Vampire: The Masquerade - Bloodlines II

Yep, especially given their teamsize (afaik around 70 people) it seems quite overly ambitious.

Then again so were the first Bloodlines, and those were made by even smaller team on much worse and less proven engine.

I wonder if they’ll be the first open world questing game that doesn’t include a single version of a “bring me 11 rat pelts” quest.

You’d think by now designers might avoid them, but even the Witcher 3 had a few.

That would be an actually exciting development.

I didn’t see anything about this being an open world game. They said it was hub-based, like BL1.

I mean… what exactly is hub-based? In my mind, Witcher 3 is hub-based, but also open world (the quests largely radiate from certain areas, though some are only discovered through exploration).

It’s been so long since I played BL 1 that I don’t entirely remember every little thing you did in it, but wasn’t it about as open world as games with any kind of graphics were capable of being back then? But I do remember the various areas, which seem roughly analogous to Witcher’s different zones, though maybe in BL1 you couldn’t return to previous areas… I truly don’t recall.

So what exactly is the difference between hub-based and open world? Some popular games that fall in both categories might be helpful for mental reference.

In any case my main point was that I don’t know anyone IRL who finds “bring me 11 rat pelts” to be compelling gameplay, and yet every game with quests is inundated with them.

Not even remotely. The Elder Scrolls games, for example, would be the gold standard in “open worldiness”. Bloodlines was basically a bunch of Half-Life 2 levels that you could fast-travel between freely, but only after unlocking them through story progress. And sometimes it locked you out of traveling. By being “hub based” it basically means that a section (like Santa Monica for example) was totally separate from other sections (like Chinatown for example). You enter that hub and you basically have a (mostly) self contained little RPG environment. A quest or location may connect off of that hub (like the Ocean House hotel in Santa Monica for instance), but you can’t travel there from Hollywood or anything like that. Knights of the Old Republic is another perfect example of a hub based RPG. That felt a bit more natural though since they were different planets.

A game like Witcher 3 would not be considered hub based. Yes, there are key locations which have quests, but the entire gameworld is connected and open to travel freely. If White Orchard, Vizima, Novigrad, et al had been completely self-contained and you could only travel between them via some means of fast-travel with no world in between, then that would be hub based.

Interesting. Basically what I’m taking away is that in Skyrim you can go anywhere from the start, Knights of the Old Republic you are just kind of going zone by zone.

As long as you are allowed some level of autonomy and exploring in each hub, I suppose it doesn’t have to be a dealbreaker. But I’m a bit surprised they aren’t taking a more Skyrim-esqe approach.

I do love open world RPGs, but there’s nothing inherently wrong with being hub-based. For a game more focused on characters, interaction, combat, and story-telling, it’s probably the better option. You can focus your efforts on those things instead of making a gigantic world full of stuff. Even huge studios like Bethesda have never delivered the richness of a game like Bloodlines with the openness of a Skyrim. The Witcher 3 probably came the closest to having the best of both worlds, but it’s also arguably the best game ever made, and while it’s definitely something to aspire to, it’s not a reasonable expectation.

For what it’s worth, I absolutely love Bloodlines despite its many flaws, and I am more excited about the sequel than any game in recent memory.

Yeah Witcher 3 is open world, it just has multiple “open worlds” maps.
But I am glad Bloodlines 2 keeps it hub based. First game was perfect template for this tbh.

Although the difference here is that entire city - all the hubs they model - will be available from the start, unlike in first Bloodlines where you move in linear fashion from Santa monica to downtown to hollywood to chinatown. So…I guess one could kinda call it open world, maybe :D Just not contiguous.

20 minute gameplay. It’s rough in places…

Anyone who doesn’t think this is going to be pretty rough around the edges should set expectations correctly.

Wow that melee wtf. Why was he constantly dashing behind the enemy and swinging?

Flanking the enemy!

Lol and I love how you daze enemies with your backflip dance.

This does look a little rough, but the person playing it is clearly struggling to use the controller. It reminds me of that Doom preview video from a few years back, where the person controlling it seemed to only be able to use one stick at a time. Painful to watch :D

It just doesn’t work for me. I’dve liked to see them
tackle the problems of vampire stories in always on social media world, not just lurking in forever 90s alleys.

Vampire Bloodlines was interesting because it was contemporary, it tried to fit Vampire nonsense into the then modern world, and without which just seems less interesting.

There’s all sorts of modern settings that could be interesting - the Expensive Boutique Electronica store, the 20 story indoor hotel that’s full of gaudy neuvo rich fashion, the endless cookie cutter homes of a modern suburbia, the banality of an all you can eat cruise ship, the IT company that dominates the skyline.

Instead it’s pipes and sewers and dark alleys.

Better combat here?

Not a game, but have you seen “What We Do In The Shadows” from Jermaine Clement? It’s now a TV show based on a movie, but the premise is precisely what you’re looking for: vampire nonsense in the modern world.

Funny stuff.

I’ll second that.

Atmosphere-wise it looks on point. Dialogue stuff as well. As long as they bring their A game with quest design, this will be a worthy sequel. Next year will be bonkers.

I thought the dialogue was pretty bad myself. The three characters they showed weren’t really interesting to me. They had nothing to say about the world or their opinions on the various factions or characters. Maybe they stripped them down to prevent spoilers, but even the dialogue options they did show weren’t very creatively written to me. I did think the voice actors were pretty good though, and I did dig the atmosphere. It’s also weird to see janky stuff from the first game brought back as if it was a feature.