Vampire Test: The Masquerade

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

A narrative dive into the endless lore of the World of Darkness created by Mark Rein-Hagen, Vampire: The Masquerade – Swansong chronicles the tribulations of Boston’s blood drinkers. Newly elected to the post of Prince of the Camarilla clan, Hazel Iversen intends to impose with an iron fist the Masquerade, the Vampiric Law (the one that hides its existence from humans). A proposal published by Nacon and developed by the French from Big Bad Wolf, recognized amateurs of verbal jousting since The Council. The title intends to embody the breathtaking formula of choice dialogues with generous role-playing mechanics.

test conditions

Game testing was carried out from a PS5 version.

Boston Vampire Research

In the organized upper spheres of Boston vampires, code red was released, synonymous with a great crisis. not knowing which, three protagonists from different factions, Galeb, Emem and Leysha, are summoned by Prince Hazel. On a mission to the most adventurous clans in the United States, our vampires whose charisma surpasses the ten Edward Cullen brushingués will have to protect the secrecy of their now shaken society. Neophytes of the World of Darkness, you’ll have to navigate the game’s glossary many times that certainly don’t bother with polite phrases or any introduction to its prolific universe.. But mastering the jargon of Vampire: The Mask, is finally embracing a captivating world to the core. The story unfolds a grand plot of conspiracy, murder and power struggle; a kind of Game of Thrones with glamorous creatures that readily reconciles us to modern vampire stories. Simply, you have to enjoy reading. So if you’re not familiar with the license, wait a few hours. Especially since the episode is full of clans, sects and characters, maybe too much. Dozens of names are thrown into a narrative thread of equally brilliant robustness, but whose subplots spread just the same.

Here the smallest staple seems to have at least a sketchy history. Also, put aside your glazed eyes and frozen expressions and you will be able to appreciate all the research and good taste put into your design.. Same observation made for Swansong’s sets that are part of a classy and sensual style. The whole being wrapped in a voluptuous soundtrack, sometimes with rock melodies and some moments of apotheosis. Finally, if the staging is quite classic, it also offers moments of brilliance.

The narrative RPG

At a time when the multiple-choice narrative game seems to have exhausted all its resources, what’s 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, in addition to a few details, a The advice Vampire sauce, for whom the reference speaks. By acquiring experience points, characters can unlock their own skill sets and special perks. Rhetoric, persuasion, technology, erudition… it’s up to you to see what profile to give the three protagonists who pass the baton.

Add to that some bonus gear to pick up during your explorations, very limited but still useful during feverish encounters. Because this is the uniqueness of the Big Bad Wolf narrative experience: their confrontations take the form of reasoned discussions, during which their oral qualities can lead to the closing of their interlocutor’s valve.. These can also be temporarily increased by consuming willpower points and “hunger” points (the latter being manageable by crushing humans) which will have to be carefully saved. Run out of breath and you won’t be able to send your flirting argument to rocks, it bubbles a little too loudly and you won’t be able to manipulate your prey’s brain either. A system that makes trading quite addictive, but it only becomes really consistent after a few hours, once the experience has been sufficiently stored.

A story with multiple endings

Finally, as the genre suggests, different significant branches of history will follow your decisions. They are usually clearly visible and are intertwined within a generally pleasant-to-follow narration and a solid lifespan (counting around fifteen hours and the possibility of repeating each scene). But if the story certainly offers very interesting variations, the progression is quite linear.. It’s up to you to choose which character to start a new chapter with, but your actions will often 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 a corner of a dresser. On the other hand, each scene explored is full of alternative activities, options that are difficult to mark and that make the program attractive. Especially since you are generally free in your exploration without any particular indication. Also count on a handful of relatively successful puzzles, repeatedly solved by our characters’ unique abilities. Leysha in particular can become invisible and adopt 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

Strong points

  • A consistent and captivating universe
  • nice general story
  • The revisited system of choice dialogs
  • Characters with relentless style
  • impactful choices
  • a solid lifespan

weak points

  • Very linear overall progression
  • many characters
  • character animations

If the seething universe of Vampire: The Masquerade – Swansong is a tedious entry point for newcomers, it doesn’t get any less exciting once mastered. Fans of the Big Bad Wolf studio will likely be delighted with the formula “The Council way World of Darkness”; By this it means a system of choice dialogues revisited by the controlled addition of RPG mechanics. Swansong unfolds a story that is sometimes too composed, led by three protagonists with an impeccable style whose progression remains very linear.

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