Mixed or average reviews - based on 52 Critic Reviews

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 19 out of 52
  2. Negative: 3 out of 52
  1. Jul 11, 2022
    An engaging experience to sink one’s teeth into, Swansong may have its faults, but it offers a blood-curdling plot and amazing characters that simply can’t be found anywhere else.
  2. May 23, 2022
    So despite starting this whole experience thinking I was finally getting my hands on Bloodlines 2, I am not disappointed with what I in fact do have. Swansong is an intriguing addition to the Vampire mythology and the new characters are interesting enough to make playing with them and learning their stories an engaging experience. There are a few little quirks (again, most notably the lip syncing, occasionally the movement looks a little stilted too)… but overall it’s an impressive package and should sate your hunger till you can dig your teeth into Bloodlines 2.
  3. May 18, 2022
    With its intricate and well-realized setting, engaging story, compelling characters, and well-implemented RPG mechanics, Vampire: The Masquerade – Swansong is a truly groundbreaking game that no fan of narrative-driven games should pass on. Some aspects could and should have been better, such as facial animations, but there is no denying that Big Bad Wolf has done a terrific job creating what is not only one of the best Vampire: The Masquerade games, but also one of the best narrative-driven games seen in recent years.
  4. May 23, 2022
    Vampire: The Masquerade - Swansong an intriguing experience that itches a certain scratch, but it's probably not for everyone. Those looking for something faster-paced are likely to feel that the exploration and dialogue are a bit slow for their liking, but players down for a just-hammy-enough supernatural soap opera that mirrors the tabletop game well will find a lot to love.
  5. May 18, 2022
    Swansong is this year's Forgotten City, a distinct narrative adventure that soars from the chances it takes. Player choice is front and center, and it’s nice to see these decisions turn into little games that carry significant narrative weight. Rarely have I played a game where I wanted to restart a scenario to undo bad decisions as I have here. Swansong makes you pay for your missteps and should be an excellent game for watercooler discussions with others who have played it.
  6. May 31, 2022
    If you’re looking for a bite to tide you over until Bloodlines 2 is released, or if you just want a good narrative game where you get to play as vampires, then Swansong might just be worth sinking your fangs into.
  7. May 19, 2022
    Detective work with three vampire protagonists is fun even without combat, as long as you can dodge the balance traps.
  8. May 19, 2022
    Vampire: The Masquerade – Swansong is a really engaging romp into the world of the masquerade. I really appreciate that it focuses on the less combat-oriented elements of the tabletop game, something almost every title in the franchise puts on the backburner. Some glitches and a relatively unimpressive presentation drag it down a little, but if you were looking for something focused more around politics and investigation instead of tearing people in two, Swansong is the game for you.
  9. May 18, 2022
    Is it actually fun to be a vampire? Let's find out together, in the latest attempt to export Vampire: The Masquerade to video games.
  10. May 18, 2022
    Vampire: The Masquerade - Swansong has some design and technical hiccups, but it offers a dark and compelling story that is told in a unique manner, where situations must be resolved through deduction and intelligence, and each choice puts the player further down the path to victory or defeat.
  11. May 18, 2022
    While the visuals and voice acting didn’t sell me, there was plenty else to sink my fangs into. Choices. So many different, split second choices that made me feel that what I did mattered. A story that kept me searching out clues to find what was really afoot, and great RPG elements too. I was a bit unsure how a game would handle three main characters, and while they’re all kinda jerks in their own ways, they’re my jerks. I was able to overlook any issues I had without having to sacrifice much to do so.
  12. May 18, 2022
    Big Bad Wolf’s spin on the world of Vampire is a complex, enthralling adventure let down by low-quality modeling and some frustratingly vague puzzles.
  13. May 18, 2022
    Vampire - The Masquerade: Swansong offers a deep RPG game and an engrossing story, with some well-designed puzzles along the way.
  14. May 18, 2022
    Vampire: The Masquerade - Swansong is a fantastic, yet very messy game. It lacks some desperately needed polish and refining, but the core is so fun and engaging you can put the problems to the side for a time. They’ll rear their head pretty frequently, but pushing past them is well worth the rewards.
  15. May 18, 2022
    If you're looking for a solid, story-driven adventure, then Vampire: The Masquerade - Swansong is a must-play in 2022, even if you haven't played the original.
  16. May 19, 2022
    A solid Narrative RPG, not without its flaws, but one that works unsurprisingly decently as a substitute amidst the scarcity of Vampire RPGs.
  17. May 18, 2022
    Vampire: The Masquerade - Swansong is a brilliant adaptation of the themes, the atmosphere and the mood of the homonymous pen and paper RPG. The alchemical mix between cinematic adventure and light RPG works great and Big Bad Wolf Studio gives a fresh take on the concept of “playing a role” in a video game. It’s a pity that technically wise the game sometimes doesn’t stand up to its own ambitions.
  18. Jun 14, 2022
    Despite the various flaws and stumbles, it does something few, if any, RPGs even attempt in its ambitious stab at creating a combat-free RPG. Its embrace of the deliciously edgy lore of the Vampire setting also lends an inimitable sense of flavor and style, even if the graphics don’t always do it justice. In the end, while the final experience is two courses short of being a banquet, it’s good eating for fans who are starving for vampire videogames.
  19. May 18, 2022
    If the teeming universe of Vampire: The Masquerade - Swansong is a tedious entry for newcomers, it does not become less exciting once mastered. Fans of the Big Bad Wolf studio will probably be delighted by the formula "The Council way World of Darkness"; Mean by that a system of dialogues of choice revisited by the controlled addition of RPG mechanics. Swansong unfolds a story consisting, sometimes too much, led by three protagonists with an impeccable style whose progression remains fairly linear.
  20. Jun 7, 2022
    Vampire: Swansong starts off by thrusting you right into a mystery that involves deceit, politics, and betrayal, and continues to unfurl through the course of levels that incorporate conversations, puzzles, and lots of exploration. Fans of Telltale and Hitman games will appreciate Swansong’s approach to discovery, but its lore-heavy storyline and questionable design choices can alienate others.
  21. May 22, 2022
    Vampire: The Masquerade – Swansong offers a fascinating story and great characters, but pixel hunting and insipid puzzles are really disappointing.
  22. May 20, 2022
    I think given its replay value and strong narrative foundation alone, this is an easy recommend from me. I just hope that Big Bad Wolf Studio eventually does go in and iron out the evident bugs in the game, both visual and otherwise. I also can’t wait for them to release more narrative games of this caliber. I genuinely think they are a breath of fresh air in an otherwise saturated market.
  23. May 18, 2022
    To be invited into such an exclusive circle in Swansong is a frankly riveting proposition—I can’t deny that there’s a thrill, verging on tabloid-level curiosity, in mingling with the distastefully powerful, uncovering their dirtiest secrets, and conniving with the Prince of Boston. But still the most intriguing bit about Swansong is to have all these politicking depicted as layers of conversations and sleuthing, which are exploits that are far more human than the game’s supernatural brethren would believe.
  24. May 18, 2022
    Vampire: The Masquerade - Swansong succeeds in making us feel in front of a board game, bringing all the mysteries, conspiracies and atmospheres of the World of Darkness. Unfortunately, the graphics slow down the enthusiasm, like a script that very often is not particularly exciting.
  25. May 18, 2022
    If you’re heavily interested in a vampire-fueled mystery game with some good “a-ha” moments, Vampire: The Masquerade – Swansong can deliver. It’ll falter and miss some notes here and there, but it does at least sate my thirst for some vampire storytelling for now.
  26. May 18, 2022
    Gripping supernatural subterfuge meets perfunctory mechanics. Worth it to explore the World of Darkness, though.
  27. May 18, 2022
    Swansong is a good investigative adventure dressed up in vampire finery, but doesn’t quite live up to my expectations due to some overly restrictive design and a disconnect between the third person perspective and the largely text and table top mechanics. Once some of the bugs are patched and there are resources available to support the build choices you make, there is a solid adventure to be found here. It’s not the new Bloodlines, but it’s an authentic Vampire: The Masquerade experience nonetheless.
