Designed by: Nihilistic software
I know this is not a true RPG in the classical sense. At the end of the 1990:s several more action oriented RPGs where released, the most famous being Diablo in 1996. Another great game was Revenant in 1999. Vampire the Masquerade - Redemption is just one of the games using a 3D engine. Action RPGs became very popular from that moment and for many years to come. It wasn´t until Daggerfall or Morrowind for the broader masses showed that true 3D games very well could be combined with solid RPG game mechanics.
Gameworld & Story
You never find information about the world or settings unless it is important for the story. The maps are confined with only one way forward almost all the time and must be traversed in a sequential matter.
In the beginning gold is scarce and you have a lot of good equipment to drool over. But in the middle of the game the equipment remains basically the same even tough you have progressed to Vienna from Prague. You get more money and you find chests that gives you a lof of equipment. Somewhere in Vienna the excitement of looting chests dissappears. They always contain the same type of items. The rare and unique items in the game are very few and even if you get enough money there are no good weapons or armours to buy. When you get to the modern world the equipment is replaced with modern equivalents but those do the same amount of damage as old swords. This destroyed all the fun with looting and economy for me and is a major drawback.
You meet a few NPCs along the game and they are narrated very well and with good voice acting. I give one plus rating for that. It is one of the games strong points.
You have howerver very few occasions where it matters what you say and in most cases every dialogue is scripted anyway. There is no interactions to speak of worth its name.
You could not speak to people seen in the streets. They are only there to act as moving blood supplies. That makes the environment outside the complex very empty. They are only there for you to look for the stores.
Monster, tactics & combat system
There are perhaps a few dozen different adversaries in this game. Some of them are present through the end like ghoul rats and some are unique for the complex you are currently in. Since this is a hack´s slash game I don´t bother much with tactics other than with the bosses but there are a few denizens that requires special tactics to defeat if they are numerous. Some also could disease or posion you but that rarely happens.
Character generation & development
I like the system used in this game for character advancement. There are no levels as is traditional in RPGs. You accumulate experience points for enemies slained and as long as you could return to your haven you could use them regardless of how many XP you have aquired. That means you could either save them to buy some skill that is more expensive or buy inexpensive skills in areas you don´t know much about. The same goes for you attributes. The less proficient you are in some attribute the cheaper it is to buy. This system gives more flexibility because you could save your XP (As I normally do) and use them up on a particular skill or discipline when you feel you need it strongly and with good proficiency.
The number of disciplines and their skills also make for many different character building strategies although I am aware that many skills have similar effects (just like magical spells often has). Nevertheless, the system works great and is one of Vampires´ strongest parts.
Graphics, sound and interface
Graphic wise I find Vampire quite uneven. Certain indoor settings like in the modern world are very detailed with indoor furniture and stuff. In the medieval designs it is much more empty. The characters are not very detailed. I am not sure of what to expect from a game from the year of 2000 but it does certainly not impress me in any way. The architectural design of some levels, like the church of flesh, factory or clock tower is more impressive. The 3d-engine in itself and its lightning effects I have nothing to say about but the detail level aren´t that good. It might be ok for the time period tough. But I remember personally that I preferred 2D-isometric perspective many years after 3D had become standard since more details could be shown. Examples of such games is Revenant and Baldurs Gate 1 and 2.
The music in the game leaves no footprints at all except for Anezkas theme (Listen). And I am a gamer that really appreciates ingame music. The sound effects is ok but the voice acting is above average.
The interface of the game is clean and easy to understand. The only problems I have had is with the path finding and mouse control. You get used to the camera view very quickly and especially when you realise there is no tactics involved in 95% of the fights anyway so you don´t need to see everything that happens during combat for your other party members.
In the beginning I was strongly hooked since everything was new but I lack secrets areas, puzzles, optional sub quests, more NPC:s, more varying combats, more equipment, better looting etc. A major breakdown of the game is the lack of good equipment to buy. Looting is totally broken in the modern world. You will never get anything worthwhile. Since London, I only played the game for the sake of completing it without much enjoyment.
Another problem I have with the game is the lack of control of your other party members. As I´ve said before I would like some sort of detailed settings to control how much - if any - blood they should use or which disciplines they should prioritize. If I don´t control them directly you could never be sure of what will be cast during combat.
Gameworld & Story
NPC & Interactions
Monsters, tactics & combat system
Character generation & development
Graphics, Sound and Interface
Summary CRPG value