Reanimating Vampire the Masquerade

Feature

– Karly Taylor

There’s a running gag amongst Vampire the Masquerade: Bloodlines‘ decade-old community that as soon as someone mentions this cult classic on the internet, someone somewhere reading it will inevitably reinstall it on their computer. It’s that good.

In fact, if my laptop wasn’t currently out of commission, I would likely be replaying it now for the umpteenth time. Instead, I’m left to reminisce on the unique adventures I went on in the underworld of vampire-controlled Los Angeles, with my hideously deformed Nosferatu ninja, donning a gimp outfit and scaring all the mortals away with a mere flash of my twisted grin in their direction. Alternatively, you could bitch slap your enemies with a severed arm and wear stripper outfits as a Malkavian, in between arguing with Stop signs and getting scolded by the news reporter on TV.

Seriously, how does that not sound like a game you would want to play right now? Why are you even still reading this?

I assume you’re hanging around waiting for me to get to the point of this article. Recently, a group of dedicated fans of the game tried to scramble together permission to create a remake for this game. Troika, the company responsible for this buggy, unpolished gem, shut down shortly after its release back in 2004. This unfortunate development more or less effectively took any hope of an official sequel for Bloodlines to the grave with Troika, pun intended. The fanbase, in its unmatched, fervent loyalty and dedication, has since picked up the slack in terms of unofficial patches and added game content.

Adding more Vampire strippers is always on the cards.

Harley Quinn needs to get some sun.

Don’t get me wrong – all of this has been top-notch, and Bloodlines would be neigh unplayable without the modders. In fact, I wholeheartedly recommend downloading the Antitribu expansion after you’ve played the vanilla campaign. It’s a current work in progress, and has been in development for roughly five years, but it adds a ton of new content to the game. All new clans, disciplines, NPCs and side quests.

If you loved the game but have played it to death (I’m on a roll with these puns) like me, Antitribu is a god send. Sadly, however, the actual campaign for an overall remake of the game was brutally shut down and squished into the dirt. In light of that development, it’s hard not to wonder – what’s next for the Vampire the Masquerade universe, outside of pen and paper?

Quite literally ripped to shreds.

Quite literally squished into the dirt.

With no hope for an official (or otherwise) remake or sequel any time soon, the fanbase for VTMB may finally come to an end. After all, there’s only so much fan content that can be made with the toolset, and with bigger and better games coming out every year, this game and its rich universe runs the risk of being left in the annals of cult gaming history. Luckily, there’s a small beacon of hope – Project Dogmat. While not an official World of Darkness video game, this currently in-development punk gothic MMORPG is being made by an incredibly talented team who loved Vampire the Masquerade and decided to make a spiritual successor heavily inspired by that beloved universe.

Nosferatu on the TV is a nice touch.

Nosferatu on the TV is a nice touch.

While not much info has been released yet, the official website features a handful of insanely good looking demo videos that are liable to make even the most hardcore gamer weep from nostalgia. Not that I’m speaking from personal experience or anything. Seriously, check it out. If MMOs aren’t your thing, however… well, better boot up VTMB for another run, boss. It’s going to be a while before the sun comes up.

 You can send blood to Karly on Twitter @puckishrogue94 and don’t forget to follow @load_screen and like us on Facebook.

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