The Let's Play Archive

Vampire: The Masquerade - Bloodlines

by gatz, TheMcD

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Original Thread: Caught in the Machine - Let's Play Vampire: The Masquerade - Bloodlines



Case had always taken it for granted that the real bosses, the kingpins in a given industry, would be both more and less than people. . . . He'd always imagined it as a gradual and willing accommodation of the machine, the system, the parent organism. It was the root of street cool, too, the knowing posture that implied connection, invisible lines up to hidden levels of influence.
— William Gibson, Neuromancer

Please zip up your pants.

My first let's play was of Vampire: The Masquerade - Redemption. I don't think it's very good, and I would certainly change how I did it if I LP'd the game again. You can tell it's an attempt by a novice, and things got better from a technical standpoint as the LP went along. The best thing about the LP was the community of goons that would comment on the LP with knowledge of the old world of darkness and how Redemption related to it. Contradicted it might be a better way of putting it.

Vampire: The Masquerade - Bloodlines is much better in that regard. Bloodlines, as it will be referred to from here on, is the second and only other video game set in the Vampire: The Masquerade universe. Thankfully, it has no relation to Redemption outside of the Vampire: The Masquerade license. Bloodlines was released in 2004 to a warm reception, though it was absolutely wrought with bugs. A big reason for this was that it used an early version of Valve's source engine, and not all the resources Troika Games needed were available. You can read more about elsewhere from someone who knows more about it than me. The point is that Bloodlines, although buggy, is regarded to be a great game in terms atmosphere, story, character, and use of the Vampire: The Masquerade backdrop. Unfortunately, Troika disbanded soon after the release of Bloodlines because they couldn't find any work. This meant that there was a void to fill if any additional bugs were to be patched.

It's almost 10 years later, and there have been numerous patches from someone known as WESP5 that not only fix bugs, but also restore cut content from the game. The most notable of this is an entire questline which includes its own unique areas. This is only included in the plus version of the patch, which we will be using (8.8 in parts 1-14, 8.9 in 15-29, 9.0 in 30-36, 9.1 in 37+). I should mention that this will be a screen shot lp.

Bloodlines is a good game, even without these patches. Let me put it like this: we, as the protagonist, find ourselves unwillingly intertwined within the realm of vampire politics. All of the warring factions of Los Angeles are competing against the others, some for the power to assert their own autonomy, some for the resources that dominance over the others brings, some for reasons unknown. We are the wild card, essentially an agent who is free to sway the game in favor of whomever we chose. Though our path is relatively fixed, who we help or hurt along the way depends on our own choices. The story of Bloodlines can be summarized by this small phrase: we are caught in the machine. Like a gear in a gear train, we must turn with it, but unlike a gear in a gear train, we can change the effects of our turning.

Lastly, a few things. First, do not expect me to follow a set schedule for updating the thread. I do not have as much free time as I did when I LP'd redemption, so know what you are getting into beforehand. Updates will come whenever they do, and if the LP has to momentarily take a back seat to more important engagements, it will. Keep spoilers in tags. I also plan on emphasizing the let's part of let's play, meaning that there will be a lot of thread participation. Following from this, let me begin the thread with a few choices for you to make...

As of update 38, TheMcD has graciously taken over the LP.

I - Beginnings
II - The Embrace
III - Blood: Your New Heroin

Santa Monica
IV - Surf's Up
V - Thinned Blood
VI - Bloody Mess
VII - A Bounty For the Hunter
VIII - Sibling Rivalry
IX - The Ghost Haunts at Midnight
X - The Hunted Hunter
XI - Bad Blood
XII - By The Way
XIII - An Explosive Beginning

XIV - Deus Ex Machina
XV - Traffik
XVI - Realpolitik
XVII - The Anarchs
XVIII - Confessions
XIX - Fun With Pestilence
XX - A Plague For the Angels
XXI - Elizabethan Rendezvous
XXII - Necromantic
XXIII - Occultish Personality
XXIV - Calling Dr. Grout
XXV - Caught in the Machine
XXVI - Patron of the Ancient Arts
XXVII - The Epic of the Ankaran Sarcophagus

XXVIII - A Dish Best Served Cold
XXIX - Dead Ex
XXX - Hunters Hunting
XXXI - Snuff is Enough
XXXII - Carnival of Death
XXXIII - Judge, Jury, and Executioner
XXXIV - Hot Stripper Assassin Action!
XXXV - B-Rated Writer
XXXVI - Gargoyle Removal Service
XXXVII - A Night at the Library
XXXVIII - Monarchy Now
XXXIX - Krise
XL - Verdammt Wir Leben Noch
XLI - Out of the Dark

XLIII - Cyberlove
XLIV - Hoch Wie Nie
XLV - Die Königin von Eschnapur
XLVI - Crime Time
XLVII - Ecce Machina, Part I
XLVIII - Ecce Machina, Part II

XLIX - Les Nouveaux Riches
L - We Live for the Night
LI - Propaganda
LII - Auf Der Flucht
LIII - Egoist
LIV - Untouchable
LV - The Spirit Never Dies

Bonus: Let's Play Antitribu Mod, by TheMcD

Do you want to see somebody go into something, expecting a mixed bag, and instead slowly going mad with the realization of just what he had gotten himself into? Then this is what you're after. Having read the main LP or being otherwise familiar with the vanilla game is highly recommended.

Intro - Gott Mit Uns
I - Into The Fire
II - Back In Control
III - Black Sails At Midnight
IV - Endless Nights
V - Rise of Evil
VI - Hammer Back
VII - Smoking Snakes
VIII - Dance Through The Danger
IX - Despair Syndrome
X - Negaposi*Continues
XI - Close and Open, Demons and the Dead
XII - Let Us Sing of a Hollow Victory
XIII - The Price of a Mile
XIV - Unhappy Refrain
XV - Kill Command
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