Test de Vampire: The Masquerade

In this new narrative adaptation of Vampire The Masquerade, the card role-playing game, the player embodies three vampires responsible for investigating those trying to harm Boston’s Camarilla (understand the clan).

A narrative dive into the endless Dark World lore created by Mark Rein-Hagen, Vampire: The Masquerade – Swansong chronicles the tribulations of Boston’s blood drinkers. Recently erected to the rank of Prince of the Camarilla clan, Hazel Iversen intends to enforce with an iron fist the Masquerade, the Vampiric Law (the one that hides their existence from humans). A proposal published by Nacon and developed by the French of Lupo Cattivo, a recognized amateur of verbal jousting since The Council. The title intends to flesh out the breathtaking formula of the dialogues of your choice with generous role-playing mechanics.

Test conditions

The game was tested from a PS5 version.

Boston vampire investigation

The red code was launched in the organized high spheres of the vampires of Boston, synonymous with a serious crisis. Without knowing which one, three protagonists of different factions, Galeb, Emem and Leysha, are summoned by Prince Hazel. Missioned to the most adventurous clans of the United States, our vampires whose charisma exceeds ten brushingués Edward Cullen will have to protect the secrecy of their now shaken society. Newbies to the World of Darkness, you will have to browse the glossary of the game multiple times that certainly doesn’t care about polite phrases or any introduction to its prolific universe.. But master the lingo of Vampire: The Masquerade, is finally embracing a fascinating world right down to its background. The story tells a great plot of conspiracy, murder and struggle for power; a kind of War of the Thrones with fascinating creatures that readily reconciles us with modern vampire stories. You simply have to love reading. So, if you’re not familiar with the license, expect to go through a handful of hours. Especially since the episode is full of clans, sects and characters, perhaps too many. Dozens of names are drawn into a narrative thread of a robustness all equally brilliant but whose subplots are equally scattered.

Here the slightest clampin seems to have at least a sketchy history. Plus, put aside their glassy looks and frozen expressions and you’ll be able to appreciate all the research and taste put into their design.. Same observation made for Swansong sets that are part of a style of class and sensuality. All wrapped in a voluptuous soundtrack with sometimes rock melodies and some moments of apotheosis. Finally, if the staging is all in all quite classic, it also offers moments of brilliance.

The narrative role-playing game

At a time when the multiple choice narrative game seems to have already exhausted all its resources, what is left of Swansong? Answer : a formula as refreshing as a summer breeze thanks to the clever addition of RPG mechanics. What you will have in your hands is, apart from a few details, a Advice vampire sauce, for those to whom the reference speaks. By gaining experience points, characters can each unlock their own set of skills and special perks. Rhetoric, persuasion, technology, erudition … it is up to you to see which profile to give to the three protagonists who pass the baton.

Add to that some bonus gear to grab during your explorations, which are very limited but still useful during feverish encounters. Because this is the uniqueness of the Big Bad Wolf narrative experience: your confrontations take the form of reasoned discussions, during which your oral qualities can lead to the closing of the valve of your interlocutor. These can also be temporarily enhanced by consuming willpower points and “hunger” points (the latter manageable by munched humans) which must be carefully saved. You gasp and you won’t be able to send your flirtatious argument to the rocks, gurgle a little too loud, and you won’t even be able to manipulate your prey’s brain. A system that makes the exchanges quite compelling but that becomes really consistent only after a few hours, once the experience has been sufficiently stored.

A story with multiple endings

Finally, as the genre suggests, several significant plot branches will follow your decisions. They are generally clearly visible and intertwined within a generally pleasant narrative to follow and a solid lifespan (it counts about fifteen hours and the possibility of repeating each scene). But while the story certainly offers some very interesting variations, the progression is still quite linear.. It’s up to you to choose which character to start a new chapter with, but their actions will generally weave a very specific thread. So if you’re stuck on one goal, it’s hard to tackle something else to keep a good pace. Situations that often generate long moments of hesitation wandering around a room, sometimes simply looking for a piece of plastic hidden in the corner of a chest of drawers. On the other hand, every scene explored is teeming with alternative activities, options that are difficult to tick and that make the program attractive. Especially since you are generally free in your exploration, without any particular indication. It also has a handful of relatively successful puzzles, repeatedly solved by our characters’ unique abilities. Leysha in particular can become invisible and take on the appearance (at least the appearance) of other individuals. A power that clearly overshadows those of the other two, capable of less impressive feats.

Conclusion

Highlights

  • A coherent and captivating universe
  • Overall pleasant storytelling
  • The revised system of the chosen dialogues
  • Characters with an implacable style
  • Impactful choices
  • A solid life

Weaknesses

  • Overall very linear progression
  • Too many characters
  • Character animations

If the teeming universe of Vampire: The Masquerade – Swansong is a boring entry for newcomers, it doesn’t get any less exciting once it’s mastered. Big Bad Wolf studio fans will likely be delighted by the formula “The Council way World of Darkness”; By this he means a choice dialogue system revisited by the controlled addition of RPG mechanics. Swansong unfolds a story made up, sometimes too much, of three protagonists with an impeccable style whose progression remains fairly linear.

5

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