Vampire: The Masquerade was one game series I never thought would make the jump to Virtual Reality, with the standard game having more of a cult following. However, the team at Fast Travel Games have taken the opportunity to do so but, is it worth sinking your teeth into?
Release Date: November 2nd 2023
Developer: Fast Travel Games
Publisher: Fast Travel Games
Price: US $29.99 / CA $39.99 / €29,99 / £24.99
Reviewed On: PlayStation VR 2
* Code Provided For Review *
A STORY OF VENGEANCE
In the game you play as Justice, a vampire of the clan Banu Haqim, who is in search of a statuette, which was taken when her sire was killed. The question is can you figure out the importance of the statuette and find your sires killer in Venice?
BECOME A VAMPIRE
The game plays out as Adventure RPG, set in the World of Darkness, as you stalk the streets of Venice as a vampire. With the idea being get through the streets and underground of Venice without being seen – meaning there is plenty of stealth mechanics to the game. Although, the game does not force you to play stealth only and you can become a predator in the streets killing everything in you way.
However, there is a benefit to playing it stealthy, as each mission will come with challenges that are based around not killing or being seen and taking no damage. In order to make this possible, you can take to the high ground around the city, and use skills like cloaking or dashing to avoid people or use an arrow to put them to sleep from your hand-mounted cross-bow. This does add an extra challenge to the game, and using your skills and crafting more ammo for your cross-bow will drain your energy.
But, if you woke up and chose violence, you can take out anyone from enemies to the general public still inhabiting Venice. You can do this by either sneaking up and biting them, punching them, using skills like jumping on them from above, boiling there insides or placing a trap that will drag them into oblivion, and a lethal arrow. Taking this approach will drain your energy a lot quicker than being stealthy, so where it might make some things more simple, you will need to make sure you have something around to replenish your energy.
When your energy is fully drained you are unable to use any skill, so keeping this up is going to be important and how this is done is by drinking blood. If you are going for the stealthy approach and do not want to kill anyone, you will find rats around Venice you can feast upon. But, if using the more lethal approach, you can take the blood of the enemies or locals. As well as serving as a means to get more energy, this is the way you will heal yourself when/if you have taken any damage.
Of course you are not restricted to playing by one of these style only, if you want to mix-up your approach, this is always an option – it will however fail the aforementioned challenges on offer each mission.
You will start the game as a pretty powerful vampire, but the game does give you XP when you complete the missions and additional objectives. You can then use this between missions by purchasing new disciplines to make you even stronger. Outside of this Fast Travel Games, have also added in many collectibles to find and shoot around Venice, with these giving you more information and backstory of each main character in the game.
VENICE LIKE YOU’VE NEVER SEEN IT BEFORE
The team have done a fantastic job of bringing the Venice setting to life, with everything from the dark alleyways, the palazzos, the underground sewers to the blood soaked canals all looking gritty and fantastic. Adding to this the lighting and neon signs bringing the finishing touches making a Venice like you have never seen before. With the overall presentation, reminding me a little of the style in Saints and Sinners – which is not a bad thing, as this style looks great when in VR.
Venice is then brought to life with a fantastic use of audio, bringing the atmosphere of the each setting to life – keeping you immersed never mind where you are exploring. With the voice acting for all the main characters being very well done, and hearing the NPC’s converse as you move stealthy about the city, and finally a great musical score piecing it all together perfectly.
All of this mixed together, makes for perfect representation of the World of Darkness and Vampire Masquerade in virtual reality.
Vampire: The Masquerade – Justice brings the World of Darkness to virtual reality perfectly, and allows you to live out the franchise like never before. Carrying over the stealthy elements the series is known for in away that feels at home in VR. With the team at Fast Travel Games creating Venice, which looks beautiful in decay, making it the perfect setting for moving across the rooftops and stalking your prey, while looking to get revenge on whoever killed your sire.