Vampire: The Masquerade gives us the bloodiest swan song ever
Can a conversational game be difficult and complex? Are there any propositions where the answers transcend the typical binomial of “good and evil”? Fortunately, today we can strongly affirm a YES, thanks to the new proposal that gives us NACON there big bad wolf. It is Vampire – The Masquerade: The Swan Song, a new installment in the highly acclaimed vampire saga which, without leaving its role-playing side, offers us a much calmer side. Of course, without neglecting the complexity nor all the lore that conceals this secret organization made up of blood drinkers.
A bloodbath that vampires don’t like
Boston holds secrets that a normal person can’t even fathom. Your city is run by the transparent threads of various organizations working behind the scenes. One of them, The clique: an association formed by vampires who are guided by a code called The Masquerade. This code of conduct allows them to live in anonymity, without attracting too much attention and thus to pursue the businesses they have gradually built.
Unfortunately, this masquerade is highly threatened. Code red is activated because they received an attack from the enemy, and our company and others who do business with us are in extreme danger. Fortunately, we will have Emem, Galeb and Leyshathree members of the vampire organization who will investigate everything that happened and try to find the culprit of the carnage that has drained our forces and our resources.
every intention counts
Vampire: The Masquerade – The Swan Song Like no other game, it collects the conversational pattern we’ve seen on more than one occasion. In this case, it is not enough to choose the option that we like the most, but We will have to see the possibilities, the percentages of success and the intrinsic abilities that each of our characters has.
Shape the psyche of your allies
At the start of the game we can select the type of character each controllable character will have. We can make our protagonists researchers, all-rounders or veterans. Each of these groups with its own characteristics, attributes and virtues. It is true that from the start we will already know the role of each person perfectly, although well… it is always appreciated to be able to choose your personality by yourself. The usual thing will be to do Galeb the tough guy, Emem being the most diplomatic, and Leysha using her stealth skills
Improve your mental power in Vampire: The Masquerade
Psychology and the power of our words will be everything in Vampire: The Masquerade – Swansong. Everything works thanks to our dialogue abilities and the attributes we have assigned. The rhetoric, the intimidation, the wisdom, our sense of technology… all this affects the way we act on stage, opening (or closing) new options in the investigation that we have in progress. We have the most obvious example with the attribute that refers to the physical. In this case, having more physique does not imply that we hit harder, but it does mean that we will impose ourselves more and that the rest of the characters will notice our presence more.
In each act, we will begin with a series of skill points that we can spend on our dialogues with other characters. There are times when by “forcing” the situation a bit, we can obtain key information in our investigations, and this is where we will invest the points awarded. This, yes, spending them does not guarantee success, since it will be necessary to take into account the capacity of defense (or replica, as you want to define it) of the other person. If in the end it turns out that our skill points are equal to those of the other character, a dice will appear on the scene and fate will decide for us.
In the end, going to the pure essence of the game, This is a classic board role-playing game proposal, but adapted to a conversational game. We have to evaluate everything, weigh those points and how to spend them. The experience we get will have to be distributed in a reasonable way and in accordance with the behavior of our characters… There is no shortage of dice, probabilities and external elements that play a fundamental role in dialectical battles.
All this accompanied by a traditions exquisite, dense at first then brutally striking. Never before had I taken into account so many peculiarities of vampires until Vampire: The Masquerade – Swansong fell into my hands. And if the code of conduct of these beings of the night, the different classes that exist (Toreadores, Malkavian, Nosferatu…up to 9 different ones), the sense of embrace, the children who obey their fathers… All the information that surrounds the game is incredible and manages to give us a unique experience.
Darkness before the Second Inquisition
They also can’t miss the supernatural powers possessed by vampires. Leysha will have the ability to turn invisible and copy other people’s uniforms to enter otherwise inaccessible places. Edem is able to teleport and Galeb can have an added bonus if they are even in a dialectical confrontation. There are many others that we will discover little by little, of course.
To use these powers we will have to use the blood spots. We must be careful, because if we make excessive use of these points we can enter envy mode, where our vampire will not respond to his actions. And how to fill these types of points? Very easy, biting humans and thus satiating the beast that we have inside.
Save your teeth and get out the magnifying glass
As you can see, there are many factors to consider in Vampire: The Masquerade – Swansong. It can be overwhelming at first, but once we get into its mechanics, everything will feel understandable and smooth. But the game goes beyond the oratorical framework, even if it is the main branch.
Part of this desire for investigation is given by the care given to the detail that each scenario has. There are many things to discover, but without being crushed. Mansions, garages, roofs…. there are endless places, each more disparate. Unfortunately, The same cannot be said for the modeling of the characters, whether they are protagonists or not. There is a lack of detail in the expressiveness and in his facial textures. It’s not that it’s the most important thing about the game, but better design would have helped intrude more into the plot. Beware of sensitive people, because there are some pretty strong scenes, with beheadings, mutilated bodies and other forms of torture that can get nasty.
Conclusion of Vampire: The Masquerade – Swansong
NACON and Big Bad Wolf surprise us with a vampiric performance that moves away from the action and the frenzy that we usually have with these beings of the night. Instead of having a classic role-playing game, as we are used to in the main saga, we have a title where the dialogues are everything. The decision-making we make, the clashes, the fights and the disappointments will be based on the psychological attributes that we will improve with each scenario, and it is a different concept that makes this title very attractive.
Of course, forget the easy decisions. We will have to weigh our responses and actions very carefully. Failure will be part of the adventure, and while we can channel the story the way we want, not everything will always go well. It’s part of the charm of Vampire: The Masquerade – Swansong, and it makes for unexpected things to happen at the end. Without a doubt, a very interesting bet for those who love those games where the dialectic is the main basis, and which is also enriched with all the lore and background provided by their characters, their environment and the lineage that ‘they represent.
Vampire: The Masquerade – The Swan Song
- Decision making like never before
- It really shows that the psychological attributes of our protagonists affect decisions
- It’s still an RPG, with all the “vampire” fantasy tradition
- The design of our characters has little expressiveness
- It’s a slow proposition, you gotta take it slow
- At first it can be somewhat chaotic between so many tutorials, codexes and secondary characters