  28. Sep 3, 2022
    Despite a myriad technical flaws, Swansong does have a well-crafted world (even though it pummels you with TMI at first), non-linearity, nice vibes and even an air of intrigue.
  29. May 30, 2022
    Vampire: The Masquerade Swansong is a narrative driven game that delivers an interesting plot, through the eyes of three totally different vampires. Sadly the game fails to fully commit to that story and stumbles along the way. While there are some memorable moments of joy and euphoria, there are as many moments that you'd rather just play something else. Many game mechanics work more against you rather than helping you, and on a technical level the game sometimes feels sluggish at best.
  30. May 27, 2022
    Vampire: The Masquerade – Swansong perfectly reflects the atmosphere of a tabletop RPG session set in the World of Darkness. Sadly, graphics and animations sometimes spoil the impression, certain gameplay mechanics are hard to master and I couldn’t complete some quests because of the bugs. It’s a shame, because the writers and the voice actors did a commendable job.
  31. May 23, 2022
    Despite some interesting situations and engaging puzzles, Vampire: The Masquerade Swansong fails to get off the ground, much less stick the landing. It’s slow and obtuse where it should be visceral and emotional. The writing is pedestrian and the characters are the dullest vampires imaginable. Whether or not they drink your blood, they definitely suck your ability to enjoy the game.
  32. May 18, 2022
    Vampire: The Masquerade - Swansong tells an incredible story, one the player can truly influence, but it falls short in many of the efforts to translate the World of Darkness into video game form. A must-play for fans of the universe, but fans of the narrative-driven RPG may find more frustration than enjoyment.
  33. May 19, 2022
    Vampire: The Masquerade – Swansong follows in the vein of narrative games like those of Telltale and Quantic Dream, but cannot reach the same level of quality. The narrative has a tendency to feel too linear and technically wise the game is far from impressive.
  34. Jul 1, 2022
    While the game’s narrative aspect is truly engaging, it’s difficult to appreciate all the dialogue options and plot twists with so many flaws that plague Vampire: The Masquerade – Swansong. With grotesque facial animations, clumsy exploration options, lots of bugs and a lacking introduction to the World of Darkness, Swansong is a game for die-hard fans who are tired of waiting for Bloodlines 2.
  35. Jun 25, 2022
    Vampire: The Masquerade -Swansong is a narrative-driven RPG that is faithful to the original “World of Darkness” cosmos. It is very engaging, with some brilliant ideas, especially in the dialog challenges, but fails, somehow short, due to its half-baked role-playing system that “punishes” the player’s character build decisions.
  36. Jun 15, 2022
    The characters move stiffly, the animations look like they are from a game from two generations ago, and there is little atmosphere or tension. The voice actors are either overacting or unintentionally soulless. And that's a shame for a game that consists mostly of dialogue. The game is clearly suffering from anemia, and we can only hope for a miraculous cure when ‘Bloodlines 2’ hits the market.
  37. May 28, 2022
    Vampire: The Masquerade – Swansong is not for everyone. Players who like strategic detective games will know how to make the most out of this game, but the lack of action or clear hints can quickly make the game feel long-winded or boring.
  38. May 26, 2022
    Moral murkiness helps preserve the tension across Swansong’s duration. There’s always something at stake – your life, the masquerade, your integrity – and that does a lot to infuse some meaning into all the talking and scouring rooms for notes. I doubt that Swansong is set to become a vampire RPG of legend, like 2004’s Bloodlines, but it nonetheless makes vampires scary again.
  39. May 19, 2022
    Overall, there's a lot here that fans of Vampire: The Masquerade are likely to love, and the wide expanse of skills and choices to make should add a fair amount of replayability to the story. However, newcomers to the franchise would do well to read up on the way the series works as a whole before getting started, especially if they lack experience with tabletop games and the way that experience is rewarded and utilized.
  40. May 18, 2022
    They are far too many structural and functional issues with Swansong, but if you like this vampiric license, the story will give you the strength to face them all.
  41. May 18, 2022
    Vampire: The Masquerade — Swansong can be a compelling experience, especially for those who are already familiar with the World of Darkness. Its RPG mechanics lend depth to an otherwise standard narrative adventure, as long as you can grasp their meaning. But wonky gameplay balance and even wonkier facial animations, not to mention some of the more overwritten and under-earned emotional beats, can make falling in love with its vampires harder to swallow than a mouthful of blood.
  42. May 18, 2022
    Vampire The Masquerade: Swansong, offers a deep gameplay, a rich universe and real consequences to our actions. Unfortunately, the game is counterbalanced by a sluggish pace and technical flaws.
  43. May 18, 2022
    Vampire: The Masquerade -- Swansong is an intricate narrative adventure game that can be too dense for its own good at times.
  44. May 26, 2022
    Vampire: The Masquerade - Swansong has grand ambitious, but its dated presentation, shallow gameplay and uninteresting story make for another disappointing outing from this brooding universe.
  45. May 18, 2022
    Those who enjoy this type of mystery game may like it, but I can’t see many going back, or bringing in new blood with this one, especially when Bloodlines is still around.
  46. May 20, 2022
    Long stretches of treading water and laborious conversations make for an extremely passive and not very fullfilling gameplay-experience...There might be a – well, moderately - beautiful swan hidden in this ugly duckling. However it only reveals itself to those, who are prepared to approach the title with lots of love and goodwill.
  47. May 19, 2022
    I truly wanted to love this game, and beneath the muddled surface lies the bare bones of an awesome detective RPG just begging to be let loose. Unfortunately, it looks like that skeleton will remain in the closet. Vampire: The Masquerade – Swansong is plagued by more than just the undead: its systems aren’t fun, puzzles are irritating, and the lack of depth seals the deal. I want to learn more about our protagonists, I want the story to be Criminal Minds but with vampires, however, it simply isn’t. Having waited so long for VTM to return triumphantly, Swansong is quite the letdown. For avid fans it’s a must, but if you’ve been brought here by Bloodhunt we’d suggest just sticking to that.
  48. May 18, 2022
    Vampire: The Masquerade – Swansong offers an impressively flexible story, but that can't save it from its mediocre writing and scattershot game design.
  49. May 18, 2022
    Vampire: The Masquerade – Swansong falls short of its ambitions as a story-focused detective RPG due to a dense but uninteresting plot, bland characters, and unintuitive puzzles.
  50. Edge Magazine
    Jun 16, 2022
    Too often feels like a predetermined narrative that's indifferent to your involvement. [Issue#373, p.114]
  51. Jun 10, 2022
    If you wish to see a game that does basically everything wrong, look no further. Its technical state is a mess, it will overwhelm you with information, the characters are bland. The only thing worth praising is the interesting dialogue system.
  52. May 20, 2022
    Swansong ultimately has little to recommend it. Its writing is stilted, its storytelling muddled, and its puzzle design is mostly unimaginative. Sadly, there isn't even any kind of worthwhile payoff if you do manage to see it through to its conclusion. I reached a point where I was thinking I'd hit the close of the second act, and then the game ended. Just like this.
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  1. Jun 16, 2022
    Swansong does not always perform at the same level. Its development is a roller coaster of moments lacking in rhythm and some well achieved, characterized mainly by a slow start and some tutorials that do not do their job wisely.
  2. May 18, 2022
    My relationship to Swansong has become almost like my ritual appointment with Passions — until I fully exhaust the entire story, I need my dose of ridiculous people making ridiculous decisions, and the nuclear fallout of their mistakes.
  3. As a whole, Swansong is a bit more loose and messy than I'd expected, but with some screws tightened the annoyances would be much less irritating and the game much more fun. It's almost really good as is. I had, I think, a middling run, where I got to enjoy the silly bits and interesting details, and didn't have too many tragic failures. I do want to play it again and try different choices, or make better decisions, but... I'm in the middle of a new TV show. And there's that book I've been reading, you know? And I need to put a wash on. I got attached to my three vamps, but not that attached.
User Score

