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Author Topic: Vampire the Masquerade Bloodlines Impressions  (Read 17713 times)
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Roguetad
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« Reply #80 on: November 22, 2004, 09:20:53 PM »

It’s easy to get the impression that obfuscate is unbalancing early in the game.  I’ve played a malkavian, gangrel, and ventrue, all are around the same point in the game in downtown and Hollywood.  My malkavian has obfuscate 4, which allows her to run while stealthed, and to make stealth kills (obfuscate 3), and to do a nice chunk of damage even if she isn’t making a stealth kill when attacking from obfuscate.  That sounds powerful, but bosses and vamps can’t be stealth killed, and once you exit obfuscate and start to fight, you better have other disciplines or combat skills to rely on.  Some of the missions or quests are much, much easier with a malk or nosf that has obfuscate 3 or higher, compared to characters that don’t have sneak or obfuscate.  You would think that there would be a nice trade off in balance, where a malk or nosf could stealth through a mission, a gangrel or brujah should be able to fight their way through with a similar level of challenge.  Here’s what I’ve found though:

-   If my malkavian gets caught out of stealth, or has to exit obfuscate, it can get very ugly really fast.  Obfuscate is an entire discipline, and when that is taken out of the picture, it’s dementia, auspex and whatever combat abilities she has.  Well, dementia works great against humans and lesser beings, but sometimes doesn’t work at all against tougher supernaturals or hunters.  And auspex is more of a utility discipline with a nice buff for hacking and ranged weapons, so it’s not terribly helpful.  I love playing the malk, but when you’re forced to fight on even terms with a boss that’s clearly melee, it can be ugly. I normally have to hit and run, hiding back into obfuscate and attacking again to get the attack bonus.  Gotta love the cowgirl outfit.  My eyeballs about popped out of my head after I equipped that outfit.    

-   My gangrel is good for one thing and one thing only, killing in close combat.  Unfortunately, the effect from protean kills my framerates, and makes crowded fights a delayed button clicking event.  His level of protean allows him to see heat auras similar to auspex, which combined with the red night vision effect makes for some slow framerates when lots of baddies are around.  It helps if I turn the particle slider down to just below 50%, but it can still be tough on my rig.  He is a badass though, and with the buffs from protean plus fortitude, he’s very hardy.  I miss the social skills though, they’re half the fun in the game for me.  

-   My ventrue is a lot of fun to play, surprisingly fun actually.  He has a nice mix of disciplines that provide for a lot of flexibility in different situations.  His 2 passive 1 blood cost disciplines, Presence and Fortitude, are very helpful.  Presence doesn’t seem like it would be that good initially, but since it doesn’t scale in blood cost, and by rank 4 you have a nice radius debuff plus chance to mez, it’s definitely worth it imo.  It also does a nice job of slowing the attack speed of baddies.  Fortitude is a must have imo, and also doesn’t have a scaling blood cost.  Having fortitude saves some points that would normally go into stamina, and by rank 4, it can make for a tough to kill vamp.  Dominate is incredibly useful both in and out of combat.  It has less of an affect on supernaturals and vamps, but it wreaks havoc on lesser beings and humans.  Unfortunately, the blood cost can add up if used a lot.  The dialogue options with dominate are great.  I’ve mainly put points into social skills, wits, melee and strength, and with the presence debuff and fortitude, he can definitely hold his own in combat.
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Sepiche
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« Reply #81 on: November 22, 2004, 10:25:18 PM »

Quote from: "Mr. Sparkle"
Quote from: "olaf"


So, I benched the Gangrel and brought out a Torreador.  The game is more challenging to be sure and even though I wanted to go guns, I find myself beating people to death because fists are just so much more effective than the .38 and shotgun I have access to thus far.  A shotgun up close does pack a mean punch, but the slow refire and limited ammo capacity make fists a better choice in most cases.



Weapons don't really get interesting until Hollywood and Chinatown.   Then you actually have some choices to make.

*POSSIBLE SPOILER









I recommend going back to visit Mercurio and see what he's offering.

