Vampire Review: The Masquerade

In this new narrative adaptation of Vampire The Masquerade, the paper role-playing game, the player embodies three vampires responsible for investigating those seeking to harm the Camarilla (understand the clan) in Boston.

A narrative dive into the endless story of the dark world created by Mark Rein-Hagen, Vampire: The Masquerade – Swansong tells the story of Boston’s blood drinkers’ troubles. Newly erected to the rank of prince of the Camarilla clan, Hazel Iversen intends with an iron fist to enforce the masquerade, the vampire law (the one that hides their existence from humans). A proposal published by Nacon and developed by the French from Big Bad Wolf, recognized amateurs of verbal contest since the Council. The title intends to fill in the breathless formula of election dialogues with generous role-playing mechanics.

Test conditions

The game test was performed from a PS5 version.

Boston Vampire Survey

In the highly organized spheres of the vampires of Boston, the red code was launched, synonymous with a major crisis. Without knowing which, three main characters from different factions, Galeb, Emem and Leysha, are summoned by Prince Hazel. Our vampires, whose charisma exceeds ten brushingués, are missionary in the most adventurous clans in the United States, and Edward Cullen will have to protect the secret of their now-shaken society. Neophytes of the World of Darkness, you will have to navigate many times in the game’s glossary, which certainly does not bother polite phrases or any introduction to its productive universe.. But master the jargon Vampire: The Masquerade, it finally embraces a captivating world right down to its background. The story unfolds a large plot of conspiracy, murder and power struggle; a kind of throne war with glamorous creatures that easily reconciles us with modern vampire stories. You simply have to love reading. So if you are not familiar with the license, expect to wade a handful of hours. Especially since the section is filled with clans, sects and characters, perhaps for many. Dozens of names fall into a narrative thread of a robustness that is all brilliant but whose subplotter is scattered in the same way.

Here, the smallest clampin at least seems to have a story outlined. Also put aside their glazed look and frozen expression and you can appreciate all the research and flavor put into their design.. Same observation made for the sets of Swansong, which is part of a style of class and sensuality. The whole creature draped into a voluptuous soundtrack with sometimes rock tunes and a few moments of apotheosis. Finally, if the staging is quite classic after all, it also offers moments of brilliance.

The narrative RPG

At a time when the narrative multiple-choice game already seems to have stretched all its resources, what’s left in Swansong? Reply : a formula as refreshing as a summer breeze thanks to the clever addition of RPG mechanics. What you want in your hands is, apart from a few details, a the advice vampire sauce, for those to whom the reference speaks. By acquiring experience points, the characters can each unlock their own set of skills and special benefits. Rhetoric, persuasion, technology, learning … it’s up to you to see what profile you should give to the three main characters passing the baton.

Add to that some bonus equipment to grab during your explorations, very limited but still useful during feverish confrontations. Because this is the uniqueness of the Big Bad Wolf storytelling experience: your confrontations take the form of reasoned discussions in which your oral characteristics may lead to the closing of your interlocutor’s valve.. These can also be temporarily amplified by the consumption of willpower points and “hunger” points (the latter can be handled by crushing people), which must be carefully stored. Run out of breath and you will not be able to send your flirtatious argument to the rocks, gargle a little too loudly, nor will you be able to manipulate your prey’s brain. A system that makes the exchanges quite addictive, but which only really becomes consistent after a few hours when the experience is stored sufficiently.

A story with several endings

Finally, as the genre suggests, various significant branches of history will follow your decisions. They are generally clearly visible and are intertwined in a generally pleasant narrative to follow and a solid lifespan (counts about fifteen hours and the ability to play each scene). But if the story certainly offers very interesting variations, the course is nonetheless quite linear.. It is up to you to choose which character you want to start a new chapter with, but their actions will generally weave a very specific thread. So if you are stuck on one goal, it is hard to tackle something else to keep a good pace. Situations that often generate long moments of hesitation as they wander around a room, sometimes just looking for a piece of plastic tucked away in a corner of a dresser. On the other hand, each scene explored abounds with alternative activities, opportunities that are hard to tick off and that make the program attractive. Especially since you are generally free in your exploration, without any particular indication. Also count on a handful of relatively successful puzzles, repeatedly solved by our characters’ unique abilities. In particular, Leysha may become invisible and assume the appearance (at least the appearance) of other individuals. A force that clearly overshadows the other two capable of less impressive feats.

Conclusion

Strengths

  • A consistent and captivating universe
  • All in all, an enjoyable storytelling
  • The revised system of optional dialogues
  • Characters with relentless style
  • Effective choices
  • A solid life

Weak points

  • Generally very linear progression
  • Too many characters
  • Character animations

If the bustling universe of Vampire: The Masquerade – Swansong is a boring entrance for newcomers, it’s no less exciting once it’s mastered. Fans of the Big Bad Wolf studio will likely be delighted with the formula “The Council way World of Darkness”; By this is meant a system of optional dialogues that is revisited by the controlled addition of RPG mechanics. Swansong unfolds a story consisting, sometimes too much, led by three main characters with an impeccable style whose progression remains fairly linear.

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