Vampire: The Masquerade – Swansong just dropped a new trailer for the upcoming narrative-RPG experience, and gives us the impression of LA Noire-style detective shenanigans set in the Vampire: The Masquerade universe.
Vampire: The Masquerade – Swansong was officially unveiled in 2021, and will be set narrative-RPG, much like we have seen from Until Dawn and The Dark Pictures Anthology, just with cooler vampires in suits. The title is also heavily based on the iconic tabletop roleplaying game of the same name, and will feature character sheets, attributes, and skills, that will evolve as you progress, that you must utilise to achieve your objectives. Swansong follows the events of a catastrophic event that has hit the members of the vampire community in Boston.
Swansong will offer quite a sandbox of ways to complete objectives, where you can mix-and-match attributes and disciplines, making the way you approach each encounter unique. Skills will allow you to perform simple acts such as unlocking doors, to something more complex like convincing someone to let you through a restricted area. These attributes could detriment or enhance your way of approaching each situation, and even a single point can unlock a completely different approach.
Disciplines, which are unique vampiric powers wielded by each of the three playable characters (Galeb, Emem, and Leysha), can also be utilised in order to navigate pathways differently. One character, Emem, can utilise a power called Solarity, reminiscent of Blink from Dishonored, to access otherwise inaccessible spaces, giving you unique insight or intelligence, as well as powers. Leysha can wield an ability called Obfuscate, which starts out as a simple stealth mechanic, allowing her to go completely undetected, to actively being able to hide items in the environment, changing the dynamic completely. Each character, along with their skills and disciplines, will afford completely unique ways to approach each situation, making each interaction exciting and adaptive. Obviously, this all doesn’t come free, as you will need to manage your feeding attributes with heavier power usage. Skills can also only be wielded if your willpower has been buffed, which means you will need to measure each action and consequence, clearly and carefully.
However, it’s not just you who is influencing each encounter, but the success or failure of each interaction will also have an impact on your character’s traits. Each choice you make will have positive or negative consequences to your Traits, which are like side-goals, and reward for “sticking to a particular playstyle”. These are, though, completely optional so, naturally, I will probably ignore them entirely and just unfold my own show. NPCs will also have their own character sheets, and will have “crucial confrontations”, some of which will even have their own vampiric attributes, that they will use against you. These confrontations will be dialogue-based fights, and depending on the outcome, will have “game-changing” consequences for your character, and reshape the narrative as a whole.
Meanwhile, Vampire: The Masquerade – Bloodlines 2 has shifted development studios, and was almost even cancelled at some point. There is still no clear indication on when we can expect the highly-anticipated sequel.
Vampire: The Masquerade – Swansong was delayed to May 19 2022 after it was originally meant to release in February 2022, and is being developed for the Nintendo Switch, Xbox One, Xbox Seriex X/S, PS4, PS5, and PC.