Thanks for the tip man... I'm all the way to Chinatown and I totally forgot he even sold gun. Tongue

Quote

- My ventrue is a lot of fun to play, surprisingly fun actually. He has a nice mix of disciplines that provide for a lot of flexibility in different situations. His 2 passive 1 blood cost disciplines, Presence and Fortitude, are very helpful. Presence doesn?t seem like it would be that good initially, but since it doesn?t scale in blood cost, and by rank 4 you have a nice radius debuff plus chance to mez, it?s definitely worth it imo. It also does a nice job of slowing the attack speed of baddies. Fortitude is a must have imo, and also doesn?t have a scaling blood cost. Having fortitude saves some points that would normally go into stamina, and by rank 4, it can make for a tough to kill vamp. Dominate is incredibly useful both in and out of combat. It has less of an affect on supernaturals and vamps, but it wreaks havoc on lesser beings and humans. Unfortunately, the blood cost can add up if used a lot. The dialogue options with dominate are great. I?ve mainly put points into social skills, wits, melee and strength, and with the presence debuff and fortitude, he can definitely hold his own in combat.

I've played through the whole game as a Ventrue and I've had a lot of fun with it.  I've been mainly focused on Dominate, Speaking skills, and a little melee, hacking, and firearms thrown in.  My guy is pretty powerful at this point (presence and fortitude really help with that) and as stated, using dominate in the conversations is just great.

Edit: Oh, and watching someone choke themselves to death after I command them to is... priceless. smile

s
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And when he had failed to find these boons in things whose laws are known and measurable, they told him he lacked imagination, and was immature because he preferred dream-illusions to the illusions of our physical creation
Caine
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« Reply #82 on: November 22, 2004, 10:56:57 PM »

vampire is one of the few games that i definately see replaying.  i rarely replay games as in most of them, there isn't much to do differently and/or the gameplay isn't good enough to entice me back.  both this and it's bigger cousin hl2 have already got me excited enough to want to replay them.  

oh, does anyone else have that goth rock song from the club stuck in your mind too?  i just love that there is a real song playing in the background instead of just another bad attempt at techno.
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Orgull
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« Reply #83 on: November 22, 2004, 11:18:04 PM »

I have a really stupid question. Please don't kill me.

I love horror movies, I love horror novels, I enjoy being scared out of my wits.

But I hate vampires. I don't find them scary or fun at all. I've never understood why since I love every other kind of evil boogeyman.

Is there any chance that I might enjoy this game enough to be able to overlook the fact that it's all about vampires? Could this be the vampire exeperience that turns me?

(ok I liked Gary Oldman in Bram Stoker's Dracula and I liked Matilda May in Lifeforce but those are exceptions)
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Chesspieceface
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« Reply #84 on: November 22, 2004, 11:20:55 PM »

I've been playing a Malkavian as a jack-of-all-trades type.  The only situation he's had trouble with so far is the cemetary situation and that's really a matter of speed on my part.  I have put NO points into obfuscate or auspex.  Just three into Dementation so far.  He is well versed in melee and ranged and good with secirity and hacking.  I'm curious if I'm gonna hit a wall somewhere, but I'm well in to Hollywood and so far so good.    I could see how it would be hard to stick to the boilerplate Malk though.  Mine is basically a brilliantly insane serial killer in his own right.  Total Chaos.
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belfong
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« Reply #85 on: November 23, 2004, 12:11:17 AM »

Due to Console Gold effect, I have finally obtained and have played the game for the past, 30 minutes.. yeah I know, but I was just too tired after work.

