RETRO – “I have not seen the golden light of sunset for eight hundred years. Cross-country borders and centuries I had to wade through into blood and tears, often feeding on the blood of innocents and destroying my kind. My name is Christof. I am a vampire … “
Since the artwork of Bram Stoker’s Dracula might not have a figure in the thriller with such popularity as a vampire. Unfortunately, the film industry is completely sapping out the figure of the bloodsucking: Béla Lugosi than Christopher Lee Dracula’s series of “Kárpátok réme” (The Carpathian Vampire) category has become a fair clown.
Fortunately, later we will meet such as “nouvelle vague” artworks which have improved the vampire-image: Such as the “Hunger”, figured by Catherine Deneuve, David Bowie and Susan Sarandon (which is a must for the fans of the erotic vampire film!) or the later “Interview with the Vampire”, based on Anne Rice’s novel. In the latter, Brad Pitt is a depressed, remorse vampire who cannot use to his new lifestyle through centuries and with his fellow Lestat (Tom Cruise) who kills unscrupulously. The novel and the film based on the original idea that through its histories vampires are forced to fight against another vampire and during the clashes sometimes they even kill each other.
Among others, this idea has driven the Vampire: The creators of the Masquerade role-play game. Of course – as with other best-selling role-playing games – it could not avoid this fate and now the computerized version has completed. I suppose the pro Vampires are already excited about it (“Oh, what is going to be?”)… Prepare the gold crosses and garlic meatballs or show our necks? Read more venture…
The story begins in 1141, Moravia (Czech Republic). Our Hero, Christof the crusader knight was attacked by an arrow on the battlefield. Fortunately for Prague is not far away from so his comrades take him quickly to the local parish where the nuns take care of him. One of them, Anezka and our hero immediately fall in love with each other – just as it happens between a nun and a crusader.
When Sister Anezka is attacked by blood-sucking monsters, the angry Christof saves the nun first and vows that he will not rest until he liberates the city from the monsters who are living in the silver mines. Here starts the game: in the first level we are playing with the pure-hearted crusaders and our task is to clean out the silver mines from the monsters. This first part is actually not far from the traditional fantasy action game called “Die by the Sword / Drakan”: at the beginning we can only count on our swords, bare hands, the holy water -along the way – and energy drinks.
The first (blood) drop in the glass
Of course this unfortunate situation (or rather blessed) cannot survive further: our hero has to become a vampire. What else could cause a brave knight fall as a Woman? Women, who turns Christof on and who has similar feelings for Anezka? Christof makes the mistake that caused rush out the night (due to his turned up hidden desire) where vampires are waiting for him with wide-opened canines. Specifically, Ecaterina, “the wise” leader of the Brujah vampire clan is looking forward to catching Christof. From this point, our hero becomes those who most hated: the Godless bloodsucking nightmares.
Bonfire vampire style
Christof’s and for our fortune the vampire life does not mean that from now on we have to kill, wildly everyone who stands in our way. The fate of a vampire comes to a lot of special abilities, attributes (so-called “disciplines”) for which mortal human is not capable – from this actually the Redemption is kind of a role-playing game. These features are pretty much the same as the traditional magic role-play games: lightning, we can attach the enemies with a fireball, the dogs of the hell or cause dead souls, we can light out dungeons with magic, we can stun, seduce or manipulate the enemies under our control or the population.
The disciplines – also like the other role-playing games – can be developed: the more powerful spells are obviously much more effective. The only negative is that it costs quite a lot of experience points – through level-up often I had the feeling that I gave my blood for development.
In the beginning, we only have quite a few magic so fight with weapons make much more sense. Fortunately, at the first ‘vampire’ quest Willheim joins us who used to be a German soldier based on his accent and outfit. With the first few missions, we will suffer a bit with Christof – Wilheim company.
Does not the water become blood?
The bloodsucking itself we can find among the spells. The levels of the vampire blood perhaps the most important part of the game because the power is obtained from the spells. Blood levels also affect the energy level as “blood recovery” (or something like that – sorry, vampire professors …) can help to regain our strength. If you cannot find some voluntary blood donors, from rats (From Lestat, f Interview with the vampire: “Ohh, Louis, are you living on rats? You humility your kind! I feel ashamed that I redeemed you!”), or we can obtain blood from the blood-filled glass as well. (Unfortunately, this has a contaminated version as well).
