Happy 13th Birthday VTM: Bloodlines
Now this isn’t our first time covering that wounderous thing that is Vampire The Masquerade: Bloodlines. But being its thirteenth birthday I couldn’t resist giving it another round. Quite fitting concidering the game’s own ability to cling to life, seemingly forever.
VTM Bloodlines started development in 2001. Eventually releasing in 2004 in a very broken and incomplete state. The small development team at Troika Games simply had a vision infinitely bigger than their resources to realize it. (I love every single one of you for trying though – Ed). As a result, many of the intended functionality, missions, and areas were either watered down or cut. Another issue was the rush to meet a suddenly given deadline left many bugs unresolved.
Despite all this the developers took note of one important piece of information. Based on a tabletop RPG, Bloodlines needs to have a good story. Provide a good story they did. So good was the writing behind Bloodlines that despite all the issues it became a cult classic.
I first discovered Bloodlines around 2006 whilst living in India. Unfamiliar with the franchise at the time, save the previous attempt at a game Redemption, I was immediately sucked in. The only game from that time I still play regularly today. Like a good book I can easily spend hours in the expertly crafted world.
This good writing has had so many hooked, that when Troika closed down right as the game launched the fan community actively kept up development. Thirteen years since Bloodlines blessed the world by existing, many fans are actively still working on the “Official” Unofficial patch. This fan patch continuously fixes up all the remaining bugs in the game. On top of that much of the stripped areas and features get cleaned up and brought back. Sometimes Fan developers have even interviewed the old dev team for direction. While the game is still imperfect, it is still widely enjoyable and becoming more stable by the year.
Nothing brings up the best of my nostalgia like this game. Visiting the various Gothic versions of Los Angeles. Hearing the amazing sound track pumping out your favorite haunts. Replaying over and over with different clans to try different routes to the end. Indeed even finding all of the different endings. All the while making friends with some really deep and interesting NPCs along the way.
They say whenever you mention Bloodlines, someone will reinstall it. I think all of you reading should be that someone. Get it on Steam or GOG.com and celebrate it’s birthday with me. Or should I pogo through Jeanette’s mind wearing nothing but a smile alone ?