Vampire: The Masquerade – Bloodlines 2 will use fluid combat mechanics that hope to marry the legacy of Bloodlines with the expectations of modern gaming conventions (via Gamasutra).
Vampire: The Masquerade – Bloodlines was good. Kind of. The writing, world-building, and characterisation charmed its players, but critically, the combat left a sour taste in their mouths. Developer Hardsuit Labs and publisher Paradox Interactive are breathing new life into the next game, and will avoid the pitfalls of the previous title. Revolving around the concept that “you are the weapon” as a preternaturally powerful creature, Paradox Interactive senior producer Florian Schwarzer explained how the project will achieve this.
Humans are small fry, and will be easily disposed of. This power imbalance was important to get right because the prequel often stockpiled enemies who would inevitably overwhelm the player. In addition, the combat will be fluid and fast, and in spite of the supernatural elements, Hardsuit Labs is focused on realism. Citing the approach Arkane Studios took with Dishonored’s combat, Schwarzer said, “something we focused on very early in development was making sure that your attack would always go hand-in-hand with movement.”
“The majority of combat in Bloodlines happened in smaller environments and you had a third-person camera, which you couldn’t switch from in melee combat, that was usually three steps behind you,” he added. “So it usually had a lower angle and if you have that setup, with a melee combat system, your body starts obscuring things and making it harder to see what you’re fighting.” It’s not all about looks, though. The developer has improved enemy AI and sound design to give encounters an edge, and there is always an option to be sneaky. “It’s one of those things where you focus on a thing and make it good,” Schwarzer concluded.
Vampire: The Masquerade – Bloodlines 2 is coming out in late 2020 for Xbox One, PlayStation 4, and PC.