Editorial - posted by VentilatorOfDoom
on Wed 14 April 2010, 10:20:49
Tags: Troika Games
; Vampire: The Masquerade - Bloodlines
Gear Diaries take a rosy glance
back at our beloved Bloodlines, the best Troika game of them all.
Every time I yank a jawbone from a skull and ram it into an eye socket, I know I’m building a better future.
For some, real-time combat from a first person perspective means that the game isn’t a ‘real’ RPG. And because Bloodlines uses the Source engine shared with Half-Life 2, some folks are further emboldened to call it a shooter with RPG elements.
I think that is a load of crap. I consider the combat and genre as separate items.
But one thing is clear – Bloodlines uses a first person perspective real-time combat engine based on the Source engine. The game also auto-switches to third-person view for melee combat, which works extremely well. During the tutorial sections you learn how to handle both melee and armed combat, both of which have positive and negative elements.
Since the core game is based on the same engine that powers one of the best shooters in recent years, you would expect the game to excel as a FPS. In general it works very well, with all of the typical shooter elements intact: you aim, shoot, reload, pick up ammo, and so on. But since the game is a RPG, you also need to take the character skill levels into account. This means that the same 38-caliber pistol hitting for 5-6HP of damage during the tutorial will do much more damage as you gain more and more skills. And augmenting your natural skills with vampiric abilities can turn you into a lethal shooting force. But the game lets you know in the form of Jack in the tutorial that vampires are quite able to soak gun damage, so as you battle more and more vampires, your guns will be less and less effective.
Bloodlines also features a top-notch melee engine. In fact, the first battle you have uses a tire iron as a weapon! Given super-human speed and strength, melee combat seems more suitable for a vampire. The melee battles are full of typical ragdoll physics action, and look appropriately exaggerated in terms of impact of hits based on the game’s 2003/2004 vintage. When engaging in melee combat the game switches to third person view, so you can see around your character and gauge better how to attack. Similar to gun-based combat, your melee damage is a combination of the weapon’s inherent damage factor along with modifiers based on skills and attributes you can choose. One thing that is very clear – you will not get enough skill points to excel at both guns and melee combat, especially if you plan to advance any of your disciplines.
No, you get enough XP to excel at guns, melee, persuade AND your disciplines.
Spotted at: Gaembennshe
There are 19 comments on Bloodlines Retrospective