Generally unfavorable reviews- based on 78 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 16 out of 78
  2. Negative: 56 out of 78
  1. May 20, 2022
    Another SJW (woke) propaganda game. Script is awful, facial animations are terrible and the characters are empty and inexpressive. PureAnother SJW (woke) propaganda game. Script is awful, facial animations are terrible and the characters are empty and inexpressive. Pure clichés and poor execution. Run away from this game. Full Review »
  2. May 21, 2022
    Extremely disappointing. I love Vampire The Masquerade and I was so excited to play this game, but unfortunately it didn't live up to my hopesExtremely disappointing. I love Vampire The Masquerade and I was so excited to play this game, but unfortunately it didn't live up to my hopes and expectations at all. It is simply bad. The voice acting is terrible, the graphics are dated, the story is disjointed and boring, and there's no combat whatsoever. To be clear I am ok with the lack of combat if the story is interesting and engaging. Disco Elysium is probably my favorite game from the last 10 years. But that game had an amazing story with meaningful decisions to be made. Disco Elysium kept you on your toes from beginning to end. That is not the case here. Anyway as if the game-play and story weren't bad enough, then you have to deal with all the force fed SJW BS on top of that. It's truly awful. Full Review »
  3. May 23, 2022
    I have no issues with perceived SJW problems, I don't care if most of the cast is female.

