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Bloodlines Previewed at 1UP
Preview - posted by Exitium on Tue 24 February 2004, 13:53:44Tags: Troika Games; Vampire: The Masquerade - Bloodlines
1UP has decided to cover Bloodlines, by writing up a fairly thorough preview on the subject. The article describes Troika's involvement with White Wolf, a basic introduction to the game's storyline and settting, the engine technology and so forth. Here's something interesting:
Troika is using the same implementation of Havok, but it appears from our initial showing that much of Half-Life's proposed physics-driven interactivity is being left out in favor of more conventional conversations and combat. For instance, every useable object in Bloodlines is bounded by flashing colors or some kind of box, which conveys to players the option to read the book or turn the door knob. It doesn't have the same feel as knowing just about everything you see can be used in some way or another. But again, since the game is more akin to a character driven DX or SS and less like straight action, this may not ultimately hamper the final experience.
An excess of tumbling crates not withstanding, I do believe the natural abilities of the Vampire and the empowerment using them should bring needs work before the game's proposed release later this year. Just about every situation encountered has three solutions: combat, stealth, conversation. Stealthily penetrating a building is a good example for this purpose. In the demo, entering a beach house covertly involved wandering to the edge of a waist high broken down picket fence, plucking one preset board off of the fence (because all the pretty flashing colors told me to) and then crawling through, eventually coming around back and opening a door. Wow. I couldn't help but wonder why this powerful vampire who had it in his mind to slaughter these surfing arms dealers didn't just leap onto the roof of the place, crash through the window and start tossing people around like ragdolls? Something a little more appropriate than pulling a board off a fence would be nice.
This reminds me of one of those nonsensical god-awful puzzles in Gabriel Knight 3. The illusion of 'freedom' in your actions in Bloodlines seems like a very blatant prefabricated choice in this case. One would have hoped that the Source Engine's physics would have offered much more randomness and freedom in problem solving. It would seem that the technology employed in Bloodlines is all for naught in terms of gameplay enhancement.
Thanks for the news tip, Role-Player.