[Update:] New information has revealed that the game features pronouns in the character creation, a lot of modern day politics based on current day Seattle, and a purposed design to subvert “male power fantasies”.
[Original article:] Paradox Interactive and Hardsuit Labs announced that pre-orders have opened up for Vampire: The Masquerade – Bloodlines 2, the long-awaited sequel to the World of Darkness’ 2004 outing for PC called Vampire: The Masquerade – Bloodlines, which was made by Troika Games and published by Activision, where it went on to live a life of infamy as one of the most engaging and broken games of all time.
The new game received an announcement trailer with a general first-quarter 2020 release date for home consoles and PC. Given that Epic Games has been poaching most new PC releases, expect Vampire: The Masquerade – Bloodlines 2 to appear on the Epic Games Store as a timed exclusive since the trailer only reveals that it’s coming to PC but they don’t mention which storefronts on PC.
However, if you pay a visit to the pre-order page, there’s a drop-down menu that reveals that pre-orders are being made available on PC for Steam, GOG.com, Paradox Store, and the Epic Games Store. Now this doesn’t mean that they will launch simultaneously. It could be a staggered, timed exclusive release, but we don’t know enough right now to say for sure. However, it should be noted that Epic Games has been rather aggressive in securing timed exclusives in recent months.
You can check out the announcement trailer for the game below.
Details on the actual gameplay are completely absent in the trailer, but the cinematic trailer hints at the franchise’s long-running focus on melee-based combat and the use of special vampire abilities.
Over on Niche Gamer they offer more details on the actual press release, which includes the fact that the special deluxe edition will launch for $89.99 along with a “Season of the Wolf” season pass, and additional post-launch DLC content.
The press release also reveals that the game’s alliance system will return, as you’ll be able to live out life as a vampire and choose to align yourself with various underground factions within Seattle, Washington. It also reveals that the melee combat will also be present, along with the ability to adapt and upgrade your vampire abilities.
You’ll have to attempt to blend in as a human and uphold the masquerade without giving away the supernatural underbelly that controls the city from beyond the shadows.
The press release also reveals that Bloodlines’ original narrative director, Brian Mitsoda, is returning to pen the story for Bloodlines 2, saying…
When Paradox announced they were acquiring the World of Darkness IP, I immediately started thinking about what it would be like to return to Vampire: The Masquerade. 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.”
While it sounds good on paper, let’s not forget that Paradox Interactive recently had to restructure the White Wolf label after receiving backlash from Ramzan Kadyrov over a game book back in November of 2018.
The whole thing reeked of convergence, and set off red flags for anyone who followed the brand since the book that was pulled attempted to get “woke” and ended up causing a bit of an international political controversy.
I don’t know if Paradox Interactive cleaned enough house to ensure that Bloodlines 2 is free of the sort of sociopolitical agenda-pushing we’ve been seeing from nearly every other AAA company in recent times, but fans are duly excited for the upcoming game regardless. We’ll likely learn more about the action-RPG heading into E3 this year.