Vampire The Masquerade: Bloodlines should be enough to keep any RPG fun completely addicted, as well as any newcomer to the genre.
In Vampire The Masquerade: Bloodlines you play as a fledgling. A fledgling is a vampire turned very recently that is trying to climb the ladder of prestige. To do so, the player must perform numerous quests, from slaying demons, to saving innocents or finding special items/documents.
As soon as you start the game, you're given the option to create a character. This character cannot be changed after being submitted. You can choose from a handful of clans, each with its weakness and strengths. For instance, the clan Nosferatu has a terrible appearance feat (meaning the player won't be able to walk in the upper part of the city, will have to use the sewers) or the fighting clan Granjel, which has extra fighting feats, such has increased strength, but will frenzy more often. (Frenzy means the beast has control of your character. You cannot control your character, but while frenzied, your character has brutal strength).
So, chose your clan and you are taken to the attributes screen. There, you will be able to spend initial experience points. Experienced points are only earned by completing quests. You use them to grow the feats of your character - from manipulation and haggle, to dexterity and seduce feats. Each feat has its use. For instance, the finance feat allows you to buy weapons and alike at a lower price. The seduce feat (as well as the manipulation and charisma feats), if high enough (depending on who you are talking to) provide special dialog options, which can avoid useless bloodshed.
On the same screen you will also find disciplines. Disciplines are used for certain means. For instance, you can use the blood healing discipline to recover health. You can use Potency to increase damage, or celerity to slow down time around you. Disciplines cost blood and spending XP on them increases the duration time (or Potency), as well as reduces the blood cost. Your character will have to main life bars: Blood and Health. Blood is used for disciplines and required for auto-healing. Blood is replenished by the ue of blood packs or by feeding. Health represents your HP. Have it all reduced and it's game over for you. Health is recovered automatically, with the use of blood-packs and by feeding.
That being said, and you’re off to the skirts of Santa Monica, the starter town. I won’t go deep on details, specially because I am running out of space, but you will travel to at least 4 beautiful detailed cities (e.g. Santa Monica, Hollywood, Chinatown), meet numerous NPCS, each with its own unique personality and perform numerous tasks for them, but most of the time, you will perform tasks for, what one could say, your boss: LaCroix. As soon as you are turned into a vampire, you are captured by his men and the vampire who turned you is immediately slaughtered. Why? He broke the Masquerade. (The Masquerade is the veil that hides vampires from humanity. All vampires must keep their unnatural abilities and habits hidden from human eyes. If you lose all 5 Masquerade points it's game over. You can gain Masquerade Redemptions by finishing certain quests.) However, LaCroix, out of his generosity, decided to let you life, in exchange for you being his servant, or one might say, peasant.
Also, Get out there and kill too many humans and it’s game over for you. Why? You lose humanity. Humanity represents how far you are from being taken by the “beast”. The lower your humanity, the more often you’ll enter the frenzy status.
I think I’ve left everyone with at least one bit of curiosity. I'd like to finish by saying throughout the game, during dialogs, you can chose between numerous responses with affects how the games ends, as well as how many quests you have access to and how many XP you gain (and Redemption/Humanity gains/losses). The only con on this game is probably the combat system, mainly because of the limited fighting options and the insane enemy NPC ability. (which gives your opponents major advantages)
With adequate to amazing detailed graphics (with mods), amazing depth and gameplay, adequate sound effects and good replay value, I consider this RPG to be beyond great.
Replay Value: 8/10
--»P.S. Don't miss the released patches and mods which feature numerous game fixes, as well as new quests.«--