In a video posted by Paradox Interactive this morning, Hardsuit Labs creative director Ka’ai Cluney goes over the pre-alpha Bloodlines 2 gameplay demo build shown at E3 and Gamescom 2019, providing more insight into the world of the game. We’ve gotten a good amount of detail in the past, but this new commentary-filled demo has plenty of new specifics to, ahem, sink our teeth into.
For starters, the beginning of the demo takes place roughly two hours into the game. By this point, you’ve learned you are a thinblood vampire who was created in the Mass Embrace—a coordinated event where a bunch of humans are turned into vampires at the same time—and have escaped execution, but Cluney reveals you’re the only one who has been identified by the vampire community. This puts your immortal life in jeopardy, so it’s important that you align yourself with a faction as quickly as possible if you want to survive to see your first birthday.
The apartment where you begin (in the demo) is the apartment of another thinblood, a journalist named Dominic who was investigating the Mass Embrace before he was killed. You will use his “conspiracy board” to piece together the events that lead to the Mass Embrace and, hopefully, figure out how you fit into the mystery. Your next-door vamp neighbor, Dale, is not only your guide of sorts, he’ll also buy your stolen goods and sell you things in return.
After leaving the apartment you head to a club called Atrium, where you meet with one of the city’s faction representatives. Unfortunately, Cluney doesn’t say which faction, but my guess is Camarilla; the scene is reminiscent of when Therese Voerman sends you to find Bertrum Tung, a Nosferatu, in the first Bloodlines.
One of the interesting aspects about Bloodlines 2 is the feeding system and the different kinds of resonance, or blood, it involves. Aside from the three different types of feeds (which were present in the first game: half, full, and straight-up murder), blood quality isn’t so much about the taste as it is about an NPCs current emotional state.
“The idea is that not all blood is the same. These characters might be filled with delirium, others might be filled with rage, and by drinking different types of resonance [blood] we’re treating it as sort of a secondary type of experience that further allows you to customize your character based on your preferred tastes,” said Cluney.
With heightened senses, you’ll be able to see into a character’s cardiovascular system, which is colored differently depending on what emotion they are feeling. This resonance system is adapted from the tabletop RPG, as we’ve previously covered, but will have five resonances instead of four.
The new video digs into a lot of fine detail. Combat zones are now called blind spots, but still function the same way as in Bloodlines in that you can still break the Masquerade and the law without getting caught or punished. Cluney gets into the background of characters like Samuel a bit, and into the lore of clan Nosferatu themselves. Aggravated damage also seems to work a little differently in Bloodlines 2. Masquerade violations can stack like in the first game, so go easy on the parkour. And just because you have clan-based dialogue options doesn’t mean it will get you what you want.
Check out the new demo, with Cluney’s commentary, below.