What is this game? - Vampire The Masquerade: Bloodlines (In short: VTMB), is an action RPG game from Troika, released in 2004. It is the last game by Troika, and features the modern vampires who rule the society in secret. Setting? - VTMB is based on the popular TRPG called World of Darkness (WoD in short). World of Darkness features a dark fantasy setting filled with monsters such as Vampires and Werewolves. VTMB uses 'Vampire the masquerade' setting from WoD. Apparently there is a society called 'Camarilla', which is the official association of Vampires who basically just wants to live alongside human, not causing too much trouble and strive for balance. The other guys are called 'Sabbat', and they merely see humans as foods and believes that the vampires should be more aggressive and etc. You belong to Camarilla (And now I wish if there was an option to side with Sabbat), and you start out as a newbie and climb up your way as you do bidding of prince LaCroix, who is essentially your boss and the leader of camarilla in Los Angeles. The story is filled with all kinds of fictional vampiric conspiracy theories and thrillers, and I won't spoil the fun here. The story along with setting is really awesome in this game. Features - Well you are a badass vampire. So what do you do? You feed on dam humans. But don't be so hasty and kill all humans. There are laws called 'Masquerade'. Masquerade is a law to keep vampires out of public to prevent humans from 'uprising' against them. You start out with 5 Masquerades, and you will lose each one if you get caught feeding or using your special vampire powers. Don't worry even if you make some mistakes though. You will have chance of regaining those if you obey your superiors. The game is played on first person perspective, and it will switch automatically if you are using a melee weapon. You have choice of leveling up many skills in game which include: melee weapons, ranged weapons, hacking, lockpicking, persuasion, and many more. You will get exp point for completing quests, and you can spend the exps you earned to level up certain skills. There are also many different vampire race to choose from. These are: Brujah, Gengrel, Tremere, Toreador, Ventrue, Nosferatu, and Malkavian. Each races have different inherent power and ability. For example, Brujahs are your typical 'Warrior' character with vampiric abilities focused on dealing heavy damage in close quarter, while Tremere are your typical 'Mage' with abilities focused on using blood magic to decimate your foes. Interestingly, some of the races will have different pathways in gameplay. Malkavians are inherently insane, so the whole dialogue system will totally change(!!) to show the player about just how insane they are. So when you play as Malkavian, you have to use dialogues to your advantage while also being careful not to be over-the-top. Also there is Nosferatu, who is so ugly that only his/her sire can love. They are literally ugly in a distorted way, so just showing your face to ordinary human beings will result as a penalty in your Masquerade. Hence, they have to use the sewers to travel between locations and meet certain NPCs. Finally, the game features one of the best dialogue system ever to be featured in the RPG games. There are just so many options to choose from, and reading the dialogues provides with load of fun. Some things that gets in the way - Well first, the game might be too easy if you go combat-heavy. But the problem is that the game forces you to go combat-heavy especially from mid game. The game itself also gets pretty sloppy from mid to late game in terms of dungeon exploration and combat. I think this is because Troika was not in such a good shape when they were creating this game. The main quest is also very linear. You basically have no choice but to follow what your asshole superior tells you to do. Although you get the ending choices at the end, you will not have any choices before that. Something that reminded me of Deus Ex series. And the BUGS. This game was utterly unplayable when it was first released. Even after two of three official patches the game was still buggy as hell. But then the community released excellent unofficial patches which exterminated almost all the bugs that were present in the game. So make sure to get dam unofficial patches. In the end.. - It really is a great game. The story, writing, and the settings are one of the best in whole RPG genre. Also you play as a flippin' VAMPIRE. How cool is that? Even though it is pretty linear, that linearity can be forgiven if the game has really good writing and storytelling. I personally had no problem dealing with it, and I'm pretty sure you guys will too.