Vampire: The Masquerade - Bloodlines is a role-playing game with action elements based on the popular World of Darkness series of tabletop games. In it, you create a vampire character who belongs to one of a range of different vampiric clans, each with its own powers and weaknesses, and explore a shadowy, monster-packed version of modern Los Angeles.
A world beneath our own
In Vampire: The Masquerade - Bloodlines, your newly-created vampire undertakes a series of missions for the ruler of Los Angeles' undead. These missions lead the protagonist into a conspiracy involving the theft of a sarcophagus containing an ancient vampire and the presence in the city of many other supernatural creatures. Which faction you choose to support will determine the ending of the game. Gameplay is highly customisable -- the vampire clan you choose will give you access to certain supernatural Disciplines, allowing you to solve challenges through a variety of means. Combat offers a range of weapons, from swords and axes to pistols, shotguns and even flamethrowers. Vampire: The Masquerade - Bloodlines offers a huge amount of choice and customisation, particularly compared to other games from 2004.
A flawed masterpiece?
If you like thoughtful, complex role-playing games, especially if you're a World of Darkness or horror fan, Vampire: The Masquerade - Bloodlines is the game for you, even if the later game doesn't always live up to the early game's potential.