The previously mentioned combat royale set in the World of Darkness is now known as Vampire: The Masquerade – Bloodhunt. The concept of a Vampire: The Masquerade battle royale appears to be a mismatch at first glance, with many fans being astonished when Bloodhunt was originally disclosed.
Battle royales entail players converging on a spot and fighting each other to the death, whereas Vampire: The Masquerade is a tabletop RPG about vampires disguising their existence from humans. Vampire: The Masquerade video games have been amazing in the past, with Bloodlines being regarded as one of the best RPGs ever developed, yet even Bloodlines still managed to equal the tone of the tabletop game. In Bloodlines, it was possible to go on a biting spree, but the player would be immediately apprehended by the police, who would then be followed by other vampires. How would the Masquerade function in a battle royale? It’s important to the experience (which is why it’s in the title), so how would it fare in a battle royale?
It turns out that this is the ideal combination. Vampires are extraordinarily smart beings with the ability to kill and the will to do so. What is battle royale if not a variation of this? Battle Royale, unlike other shooter genres, combines tactical patience and rushing for the gold. Hurry up and wait, if you will. When you combine that strategy with a horrific backdrop of vampiric splendor, you’ve got yourself a unique game that fills a void we didn’t even realize existed.
Bloodhunt is set in Prague, although the game begins in a subterranean Elysium, which in the tabletop game’s lore is just a politically neutral zone. In the pre-alpha, six-character types were available, divided into three clans. Brujah players could be Brutes or Vandals, two combat-oriented races; Toreador players could be Sirens or Muses, who specialize in speed and healing, and Nosferatu players may be Saboteurs and Prowlers, who specialize in stealth and traps. The player also gets access to a variety of cosmetic items, which will be the game’s primary source of revenue, as it is meant to be a free-to-play title. The character models harken back to the original Bloodlines, but with a level of refinement that keeps them in line with the grim environment, they inhabit.
The player can pick where they spawn in Prague once the match starts. In Bloodhunt, there was no Battle Bus similar because the player simply appears in the city. The game then begins, with the objective of eliminating every adversary or enemy team on the map. As the game progresses, a deadly red fog begins to descend on the battlefield, players are forced to fight in the midst of the city, driving them to move closer together. Guns, armor, healing goods (blood packs), and melee weapons can all be found in item caches around the city, which drop when the player is slain.
Vampire: The Masquerade looked rough at the end of the day, but it was due to the alpha build. We can see a tremendous treasure buried underneath early development issues, despite the shaved edges of the gameplay experience. Will this be a contender for game of the year in the near future? No, and it isn’t supposed to. It’s intended to be solely a fun, competitive PvP experience set in a setting with a strong community. What’s more, you know what? Sharkmob nailed it.
A closed beta will begin on July 2nd for those interested in checking out this strange dream-turned-reality. The official Sharkmob website is where you can learn more about the game and sign up for the closed beta. If you like, you can also add it to your Steam Wishlist here.