Vampire: The Masquerade has been a huge part of my life since White Wolf released this World of Darkness in a Table Top Role Playing Game back in 1991. Ever since then, I have been a huge fan and supporter of this intellectual property. I have played every version of the game that has been made available to us in the United States and although some versions have been a letdown, overall I’m still happy with the adventure that I have been on.
When I realized that developer Big Bad Wolf Studio and publishers Nacon and BIGBEN INTERACTIVE were releasing a new game, I have to say that I was more than chomping at the bit for the chance to jump headfirst into this new storyline.
I will admit that at first, I was skeptical, to say the least about the development of the game and how it was brought forth for story content. However, I kept my fears in check and wanted to see what the final product would produce. In Vampire: The Masquerade: Swansong you are not playing in the MMORPG world as in other games.
The new Prince of the Boston Camarilla, Hazel Iversen, aims to exert her control and respect within the Masquerade. This is the vampiric code that all vampires are forced to follow in order to keep humans unaware of the existence of these creatures of the night. However, as the story begins, you quickly realize nothing is going as planned. Rumors of conspiracies, then the murders, followed quickly by power struggles within the Camarilla, mean that you must work in the shadows to defend your Clan in a hurling investigation causing mayhem in Boston.
You play as one of the three-hundred-year-old vampires trying to make your way through the game not just to solve the issue at hand but prevent your Clan from being caught up in more trouble than it should. Before it not only cost your clan everything but more importantly, your permanent death as well. The three vampires that you get the privilege of swimming in these muddied waters are Galeb, of Clan Ventrue; Emem of Clan Toreador; and Leysha of Clan Malkavian.
The story opens with a shooting in Boston of very influential people that were part of a Vampire hush-hush party. As one of the three playable characters, you have to examine conspiracies that are linked to this shooting. Most importantly, you’ll have to find out who authorized the attack on the humans that know about you and why.
Like other role-playing games, you will get a chance to unlock more potential with your three characters. These will help you further in the game and will be added to your character sheet. You will be able to try to bend conversations to your gain, by using your vampire skills.
For example, Emem, a Toreador vampire, will try to use her womanly charm to get someone to talk, or reveal something extra in conversations. Also, you’ll get to learn useful things such as picking locks and hacking computer terminals. Now all these skills come at a cost, and since humans frequently surround your characters, you have to be very cautious when using supernatural talents.
Now honestly, you can’t have a Vampire: The Masquerade game if you couldn’t show off your special vampiric abilities, or in the game, they are called Disciplines. But, you must know that doing so will also increase your Hunger Gauge. Naturally, if your Hunger Gauge becomes too high, you’ll need to feed on human NPCs to remain hidden in your human form.
Needless to say, I may have had to restart a bunch of times for Vamping out and ruining my investigation, and needless to say, became a person running from a blood hunt where other vampires hunted me for breaking the code.
Vampire: The Masquerade: Swansong has amazing graphics when I wasn’t encountering glitches. The visual effects overall were fantastic, but I was playing on super high graphics and I have seen the game had to catch up to me a lot. There was glitching with character renderings and pixelation from time to time. It was becoming a nuisance, but I still played on and ignored it for the most part. The music in the game was great, it gave me the same feeling as when I was playing other vampire games from tabletop to console or other pc games. It was a great thing.
Without giving anything away, the game has an amazing story. I do wish though that it had a lot more action. To me, this game felt more along the lines of a Telltale game rather than a Vampire: The Masquerade game. Now that does not mean in any way that this is a bad game. It kept me entertained and I wanted to see where this was all going. The ending was surprising for the most part and I’m seeing where they can go from here with a new game. Maybe using some other clans to see the world through their eyes, a Brujah or an Assamite would be great to play.
Vampire: The Masquerade – Swansong will be available for PC from Epic Games Store, Microsoft Windows, Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, Xbox One, and Xbox Series X/S on May 19th, 2022 for $59.99.