My very brief impressions:
1. I am disappointed with the graphic. I would NEVER belief that this game is powered by Source. Comparing to HL2, it's worlds of difference! I guess it must be the quality of the textures (how did Console Gold give it a 95/100 is beyond me)

2. The intro video on the Prince was just, meh! It looks B grade.

3. I like the tutorial a lot. Easy to learn and get into.

4. I see lots of potential in the game esp in the gameplay department and was very excited to try it tomorrow night.

(I was given the role of Nosferatu but I didn't like the fact that I have to hide in sewers so I'll probably restart tonight. Ah.. have to endure the B grade intro again.. sigh.. )

Edit to add: while graphics is not the be-all for me (hey, I still like the Dark Engine today.. hehe) but I must admit that the reason I even heard about Bloodlines was because it uses Source. I wish I didn't hear it that way but instead hear it as a great RPG. Anyway, I sure hope the gameplay is worth it.
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mrobert
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« Reply #86 on: November 24, 2004, 04:44:04 PM »

I can't wait for this game to hit my local games store smile
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Sepiche
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« Reply #87 on: November 24, 2004, 04:50:15 PM »

Quote from: "belfong"
Due to Console Gold effect, I have finally obtained and have played the game for the past, 30 minutes.. yeah I know, but I was just too tired after work.

My very brief impressions:
1. I am disappointed with the graphic. I would NEVER belief that this game is powered by Source. Comparing to HL2, it's worlds of difference! I guess it must be the quality of the textures (how did Console Gold give it a 95/100 is beyond me)

2. The intro video on the Prince was just, meh! It looks B grade.

3. I like the tutorial a lot. Easy to learn and get into.

4. I see lots of potential in the game esp in the gameplay department and was very excited to try it tomorrow night.

(I was given the role of Nosferatu but I didn't like the fact that I have to hide in sewers so I'll probably restart tonight. Ah.. have to endure the B grade intro again.. sigh.. )

Edit to add: while graphics is not the be-all for me (hey, I still like the Dark Engine today.. hehe) but I must admit that the reason I even heard about Bloodlines was because it uses Source. I wish I didn't hear it that way but instead hear it as a great RPG. Anyway, I sure hope the gameplay is worth it.

If your looking for a moderately challenging game you might try the Ventrue.  They have a nice mix of abilities and can be a nice fighter mage type character.  If you want something a little easier you might do a Gangrel focusing on unarmed combat (get protean level 2 asap).  That build is really strong.

The nosferatu is a really interesting way to play the game, but yeah, might not be the best choice for hte first time though.

s
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And when he had failed to find these boons in things whose laws are known and measurable, they told him he lacked imagination, and was immature because he preferred dream-illusions to the illusions of our physical creation
RPGHero
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« Reply #88 on: November 24, 2004, 04:52:00 PM »

Quote from: "belfong"
Due to Console Gold effect, I have finally obtained and have played the game for the past, 30 minutes.. yeah I know, but I was just too tired after work.

My very brief impressions:
1. I am disappointed with the graphic. I would NEVER belief that this game is powered by Source. Comparing to HL2, it's worlds of difference! I guess it must be the quality of the textures (how did Console Gold give it a 95/100 is beyond me)
<clip>
Edit to add: while graphics is not the be-all for me (hey, I still like the Dark Engine today.. hehe) but I must admit that the reason I even heard about Bloodlines was because it uses Source. I wish I didn't hear it that way but instead hear it as a great RPG. Anyway, I sure hope the gameplay is worth it.


Well, I'm sure gameplay WILL be worth it, but I'm amazed on the graphics thing.  It's not quite as good as HL2, but I thought the game looked great.  Are you sure you have all the textures and shading effects on???
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Kevin Grey
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« Reply #89 on: November 24, 2004, 06:40:43 PM »

Quote from: "RPGHero"
Quote from: "belfong"
Due to Console Gold effect, I have finally obtained and have played the game for the past, 30 minutes.. yeah I know, but I was just too tired after work.

My very brief impressions:
1. I am disappointed with the graphic. I would NEVER belief that this game is powered by Source. Comparing to HL2, it's worlds of difference! I guess it must be the quality of the textures (how did Console Gold give it a 95/100 is beyond me)
<clip>
Edit to add: while graphics is not the be-all for me (hey, I still like the Dark Engine today.. hehe) but I must admit that the reason I even heard about Bloodlines was because it uses Source. I wish I didn't hear it that way but instead hear it as a great RPG. Anyway, I sure hope the gameplay is worth it.


