The original Vampire: The Masquerade - Bloodlines was released 15 years ago. On top of an absolute mouthful of a title, it was one of the best RPGs of its time, a memorable, heady mix of vampires and Los Angeles crime. It was also the epitome of a cult classic, which is to say it reviewed well but sold poorly. So it's both a massive surprise and a welcome one that Vampire: The Masquerade - Bloodlines 2, a full-fat, also-a-mouthful sequel, was announced at GDC last night. It's real, folks, and it's scheduled to release in early 2020 for PS4, Xbox One, and PC.
Bloodlines 2 will take the series to a new city, Seattle, and expand upon the vampire society that made the first game great. You play as a young vampire who was forcibly turned as part of a taboo "Mass Embrace," and who must now learn to navigate a bloody political landscape.
"As one of the few free agents in town, you will choose a side and play an important role in the factional war to control the blood trade," the game's official website reads. "But can your allies answer why you were made, who’s pulling the strings, and who your real enemies are? Or will you be more concerned with what you can do to get ahead among the vampire elite? The choice is yours."
"Seattle has always been run by vampires," Bloodlines 2's newly minted Steam page adds. "Hunt your prey across Seattle locations faithfully reimagined in the World of Darkness. Meet the old blood founders present since the city’s birth and the new blood steering the tech money redefining the city. Everyone has hidden agendas - so choose your allies wisely."
Bloodlines 2 is being developed at Hardsuit Labs and will be published by Paradox Interactive, but some talent from original developer Troika Games has returned to helm the sequel. Perhaps most notably, Brian Mitsoda, the lead writer behind the first game, is the lead narrative designer on Bloodlines 2. Mitsoda discussed the main character of Bloodlines 2 in an interview with PC Gamer, saying "you can choose what you were in life."
"You can say that you were a cop, or a coroner," Mitsoda said, "and so when you go into a police station that's gonna have a different feel than if you were not a cop. We have lots of those little decisions that you make along the way that build upon and into your experience going through the story."
In a press release, Mitsoda added that, "our aim has been to carry on the signature themes that made Bloodlines unique - particularly its dark tone, atmosphere, and humor - and I think that fans of the original will love what we’re doing with Bloodlines 2."
It's a miracle that Bloodlines 2 is even a thing, let alone such a promising thing. Expect more details in the coming months - like how vampire clans will work, and what clans will be added after launch - and polish your fangs for the early 2020 release.