Review of Vampire: Under our Vampire: The Masquerade – Swansong review, we begin with the ‘Masquerade’ (vampire society’s elegant name for the secret of their existence) in danger. There has been an attack on one of Prince Hazel’s kin at an uptown celebration, which indicates that someone is trying to disrupt the established order in Boston. Are the Anarchs, a group of vampires that don’t follow Camarilla’s rules, to blame? What’s going on inside? Is it a competitor organization?
Bram Stoker’s idea of the vampire was that of a lone lothario, a creaky but elegantly groomed figure dressed in ruffled collar and cuffs. In this game, Count Dracula would last maybe 20 minutes before the Camarilla Prince put a hit out on him because his only thoughts are of fine taffeta, new pick-up lines, and beautiful young women from high society.
They are more like an undead Illuminati than vampires in Vampire: The Masquerade: cold, calculating, and armed with fangs, to be sure. They’re the ones pulling the strings in our society, monitoring our every move, our impact on the environment, and even our health and well-being. For the simple reason that we’re the only source of food for them, and they must keep the Masquerade hidden from us at all costs lest we hunt them down and wipe them out.
Not only does it bring back fond memories of VTM: Bloodlines, but it’s a beautiful location in general. the first Matrix movie gave you: a viewing of our familiar world in a totally different, and considerably more dangerous, setting. Mark Rein-1991 Hagen’s tabletop RPG gave birth to the World of Darkness.
However, it takes a long time to get there. Three vampires in Prince Hazel’s inner circle are the three protagonists in this game, which switches perspectives between them. As a result, it spends a long time setting the stage before actually granting you any control. To novices to the world, it’s necessary to explain the concept, the laws of vampire society, the code red that just occurred, and then introduce a major character and establish their objectives. This is understood, of course. Three times in a row. A game’s first hour is a lot to cover. As a result, you can’t help but think that there must have been a more elegant approach.
IN THE BEST POSSIBLE SENSE, BOSTON IN SWANSONG BRINGS TOGETHER ARCHITECTURE DIGEST AND THE DARKNESS.
Detective games with RPG features and discussion boss bouts are yours to command when you’ve mastered where, when, and why. There are some similarities to Big Bad Wolf Studio’s earlier game “The Council,” which was all courtly intrigue and raised eyebrows instead of battle. This is a game that relies primarily on finding “interact” hints on papers and drawers in each room, and then going on to the next one.
In talks and when using vampiric talents, it does get a little hotter. This allows you to use additional senses, such as seeing where the character you are following has been, detecting the presence of an illusion, and hiding from others. Contextual actions cost points, but these abilities don’t have a cooldown, so you can use them whenever you choose.
As an example, suppose you wish to hack a computer, dominate an individual in conversation, or use your knowledge to acquire more insight from a piece of evidence. Points are required for each one of these actions, and there is only a limited number available. Conversations and leveling up following scenes may yield one or two. If you’re in a conversation where you have the option of spending more points on an action in the event that your adversary also decides to ‘concentrate’ and improve their social tool, it always feels like you don’t have exactly enough to perform what you want. This is most likely a favorable sign. There is a sense of accomplishment in using up points, despite the frustration that comes with not using them all before they expire.
The atmosphere and depth of fiction in SWANSONG keep you immersed in the story.
A solid trio of protagonists, Emem, Galeb, and Lisha are well-drawn, and Swansong strikes a good balance between giving you a firm feeling of how they wish to behave and letting you select their approach. It’s because of the points I spent on their abilities that my Emem is a detective, Lisha is a physical type and Galeb is a jack of all crafts. It’s possible that they each have their own unique strengths and weaknesses when it comes to your game. However, Emem will remain a charming straight shooter, Lisha will be a suffering mother, and Galeb will revel in his part as if he’s in a Channel 5 TV drama.
For a few days in September 2019, Prince Hazel orders the three to carry out a series of brutal killings, and they find themselves sucked deeper into this murderous spiral. However, it isn’t exactly literary or insightful, but it’s a fun story that takes advantage of its setting in the World of Darkness. There are mystery super-rich people who appear to have it all yet live in private agony, and it’s brought to life with some beautiful interior settings, much like the world of the new Hitman games. “It’s like Architectural Digest crossed with Twilight.”
What I don’t know is exactly how much of a say you have in that tale. There are some major decisions to be made in the opening scene, and they have repercussions throughout the entire game. Then again, I had a run-in with the law at one point and expected to pay the price. I’d come across a ghoul pretending to be a police officer at a crime scene who was going to hand over crucial information about the Camarilla to the authorities.
It wasn’t until the HUD informed me that I’d failed the confrontation that I was offered three consecutive conversational options with a 100 percent chance of dominating my enemy and effectively doing what I’d been trying to do the entire time. The ghoul was sent packing, the records were concealed, and the disaster was averted. What was at risk, then, in the conflict?
It isn’t particularly well-kept or attractive. Story games as a genre will not benefit from the engagement. As a result, you’re drawn into the story from the beginning and find it easy to forgive its flimsy demands from scene to scene because of its unique atmosphere and sense of literary depth.