Vampire: The Masquerade - Bloodlines 2 is looking better every time we see it.
After plenty of teasing, we finally sat down with the team in February to get a walkthrough of gameplay and the lowdown on the story and world, including this controversial interview with Martin Ka’ai Cluney, creative director at developer Hardsuit Labs.
At the time it looked familiar and interesting, but not spectacular. I'm pleased to say that after 20 minutes with the game at E3 last week, it's clear to see there are major improvements. Facial animations in particular are now more natural, and the lighting around the world has added a real sense of depth to its hub world.
Combat animation is still patchy, but keep in mind this is pre-alpha footage so there's a long way to go before release on PC and consoles in 2020.
Most importantly for this kind of immersive sim/RPG, we get a good look at the dialogue options and how they play out. Although we didn't play the main game, Hardsuit Labs did let us make all the dialogue choices, as well as pick our discipline at the beginning of the demo.
We played as the Chiropteran thinblood discipline, allowing us to summon the traditional vampire bat as an aide during combat. In this demo we seek out Slugg, a nasty piece of work hiding in the homeless communities. We tussle with him a little, and our kindness gets mistaken for weakness, but it all plays out well in the end. Keeping Slugg alive means we'll probably run into him again later in the game. Playing off each faction will be the key to longevity and replaying Bloodlines 2, so this proper look at dialogue trees and outcomes is a revealing insight into the final game.
Vampire: The Masquerade - Bloodlines 2 will next be playable at PDXCon in October, where we'll go hands on and bring you more impressions. In the meantime, enjoy 20 minutes of raw gameplay.