Well, I'm sure gameplay WILL be worth it, but I'm amazed on the graphics thing.  It's not quite as good as HL2, but I thought the game looked great.  Are you sure you have all the textures and shading effects on???


Yeah, I don't see the complaints about the graphics.  RPGs usually lag in the looks department and I would say that Vampire is probably the best looking PC RPG I've ever seen.  The environments are very nice by and large and the character models are fantastic.
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olaf
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« Reply #90 on: November 24, 2004, 06:53:18 PM »

The graphics are good for an RPG, oh yeah.  But, compare them to HL2?  They are not as good.  Then take a closer look at the animation and stuff like that, also not nearly as good.  Finally, the performance...its not even close.  HL2 I can run 1600x1200 4xaa 16xaf and everything full tilt, no problems.  Bloodlines at 1280x1024, shadows off, no aa, no af is not as smooth.

olaf

edit: I wouldnt expect the game to look and perform as well as HL2, but I do think it is fair to compare the two games.  And based on that comparison, Bloodlines does not fare as well as I think it should.
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Roguetad
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« Reply #91 on: November 24, 2004, 07:02:41 PM »

As far as ranking the clans by difficulty, I think nosferatu would be considered advanced due to the masquerade limitations.  They do have a nice mix of disciplines though.

I would also consider venture as one of the best all around choices since they have the potential to have a good mix of social, combat and discipline powers.
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RPGHero
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« Reply #92 on: November 25, 2004, 02:05:26 AM »

Quote from: "olaf"
The graphics are good for an RPG, oh yeah.  But, compare them to HL2?  They are not as good.  Then take a closer look at the animation and stuff like that, also not nearly as good.  Finally, the performance...its not even close.  HL2 I can run 1600x1200 4xaa 16xaf and everything full tilt, no problems.  Bloodlines at 1280x1024, shadows off, no aa, no af is not as smooth.

olaf

edit: I wouldnt expect the game to look and perform as well as HL2, but I do think it is fair to compare the two games.  And based on that comparison, Bloodlines does not fare as well as I think it should.


I'm sorry, I just can't agree with you at all on this.  HL2 is a pure shooter that railroads you into an EXACT path.  Replayability is zero and basically there is "one" story.  Also, there is one type of character to play, "Gordon Freeman with a gun".  Play balance is easy...do we give Gordon more ammo and armor here or not?
Bloodlines on the other hand seems to have several different games inside of it depending on style of play and clan you join.  Also you have to make it so theoretically any combination can complete a mission.
If Bloodlines had they exact same performance as HL2 then HL2 fans should gather in the streets, take a leak on the box, then light them on fire to show their distaste to Valve.  
If you compare Valve's resources and budget to Troika, I gotta say that VTM:B probably deserves game of the year more than HL2.  Especially considering that its Valve's engine.  If Troika could trick it out as well as Valve could then somebody isn't doing their job at Valve.
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belfong
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« Reply #93 on: November 25, 2004, 02:13:26 AM »

Quote from: "olaf"
Bloodlines at 1280x1024, shadows off, no aa, no af is not as smooth.

The performance is due to the Sound option in Bloodlines. Remove the High Quality Sound and Bloodlines should run smooth.

I do have everything ticked in the graphics department (I have a nvidia 6800). I believe it is not the engine but the quality of the textures. Valve has very good texture and model artists.

Anyway, I finally restarted the game and played as a Malkavian. Things are started to get interesting smile
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Kevin Grey
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« Reply #94 on: November 25, 2004, 04:57:42 AM »

Quote from: "olaf"
The graphics are good for an RPG, oh yeah.  But, compare them to HL2?  They are not as good.  Then take a closer look at the animation and stuff like that, also not nearly as good.  Finally, the performance...its not even close.  HL2 I can run 1600x1200 4xaa 16xaf and everything full tilt, no problems.  Bloodlines at 1280x1024, shadows off, no aa, no af is not as smooth.

olaf

edit: I wouldnt expect the game to look and perform as well as HL2, but I do think it is fair to compare the two games.  And based on that comparison, Bloodlines does not fare as well as I think it should.


