The long-awaited Vampire: The Masquerade – Bloodlines 2 aims to buck the trend of bloated open worlds by giving the world a sense of dynamism.
Speaking to Polygon recently, the game’s narrative lead Brian Mitsoda and senior writer Cara Ellison explained how the team at Hardsuit Labs is bringing the Seattle nights to life.
One of the tropes that the developer is attempting to avoid is that where, in RPGs, “everybody is kind of waiting around for the hero to get there,” according to Mitsoda. Instead, he says that “you have to have characters that feel like they’re part of a world, that they’re not just there for the player’s benefit.” Details on how that will be handled, however, were not forthcoming.
Beyond the characters, though is the world, which Ellison says will be affected by the player’s actions: “[O]ne of the ways that we look at our world is that we are trying to make it really reactive to the way that you play and how you act as a vampire. The more that you break the Masquerade, the more consequences are going to come your way.”
That feedback loop will be important, as feeding on NPCs is the primary method through which the player gains strength. The blood of NPCs carries what the game terms emotional resonance, which is used to power up both active and passive skills.
Speaking about how that plays into the wider world, Mitsoda explains that “You’re always kind of on the hunt, and it’s one of the big parts of the side activities in the game. You’re skulking around on the tops of roofs and looking around for people with strong resonance and figuring out how to best get them in a position where you can feed on them without breaking the Masquerade.”
Since the game’s unveiling back in March, Hardsuit Labs and publisher Paradox Interactive have been releasing details on the game’s factions, the latest of which is the Ventrue. Meanwhile, a narrative RPG based on Vampire: The Masquerade from The Council developer Big Bad Wolf is also in development.
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