    What I do care about however is still very bad. I
    I have no issues with perceived SJW problems, I don't care if most of the cast is female.

    What I do care about however is still very bad. I was enthusiastic about this one as I am an avid WoD fan. I play the TTG and did play with everything that was available on PC before. I can see how people who have no prior knowledge of the lore could find it extremely confusing, to me this was not an issue either. Furthermore I love political intrigue, story driven games, a good mystery and I do not mind fixed characters.

    Why is it still 0 then? I usually don't fling it around, but I think this game is an absolute disgrace to the franchise. It had only ONE job to fulfil and it is worse than many indie entries I seen in decades. First off if you make a game based on social interaction you absolutely cannot make the characters ridiculously animated and portrayed. It takes away from the whole experience. If I say the graphics is a decade old I think I understated it. It looks something from the previous century. Now if it would have been done stylistically it could be forgiven, but unfortunately it is comically bad which takes a lot away from said ONE job it is supposed to do.

    Second the voice acting is passable at best, some important characters have very bad voice actors unfortunately. It doesn't help that the writing of the dialogues are mediocre at best.

    It's a shame and I think entries like this are a plague to the already suffering franchise. I know many people potentially put a lot of effort into this one and I feel sorry for all of them as this is not even a polished garbage in the end, but a harmful unpolished one. Whoever was responsible for this product to be released like this should be deeply ashamed.
    Full Review »