Vampire: The Masquerade - Bloodlines Image
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80

Generally favorable reviews - based on 61 Critics What's this?

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8.9

Generally favorable reviews- based on 774 Ratings

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  • Summary: Presenting Vampire: The Masquerade - Bloodlines, a visually stunning first-person role-playing adventure that combines intense first-person action with an open, non-linear world, rich character development and an immersive storyline. Built using Valve Source Technology - the same game enginePresenting Vampire: The Masquerade - Bloodlines, a visually stunning first-person role-playing adventure that combines intense first-person action with an open, non-linear world, rich character development and an immersive storyline. Built using Valve Source Technology - the same game engine technology used to power Half-Life 2, Vampire: The Masquerade - Bloodlines is based on White Wolf's pen-and-paper RPG series, and developed by renowned RPG developer - Troika Games. The game plunges players into the dark and gritty vampire underworld of modern day L.A. as a creature of the night, interacting with and battling mortals and other creatures of darkness with an incredible array of vampire powers, skills and traits. [Activision] Expand
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Vampire: The Masquerade - Bloodlines Official Trailer 3
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 51 out of 61
  2. Negative: 0 out of 61
  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. From downright creepy to challenging, Vampire: The Masquerade ' Bloodlines has an immersive story and maintains a foreboding tone throughout.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. PC Gamer
    77
    An engrossing story of urban vampirism, but with a touch of glitchy anemia. [Jan 2005, p.92]
  7. 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]

See all 61 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Negative: 7 out of 168
  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.
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  2. NikB.
    Jun 14, 2007
    10
    A wonderful well thought out game with plenty of atmosphere, wonderful characters, exploration, and adventure. The RPG elements make it very A wonderful well thought out game with plenty of atmosphere, wonderful characters, exploration, and adventure. The RPG elements make it very replayable. The downside is that it is known to not run on all systems, and the developers went under before they could finish patching it. The intro video looks like it was half finished when the game went on shelves. If you are lucky enough to have this run on your computer you are going to have one good time. Expand
  3. Jan 14, 2014
    10
    Out of all the games I have played this takes the cake for having the best world and atmosphere. Everywhere you go and everything you do inOut of all the games I have played this takes the cake for having the best world and atmosphere. Everywhere you go and everything you do in this game fits very well in its perfectly crafted world Expand
  4. MichaelR.
    Jun 26, 2008
    9
    One of the few games out there that has real re-play value. With the unofficial patch this game can finally be enjoyed rather than endured.
  5. Sep 24, 2015
    9
    It daunts me to give this game a high score, for it certainly got its share of problems. For one, it is buggy and therefore needs at least theIt daunts me to give this game a high score, for it certainly got its share of problems. For one, it is buggy and therefore needs at least the official patch to iron out most of the glaring faults and I would recommend the unofficial patch by Wesp5 to improve the experience to the level that a high score demands. In addition the game has some other problems such as pacing.

    The game has a fascinating background story. Vampires are obviously more powerful than humans, but dependent on them for blood and also in fear of them for humans have sheer numbers on their side. That is why pretense is essential. The pretense that there are no vampires, but also the pretense a vampire needs to uphold towards others in personal relations, for underneath skulks the beast that wants to get out and feed. Just like the vampires have to uphold the masquerade to survive, so they have to control the inner beast to be able to function in society. But ultimately a vampire needs to pretend just to get near its prey.

    The first half of the game is the strongest part. It is the part where you are introduced to vampire 'society', a world of darkness where you prey and are preyed upon. The 'society' is split in various factions that do not always see eye to eye and some are outright hostile, like the Sabbat. Some stress order, compliance and holding up the illusion that there is only humanity -the masquerade- like the Camarilla headed by 'prince' LaCroix who acts as if he is the de facto ruler of the city. Therefore revealing that you are a vampire will eventually get you killed. The Anarchs, headed by Nines Rodriguez, beg to disagree on the ruling part, while the Sabbat is almost the opposite of what the Camarilla stands for, maintaining that vampires are superior to humans and therefore should not skulk in the darkness but step out into the open to claim their position of dominant species.

    The world of darkness is a society filled with intrigue and backstabbing where you feel like you are being played, even by those that pretend to be your friends. Even within a faction there are groups with their own agendas. The Tremere for instance, the magic users among the vampires, support the Camarilla and the Masquerade, but have their own ideas on the best course of action .

    The game is very good in creating this dark atmosphere and without a doubt this is helped by the music in the game, both the background music and the gothic/metal tracks that you can hear at various places and which seem to reference the state of being of a vampire such as Isolated by Chiasm and Smaller God by Darling Violetta. In addition the background story, with its apocalypse-is-nigh theme, matches well with the dark mood of the game.

    There are, however, many faults. Most notably the latter part of the game turns into a dungeon crawler of sorts and the role play part takes a definite backseat. In addition the game never explains how you, being a mere fledgling vampire, can grow so powerful in such a short time as to whip the asses of the most powerful of vampires. But most of all the game violates the basic precept that the world of darkness is a world of illusion several times over, by having you openly fight out prolonged battles in the city instead of finding a more creative solution that would have fitted the mood better. I do not advocate a stealth game here, but at least a more fitting solution could have been found(tricking one faction to off another for instance).
    The latter half therefore feels like it was rushed.

    Despite the weaker second half, the many bugs, and the inherent faults, this game keeps me fascinated. I played it several times as the game has various endings and some quests can be solved in different ways. The clans gives you different abilities allowing for different play styles from stealthy to openly brutal.

    If it had been a more finished product and kept to the theme it would have earned a higher score. Still one of my all time favorite games.
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  6. K
    Jan 6, 2005
    9
    A very atmospheric RPG which, sadly, has an unfinished feel to it.
  7. Jul 27, 2013
    0
    The bugs ruined this for me. Far too much time spent trying to chase down fixes and implementing them rather than time spent on the gameThe bugs ruined this for me. Far too much time spent trying to chase down fixes and implementing them rather than time spent on the game itself. Enough of that and it's more tempting to go load up another game instead. Expand

See all 168 User Reviews