Vampire: The Masquerade - Bloodlines revealed

Get the exclusive first details on this upcoming role-playing game powered by the Half-Life 2 engine.

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We have the first details from Activision on the company's upcoming role-playing game, Vampire: The Masquerade - Bloodlines. Bloodlines will combine first-person action with role-playing elements, and it is being developed by Troika Games, the studio that was responsible for the 2001 RPG Arcanum, and which was also founded by RPG veterans Tim Cain, Leonard Boyarsky, and Jason Anderson, who helped create the Fallout role-playing game series. The game will be powered by Valve Software's Source engine, which is also being used by Valve to develop Half-Life 2. According to Valve Software cofounder Gabe Newell, "With Vampire, Troika is proving [that the] Source [engine] can reach beyond the world of FPS games. The character system, rendering abilities, and contextual AI features of Source, combined with the veteran RPG design talent at Troika, is a great representation of the innovation we hope to enable with this technology."

In the game, players will play as a fledgling vampire who will belong to one of seven vampire clans, each of which has its own distinctive strengths and abilities, including superhuman strength and speed, invisibility, and mind control, to name a few. As players progress through the game, they'll earn experience points that they can spend on improving their powers. These abilities and the game's major vampire factions will be drawn from White Wolf's Vampire: The Masquerade pen-and-paper game. "We are very excited to have Activision and Troika producing Vampire: The Masquerade - Bloodlines," said Chris McDonough of White Wolf Games. "They are among the elite few companies capable of taking our property into the world of first-person action gaming while still maintaining the story, setting, characters, and role-playing aspects of the game."

Though Bloodlines will feature numerous role-playing elements, it will also include action-packed first-person combat, and it will let players use a variety of conventional weapons, such as sniper rifles, submachine guns, and flamethrowers--though they may also need more-unusual weapons, like stake guns, to deal with their supernatural foes. Players can expect to do battle with human vampire hunters and supernatural creatures such as ghouls, werewolves, and rival vampires. "Vampire: The Masquerade - Bloodlines blends the best parts of an RPG and a first-person action game, allowing players to explore a sophisticated character development system in an open, nonlinear realm while experiencing intense action sequences," said Larry Goldberg, executive vice president of Activision Worldwide Studios. "We are going to take full advantage of Valve's Source technology to send you deep into a dark and intriguing vampire underworld filled with haunting images."

Vampire: The Masquerade - Bloodlines is scheduled for release next year. We'll have more information on the game soon. In the meantime, take a look at this exclusive concept art image.

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