What Vampire: the Masquerade – Bloodlines 2 Needs
A Truly Sleepless Seattle
Setting is a huge part of selling an atmosphere in any game and when you’re setting your story in a real location, like next year’s Vampire: the Masquerade – Bloodlines 2, there’s extra pressure to get it right.
The teaser trailer released last week told us that the long-awaited sequel to the cult classic Vampire: The Masquerade – Bloodlines, by Paradox Interactive and Hardsuit Labs, would be set in Seattle, showing a tidal wave of blood rearing over the famous Great Wheel.
Seattle is a surprisingly perfect fit for vampire society, thanks to its long, dark winters and buzzing nightlife. The original game was set in LA and developer Troika Games did an amazing job of representing the city and using it to inform the elitist, social-climbing culture of vampires that lived there.
Different districts are known for different things in vampire society, for example Hollywood’s underground information brokers and Chinatown being home to the mysterious not-quite-vampires-but-similar, the Kuei-Jin.
From standing on a rain-soaked pier on the beach in Santa Monica, to clubbing your heart out in Downtown LA, how well Troika embraced the city of Los Angeles is a key part of what the game’s amazing atmosphere was built on. That same level of detail and atmosphere needs to at least be matched in the sequel, if not surpassed, as it’s confirmed the game will be an open-world sandbox.
The standard for what makes a great interactive sandbox setting has come a long way since the first game came out in 2004. Spider-Man‘s New York is a great example of a sandbox game world that’s an intricate, loving homage to its real-world counterpart.
That’s an insanely high bar to meet and it’s doubtful anyone’s expecting the city to be replicated at that level, but the pressure is on to make the game feel like being set Seattle matters.