As Belfong noticed most of the differences can be attributed to the quality of artists on staff at both organizations.  Source is just an engine- it doesn't guarantee good art.  Animation is still the perogative of the developer too.  The facial animation system though, which Source excels in, is used in excellent effect in Vampire, though.  

The performance difference is likely a combination of technical inablity on Troika's part (ToEE ran like ass even on a lot of high end systems) and Valve knowing their own engine inside out.  

I am excited to see what future devs can bring to the table now that Source is finalized.  Seeing what HL2 can achieve on even modest systems has to be great motivation.
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olaf
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« Reply #95 on: November 25, 2004, 05:04:13 AM »

Well giving Troika a pass because they are a smaller studio, less familiar with the engine, or whatever is certainly one way to go.  But despite those differences and the fact that the games are different genres, I think because they do share the same engine they are naturally going to be compared to one another.  And when I compare the two, in terms of graphics and performance, Bloodlines comes up short.  

olaf
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hammer600
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« Reply #96 on: November 25, 2004, 05:15:28 AM »

Olaf, and other posters, please post the role playing games you have played that have better graphics than Bloodlines.
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Kevin Grey
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« Reply #97 on: November 25, 2004, 08:14:00 AM »

Quote from: "olaf"
Well giving Troika a pass because they are a smaller studio, less familiar with the engine, or whatever is certainly one way to go.  But despite those differences and the fact that the games are different genres, I think because they do share the same engine they are naturally going to be compared to one another.  And when I compare the two, in terms of graphics and performance, Bloodlines comes up short.  

olaf


I'm the last person to give Troika a pass but am strictly pointing out that they pretty much suck on a techical level as a studio- Arcanum was pretty darn ugly and buggy to boot, ToEE was much prettier but very buggy with major performance problems, and Vampire is the same.  Fortunately their design talents are much, much better if often over-ambitious.
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« Reply #98 on: November 25, 2004, 12:17:51 PM »

I don't think performance is the biggest problem with Vampire, but I do agree that it's pretty sluggish. The problem is that it doesn't make good use of the source engine. The textures are pretty bland, and there are weird graphical (and SFX) glitches all over the place. Why they wanted this engine, I can't say, except I guess they wanted the facial expressions. However, the old-school RPG genre doesn't mix well with FPS technology. It's abundantly clear to me that they made a lot of compromises to fit their game around this engine. The lack of weapon variety and zero customizability of character appearance is an example of this, as is the crappy movement animation of NPCs in the distance.

I think this game has two things going for it, good writing and fun quests. Neither needed the source engine and I think they should have chosen a different engine.
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Kevin Grey
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« Reply #99 on: November 25, 2004, 04:12:14 PM »

Quote from: "DArtagnan"
Why they wanted this engine, I can't say, except I guess they wanted the facial expressions. However, the old-school RPG genre doesn't mix well with FPS technology.


IIRC, this was a packaged deal- Activision essentially came to Troika and said we have this engine (presumably through their relationship with Valve) and this license, do you want to make a game with it?
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« Reply #100 on: November 25, 2004, 06:06:47 PM »

here's a quote from leonard boyarsky regarding the decision to use source:

Quote
As to why we decided to make an RPG with first/third-person views rather than isometric, it was an organic decision, really. As soon as Valve showed us their engine, visions of an intense, action oriented (but true) RPG began to overtake our consciousness. From there, it took on a life of its own.
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« Reply #101 on: December 08, 2004, 04:32:22 AM »

Ok, I guess I am a wuss lol... the hotel is freaking me out.  So far I am loving this game.  Answering the questions gave me gangrel... man I wish I could change how I look, at least let me go bald or something, the dreadlocks just ain't me heh.
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dangerballs
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« Reply #102 on: December 08, 2004, 06:51:32 AM »

Spoiler below......

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Did anyone else panic at the werewolf attack at Griffith Park?  I finally (and accidentally) manage to squish that sucker with the doors, but that was a crazy section.
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