Vampire: The Masquerade Bloodlines is a flawed masterpiece and should be on the playlist of every RPG aficionado. That’s the same reason I’m excited and worried at the same time for next year’s sequel by Hardsuit Labs; Vampire: The Masquerade Bloodlines 2. There has been a lot of positive changes said to be in production but at the same time, there are some worrying reports of the team shaping the world to be more friendly to the modern climate.
In an interview with Dualshockers, Hardsuit Labs’ lead UI/UX designer Rachel Leiker explained that the team is focusing heavily on improving the outdated aspects of Troika’s magnum opus and that doesn’t just stop in a visual overhaul, courtesy of UE4. According to Rachel, Bloodlines 2’s content is matured in a lot of ways and Cara Ellison and Brian Mitsoda “have done an excellent job of bringing more modern sensibilities into the game.”
Rachel puts Malkavians, the most beloved clan from the first game as an example. “Malkavians were very complicated in the original game and were used a lot for comedic effect. The idea around Malkavians has sort of shifted in recent times and they have done a great job to be more sensitive and respectful of representing that in this game.”
I’m pretty sure the representation she’s talking about here is regarding mental disorders and how the way Malkavians were depicted in the first game wouldn’t fly today. If you ask me, Malkavians were one of the best aspects of the original game. My Malk having a super-serious argument with a signboard is a fond memory I have with the original. I never found their depiction of insanity as offensive or comedic. It was the way they were written in the World of Darkness sourcebooks and it would be a shame if the writers somehow tone down their insanity to not piss off the politically “woke” crowd (unless they’re trying to be really, really faithful to the latest sourcebooks)
It’s pretty sad when people just can’t leave fiction be just that. Still, I’m hopeful that devs will place a larger focus on polishing the gameplay rather than nitpick on aspects such as these just to please a certain demographic.