodlines to be a refreshing change, however on the other hand, a few technical and design issues let it down.
  17. It more than makes up for the mediocrity of the first Vampire PC game, and will satisfy even the most diehard bloodsucker.
  18. 85
    Sure, it has its minor problems that any big game with new technology has, but the overall play is simply fantastic. I sweat in the fights. I get anxious when I am hiding from the police, and I actually feel some fear when my life is in danger.
  19. 85
    Perhaps one of the deepest and most satisfying games I've played to date. Unfortunately, it is also perhaps the most bug infested final release I've played to date; not a good combination.
  20. To put it bluntly, the game is also riddled with bugs.
  21. 84
    Unfortunately, the AI has the intelligence of a doorknob sometimes, which keeps the shine off an otherwise delightful and multilayered experience.
  22. It's easily the best single player PC RPG this year with one of the most engaging atmospheres you will find in any game.
  23. An above average bit of RPG goodness, with some added mechanics, and all of it's served up in a very eye-catching package.
  24. So close to brilliance - but, again let down by premature release. [Jan 2005, p.82]
  25. I applaud and congratulate the writers and wholeheartedly recommend this title to those of you who can look past its many technical drawbacks to see the game for what it truly is - probably one of the most mature titles (in EVERY sense of the word) I've played in a long, long- long time.
  26. As a whole, Bloodlines is, even with its faults, a very high quality product. The game world is well presented, and is immersive to the degree that you could easily lose yourself in it for hours at a time and not even notice.
  27. 80
    In many ways, Bloodlines' open-ended approach, combat system, and dialogue options make it feel a lot more like a successor to action-RPG classic "Deus Ex" than the recent sequel did.
  28. 80
    While having its quirks and love-it-or-hate-it cliched nihilism, it's a game well worth checking out, especially for anyone who sucks up Vampire action movie flicks.
  29. 80
    If you go in with the idea that Bloodlines is a hybrid FPS / RPG, you're going to be dramatically disappointed. On the other hand, if you're looking for one of the best role-playing game experiences of this year, then you should really look into Vampire: The Masquerade - Bloodlines.
  30. Those with an interest in White Wolf's property may find that it remains truer to its inspiration than the first game, and as an example of the action RPG sub genre it's definitely one of the finer titles to emerge in recent years.
  31. A great RPG with wonderful stories, incredible looks and the ability to plunge players deeply into the dark, twisted world of Vampire the Masquerade. Aside from the unfair yet expected side-by-side comparison with Half-Life 2, Bloodlines is a beautiful game that is as mesmerizing as Dracula's eyes.
  32. We personally would have liked to have seen a little more thought and attention paid to the concept of Vampires instead of relying on RPG decrees.
  33. A couple of minor complaints mar this otherwise exceptional role player. Control issues, with the mouse stuttering and movement sticking, can be a little frustrating, while the game world doesn't feel quite as epic as we'd like.
  34. Presents a strong sense of immersiveness, using Source - the same graphics engine that powers "Half-Life 2" - and an incredible dynamic conversation engine.
  35. One suspects that Bloodlines was rushed out the door to catch some Christmas sales; if so, that is a shame, since a few more months could have taken this game from excellent to immortal.
  36. Computer Gaming World
    Where Bloodlines really shines is in the world it creates, a nightmarish hell lurking just beneath the seedy surface of nighttime Los Angeles. [Feb 2005, p.82]
  37. Computer Games Magazine
    A sampler of many of the greatest game genres all in one, wrapped neatly with an RPG bow on top. [Feb 2005, p.64]
  38. 80
    A fantastic RPG plagued by bugs and errors that point to either a rushed job or sloppy coding. The deep role-playing system is a successful translation of the pen-and-paper game it’s based on, and that’s no small feat.
    A fascinating but flawed game.
  40. Pelit (Finland)
    Understands the cunning basics of its source material, but needs a more dramatic and engaging story. It also focuses too much on fighting especially towards the end. Unfortunately, the fighting system is a joke and the game is very, very buggy. You cannot even finish it without resorting to console commands. [Jan. 05]
  41. If you are a person who can't stand long load times, bugs and choppy graphics then avoid this game like the plague. But on the flipside, if you are a person who doesn't want to miss out on arguably one of the greatest RPGs to hit the market this year, then get out there and pick up a copy of the game.
  42. A clunky combat system and too many immersion-breaking design oddities mar an otherwise excellent RPG adventure.
  43. An atmospheric role-playing game with a rich setting--though it's one beset with a clumsy combat system and some noticeable bugs. That's unfortunate, since the game clearly could have been better had its rough edges been ironed out.
  44. If you are approaching Bloodlines expecting a FPS with vampires in it, you won't like the title. The rest of the gaming populace, especially those who loved "Dues Ex" and its style of gameplay, will find Bloodlines to be an intriguing RPG based on the established pen-and-paper game and containing some of the more original aspects seen in an RPG this year.
  45. PC Gamer
    An engrossing story of urban vampirism, but with a touch of glitchy anemia. [Jan 2005, p.92]
  46. A fine RPG with many positive qualities, but it could've been a much better game. Despite the bugs, stability issues and at times clumsy game play, Bloodlines' World of Darkness is one of intriguing plot and atmospheric intensity that you'll enjoy being sucked into.
  47. Game Informer
    Some people will surely love this game, but I feel that it'll be a much better time for adventure and RPG types than action fans. [Jan 2005, p.139]
  48. Where the developers chose to, they pulled off a great first-person RPG complete with sneaking, combat, dialogue, an interesting story and of course role-playing elements... On the other hand, its combat is not that strong and yet for some reason someone at Troika or Activision saw fit to include multiple prolonged sequences of it. Furthermore, the balance of the game is really thrown off by those fights.
  49. There aren't enough words to describe my disappointment regarding Vampire the Masquerade: Bloodlines. I honestly can't understand how Activision could release such a poorly optimized and unfinished game on the market.
  50. 75
    There's an attractive richness in celebrating their dark world, and the game creates a microcosm filled with devious and strange characters. The story and action work together to create a decent enough package, but neither would be strong enough to stand on their own. Still, it's good to be a vamp.
  51. Play Magazine
    It pulls you along with unwavering RPG depth through the mire of unfortunate execution blunders and it succeeds, despite itself. [Jan 2005, p.78]
  52. 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]
  53. 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.
  54. Easy to sum up: Game isn't finished.
  55. 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."
  56. GMR Magazine
    While the action might not be outstanding, the game world itself is. [Feb 2005, p.98]
  57. 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.
  58. netjak
    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.
  59. 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.
  60. Visually, the game is awe-inspiring.
  61. Edge Magazine
    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

Generally favorable reviews- based on 1030 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Jan 1, 2011
    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
    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
    Full Review »
  3. Apr 8, 2011
    An excellent vampire RPG. Its dark, gripping and often humorous setting makes it the perfect palate cleanser for those of you foolish enoughAn excellent vampire RPG. Its dark, gripping and often humorous setting makes it the perfect palate cleanser for those of you foolish enough to watch Twilight . Just remember to download the unofficial patch, otherwise, the game is almost unplayable. Full Review »