I’m not a religious man by any means, but I think we got concrete proof of the existence of God today when Vampire: The Masquerade - Bloodlines 2 was announced by Paradox Interactive.
In development at Hardsuit Labs, they’re a relatively unknown studio whose only product to date is the free-to-play Blacklight: Retribution. We’ve all got to start somewhere though, and what better place to prove their worth than a Vampire Bloodlines sequel.
True to form, Vampire: The Masquerade - Bloodlines 2 will be a first-person RPG with character customisation and choice as its absolute principles. Fast-paced melee combat will blend with stealthy play, an intriguing conspiracy, and a war between competing alliances over Seattle’s blood trade.
People oddly averse to all things political in their games may want to give this one a wide berth though, centering as it does on political intrigue, with the developer saying “It’s definitely taking political stances on what we think are right and wrong.” Some of the issues tackled will be the cost of technological progress, as well as the political motivations of each of Seattle’s competing factions. It’s got all the makings of a fascinating tale, and one where player choice will be key.
Predictably, the Steam forums are already popping off with people who must've never played an RPG; the original Bloodlines; the tabletop game; engaged with vampire literature, or dealt with any sort of morality systems.
“Fans of the original Bloodlines have been hungry for a sequel for a long time, and we began to hear those suggestions -- well, demands -- as soon as we began to work with the World of Darkness,” said Ebba Ljungerud, CEO of Paradox Interactive. “We all understood what this opportunity could mean, but it was essential for both us and for Hardsuit Labs that any sequel should be done properly; a true successor guided by the people who knew what made the original so special. Keeping this game a secret for the last few years has been quite the Masquerade for us! It’s both exciting and relieving to finally let everybody know what we have in store for them.”
And look, I know it’s only March, but I’m going out on a limb here and claiming this is the best announcement of 2019. Who’d have thought we’d actually get a Bloodlines sequel after all these years.
Vampire: The Masquerade - Bloodlines 2 is coming to PC (Steam, GOG, Epic Store, Paradox Store), PlayStation 4 and Xbox One in Q1 2020. It’ll be $59.99 for the standard edition and $89.99 for the Blood Moon Edition with Season of the Wolf season pass. Sadly Paradox has trod a dark path and is offering 24-hour early access to anyone who gets the Premium Edition. Not nice to see but forgivable when they’ve brought a franchise like this back from the dead.