The true vampire lives on blood. Of course, the real one is when we fully such it from the victims but unfortunately, it has negative consequences. If we kill innocent people – even blood-sucking or even during combat – the vampire you lose 5 points from humanity and in the end completely turns to an animal. What exactly happens in this case I do not know because I did not let things degenerate but it may also be harmful if allowed to fall below a certain value: This may occur when we encounter with a weapon that our humanity point was not enough high. I observed (but maybe that is just the fault of the artificial unintelligence) that if my vampire turned to an animal does not submissive to our lead. In any case, even though I know it is can’t help doing, “sucking blood only carefully and nicely …”
Vampire vs. vampire
Despite its many feature and role-playing features, Vampire is an intelligently built action game. The smart marker is mostly about the story, because we’ll come across some very silly mistakes, and we’ll talk about them later. We have to undertake various missions, which, if you like it or not, must be accomplished – this reinforces the character of the action. Most of the time, their goal is to deal with the chief vampire of one of the rival clans, to obtain some object, or to rescue a person. Of course, in all these struggles, we run into hostile vampires or other forms of hell who have the ultimate desire to shed our “re-conserved” blood. Unfortunately, the fight follows the real-time tradition of Diablo – this polite formulation means that, especially at the beginning of the game, we have to hit it like a doorbell (click the mouse as a sewing machine). Later though our characters learn various spells, unfortunately, unless they are in the quick slot, they can sometimes be quite cumbersome.
Nonetheless, I enjoyed the combat much more than Diablo’s “click champion”: except for the awkward interface, it didn’t matter much if we were just hitting or using harsh spells.
The patch is said to be underway, which will allow, among other things, a “freeze” known from Baldur’s Gate – so the fighting will be much more tactical. The only problem is that the enemy’s skill level is optimized for real-time operation, so the main enemies that we sweat before we overcome them are now stupid for half a minute. Let’s hope …
And I haven’t even mentioned the Vampire’s stunning graphics so far! When I first saw the icons of the simple little Czech chapel, the pictures of the saints, the patterned carpets, or the scene of the little nun, Anezka speaking, then making a cross, I almost cut myself. As I stepped out into medieval Prague, my astonishment grew: it is the most beautiful 3D graphics engine I have ever seen! Nihilistic graphic designers are likely to be vampires themselves that they had so much time and patience to elaborate, not to mention how they know exactly what medieval Prague looked like?
The realization of the characters’ faces also goes a long way towards competing: some monsters (such as Joseph, a member of the Nosferatu clan) have gone so beautifully, in detail, that they have shaken severely cold. Also, when I was examining some vampire ladies or Anezka in a nightgown, I was not thinking about Catholic things … Lara Croft, who is moonlit and polygonal, has a lot to develop!
Of course, wonderful graphics would be worthless if Anezka, the voice of the wonderful Oriental girl, had the experience and accent of a Texas cowgirl (see Arcata). Fortunately, this is not the case: Nihilistic is once again excelling in dialogue. The characters speak with verdant antiquity and real experience.
I was delighted that the characters expressed their emotions with strange, yet non-kinky twists: for example, the mood of the Middle Ages, suppressed by gender, was well felt in the dialogue between Christof, the Crusader, and Anezka, the nun.
We can’t complain about the voices either: the fighting screams of the enemy vampires or the lusty and painful moans of female victims walking down the street are very credible.
Why save the game job if you live forever?
… the creators of the game might have thought it when they concluded that they would not allow saving while playing – only automatic backups between tracks or buildings could be restored, or in certain hiding places. Blood foam on the cake that the previous automatic position is constantly overwritten by the newer ones, so once we hit something, it’s final (restart game?). Fortunately, the second Vienna location will now be a hiding place where you can save yourself in Final Fantasy VIII mode. This patch is said to allow us to save anywhere, which can make the game too easy again. Ah, no way …
Vampire the Masquerade has also found a great innovation in multiplayer mode. Unlike most Diablo clones, in Vampire, like in traditional role-playing games, one player is the “game master” himself. This means that he shapes the story, the supporting characters and the goals, and even a track editor can be downloaded from the Internet. These many possibilities sound promising, but unfortunately, they have not yet stuck to the heart of Diablo 2.
Unfortunately, due to the extremely cumbersome and primitive interface, the narrator can only make the gameplay very difficult. Its role is quite limited for the time being: apart from changing the properties of NPCs (non-playable characters), telescoping objects with monsters or monsters, it has virtually no effect other than staring …
Messenger fanatics will surely be bothered by the fact that they can’t chat with vampire colleagues because there is no built-in chat. It is also terribly primitive to not see in a multiplayer lounge whether a game party is closed or not. We only notice when the game has dropped a stupid error message.
Good or nothing about the (living) dead
Is Redemption good now or not? the dear Reader can ask, having found both enthusiasm and severe reprimand in my lines. Well, Vampire, in its current state, is more like 3D action-roleplay games (Drakan, Die by the Sword, Crusaders of Might and Magic) with some Diablo hit. Much more enjoyable and easier than these games: an absolute king.
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+ Fantastic graphics
+ By far the best action/RPG
+ Nice gameplay
– Defective RPG elements
– Silly save feature
– Low challenge
Developer: Nihilistic Software
Genres: action, Action Adventure,
Publication: August 7, 2000