Vampire Impressions and Brand-New Screens

The highly anticipated RPG Vampire: The Masquerade has gone gold - read our first-hand impressions and check out 25 new screens.

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Vampire: The Masquerade - Redemption
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Activision's 3D role-playing game Vampire: The Masquerade - Redemption has gone gold and will be available in stores on June 7. Developed by Nihilistic Software, Vampire is based on rules and mythology described in the White Wolf pen-and-paper role-playing game.

Vampire: The Masquerade looks impressive - detailed character models, ambient lighting, realistic shadows, and smooth character animation lend the game a distinctive and stylish appearance. It looks much more advanced than most modern role-playing games. However, a lot of the gameplay will prove familiar to anyone who's played real-time action RPGs such as Diablo, as Vampire borrows a lot of the simplified inventory management and fast and simple combat from Blizzard's hit game. The game's close, third-person perspective emphasizes melee combat, although there are some ranged-attack weapons to be found as well. Similarly, while vampires can employ a number of different disciplines - which are essentially equivalent to magic spells - more often then not, you'll need to get in close and start hacking with your blunt or bladed weapons.

The game tells the story of Christof, a crusader who's grievously wounded in battle, and later restored to health by a kindly nun. You begin play as Christof, who's well healed and perfectly human, and must first clear a mine near Prague of an evil infestation. Soon after his return, Christof confesses his love to the nun Anezka - yet their excitement is short-lived, as unbeknownst to him, Christof has become the target of a vampire clan that seeks to bring him into its ranks. Christof is turned into a vampire against his will, and over the course of the game, he must come to terms with his vampirism, and decide whether it's a curse or a blessing. He'll also meet and travel with a number of unusual companions, with whom he'll fight alongside through many treacherous battles. The story is told primarily through in-engine animated cutscenes using full speech.

We've yet to fully explore the game's multiplayer storyteller feature, which lets one player assume the role of dungeon-master and dynamically influence the game for the other participants; and we've yet to see the modern-day sequences in Vampire, as the game takes place in two different eras. Look for GameSpot's full review of Vampire shortly, but until then, be sure to check out these 25 screenshots showing off the game's great graphics.

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