Vampire The Masquerade: Swansong — Let’s Be Monsters | Vampire: The Masquerade

Vampire: The Masquerade is an American role-playing game of supernatural horror published by White Wolf, Inc. It was developed in 1991 and set up as a World of Darkness setting with other games produced for the same system line. Vampire: The Masquerade uses an alternate history version where the 19th century industrial revolution never took place, vampires are still around having thrived through modern society while hiding their true nature from humanity and they must maintain that façade at all costs to avoid being hunted down or destroyed.
The Swansong storyline follows this idea further as it takes place during a time when vampire society has begun fragmenting due to war fought between different factions trying to find balance after centuries of coexistence.
Vampires have survived WWI despite its effects on some but then WWII arrives knocking them back once more even harder than before, resulting in many changes within vampire culture and making life difficult for those who stayed behind including Clans like Nosferatu which were left nearly extinct due to these wars.,

The “vampire: the masquerade – swansong release date” is when the game will be released. It has not yet been announced, but it is expected to be in 2018.

This ended out far better than I had anticipated. Vampire: The Masquerade: Swansong starts slowly, has pace concerns, and is mostly about traversing conversation trees. If you can forgive it and get beyond the sluggish start, Swansong develops into an intriguing blend of investigation, puzzle-solving, and sheer survival horror.

Although your mileage may vary, particularly considering you’re playing as the story’s antagonists, it’s a decent option if you’re searching for a contemporary, decision-based adventure game.

Swansong: Let’s Be Monsters (Vampire The Masquerade)

Swansong is definitely not the best place to start if you’re new to the Vampire tabletop game. It has a good in-game Codex that adds a new entry whenever you come across a new phrase or name, but the setting-specific jargon mounts up quickly.

Vampires (or “Kindred”) have governed human civilization virtually from the beginning in this other Earth. The Illuminati is genuine in Vampire, and its members are physical bloodsuckers who enjoy themselves by screwing one other over for power and influence.

Swansong is set in 2019 Boston, where Hazel Iverson has just taken over as the city’s vampiric monarch. She throws a party to seal and celebrate a new diplomatic partnership, but it is assaulted by unknown attackers soon after. As a consequence, roughly three-quarters of the vampires in Boston have died or vanished.

You play Swansong as three of the last Kindred, whom Hazel hires in a last-ditch effort to figure out what’s going on. You alternate between Galeb Bazory, a world-weary former merchant and the city’s oldest surviving vampire; Margaret-Marie “Emem” Louis, who runs a chain of jazz clubs but avoids other Kindred; and Leysha, who makes up for her moderate insanity with her ability to glimpse the future.

Each character tries to fit together a separate piece of the larger puzzle before deciding whether or not to complete it.

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Swansong does not put in its best effort. It starts with a brief scene set in Hazel’s building that introduces the key characters and many of their personal issues before you’re given any cause to care about any of them. It’s like being trapped at a cocktail party when everyone is worrying silently.

Worse, you won’t be able to skip any conversation on your first playing, and there’s a lot of it. Swansong’s main problem, particularly if you revisit any segment of the game, is this. 

Swansong becomes increasingly intriguing as you go. Each character is left in the field to explore a specific setting, with a list of tasks that may be completed in any sequence.

Social difficulties, strange riddles, context clues, and, if required, drinking a lot of defenseless people like juice boxes are all possibilities. In general, you explore an area in search of any interactive things you may uncover, then attempt to determine whether or not they are relevant to your present business. Although this is the one game I’ve played recently where I’d truly like something like detective vision, it’s a pixel hunt that’s rather fair.

You may tailor your character’s banal skill sets the first time you play to prepare them for fast-talking, manipulation, questioning, or investigative work. Each character also has their own set of vampiric skills known as Disciplines, which provide additional supernatural possibilities.

You must balance two consumable statistics along the way: Willpower and Hunger, which feed your social skills and Disciplines, respectively. Willpower is tough to restore on the run, but hunger is surprisingly simple to replenish if you can locate an isolated person or rat to eat. However, if you go hungry for a long time, you will be compelled to eat.

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On the first run, you must constantly balance what you can do against what you can afford to do, creating a constant tension. It’s similar to saving every bullet in a survival horror game, except instead of saving every bullet, you’re going for as long as you can before biting off a cop’s neck.

Swansong’s approach to these systems is unique in that it is not afraid to set you up for failure. You’ll almost certainly stumble into a couple instances that you can’t escape and aren’t prepared for on your first playtime.

This usually includes social events known as Confrontations, which are high-stakes debates in which you would lose out on something important unless you win. Although officially optional, there is at least one Confrontation that I don’t believe is even feasible to win without preparing for it right from the start of the game.

It’s a unique approach on decision-making systems. I’m not sure I understand what choices matter and what don’t in Swansong, and I won’t till I play it again with a notebook in hand, but it’s not afraid to make you feel stupid.

It reminds me of Gamedec from last year, which has a similar laid-back approach about failure; it lets you finish whatever, but there’s a considerable difference between reaching the finish line and stumbling over it. Similarly, the idea that you may fail makes success all the sweeter.

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One of my favorite aspects of Swansong is the fascinating, subtle terror at work. When a video game presents itself as a morality-themed choice-based experience, you’re usually given the option of becoming either a pillar of virtue or a petty jerk. There may be some gray area, but it is almost always binary.

Swansong is excellent at reinforcing a basic concept: living in a vampire culture makes you, at the very least, an accessory to mass murder. Interrogated characters will nonchalantly acknowledge to crimes, and your character will respond with a shrug. As a Kindred, this is the price of doing business. People are eaten here, son. The ghoul at the door should have warned you.

It makes a significant difference overall, particularly when you approach Swansong’s midway point. It’s a more nuanced picture of evil than you’d expect from a computer game, which normally focuses on the mundane aspects of the situation: logistics, paperwork, and the immediate aftermath. It’s eerily scary without ever being splatterpunk.

The Bottom Line in Vampire The Masquerade: Swansong

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Pros:

  • Puzzles with open-ended solutions that encourage exploration and creative thinking.
  • A gloomy narrative that (for the most part) avoids gore for the sake of gore.
  • Some excellent detective/investigation mechanics implementation.
  • The tension is maintained by balancing two limiting metrics.

Cons:

  • You won’t be able to skip dialogue you’ve previously viewed.
  • Vampire: The Masquerade is nearly compulsory reading.
  • On the first run, it sets you up for recurring failure.
  • At any one time, the voice acting ranges from passable to terrible.
  • There are a lot of audio bugs.

Big Bad Wolf, a subsidiary of Cyanide Studios, created Swansong. As a result, I wasn’t expecting much from this one; Cyanide’s games aren’t normally dull, but their previous tabletop game was Werewolf: The Apocalypse – Earthblood. Mini-review: It did not appeal to me, nor did it to others.

Swansong has one of Earthblood’s major weaknesses — both games hurl you right into the middle of an established scenario, making them completely inaccessible to beginners — but it’s a much more substantial effort. It has a subtle dread, primarily challenging but fair puzzles, and a surprising amount of replayability.

Swansong is a lot better adventure game than I imagined if you don’t mind playing an outright monster and can put up with the sluggish pace. I’d want to play another of them.

[Note: The copy of Vampire: The Masquerade — Swansong used for this review was given by Nacon.]

Vampire: The Masquerade is a tabletop role-playing game that has been around since 1991. It’s now considered to be one of the most popular tabletop RPGs in history. Vampire: The Masquerade was first released as a White Wolf product, but it became its own entity when CCP bought the company. Reference: vampire: the masquerade.

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