Video games act as the media through which the audience can operate and live out some of their dream scenarios. Who hasn’t wanted to be a vampire once or twice in their lives? The immortality and ageless look, combined with cool vampiric abilities, just seem like a recipe for a good time.
While Vampire: The Masquerade - Swansong might have satisfied some players' thirst, many were left wanting more. Gamers want more from the experience of playing as a vampire; they with a longer narrative and a stronger focus on combat.
Well, luckily, there are numerous video games across various genres that feature vampires, although only a select few let the player character be one.
Here are five video games that let gamers get the full vampire experience.
Note: This article reflects the writer's opinion
5 video games to play for the full vampire experience
Dontnod, the studio that made the Life is Strange games and Tell Me Why, also developed Vampyr, an action RPG set in London after the end of the World War. The video game was released on June 5, 2018 for PC, PS4, and Xbox One, where players control Dr. Jonathan Reid, who has been turned into a vampire.
The game’s story follows the protagonist as he is introduced to the hidden world of vampires, a secret plague that is affecting many of the species, and a mystery surrounding the disappearance of a hospital patient. The larger narrative deals with how actions, not a state of being, determines a person's goodness — a common theme in vampire fiction.
The gameplay is set in a semi-open world, with about 60 interactable citizens whose blood Jonathan can drink. There is no obligation to kill any of the innocent people throughout the game, although it is an option. However, killing or not killing citizens can lead to a few different endings depending on how Jonathan viewed humans.
4) The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim - Dawnguard
Vampirism in the world of Elder Scrolls has always been a concept since the second video game in the series, Daggerfall. The result of a disease known as Sanguinare Vampiris, Vampirism made a return in Skyrim as well, when it was launched in 2012 by developer Bethesda.
While players could always become vampires in Skyrim from the moment they stepped into the open world, a few more perks were added to the class with the Dawnguard DLC. This add-on came with an entirely new skill tree for higher vampires along with the ability known as Vampire Lord, which the players could now become.
Along with the ability to feed on unaware NPCs, players could now take on a new Vampire appearance, complete with bat-like wings. New powers such as Drain Life and Summon Gargoyle were also included, along with a Bite attack.
As a vampire, players will be harmed by prolonged exposure to sunlight and, if found by common people, will be hunted down by the guards.
3) Castlevania: Symphony of the Night
While most Castlevania video games allow players to play as a Belmont, a monster hunter family that stands against Dracula and his kin, Symphony of the Night plays a little differently, with players taking control of Alucard, the half vampire-half human son of Dracula. Developed by Konami, this video game was released in March 1997 on a host of platforms.
The game sees Alucard return to Dracula’s castle in an attempt to stop his father from resurrecting once more. Like in the games before, players need to explore various areas of the castle to obtain items to progress further or to access previously locked sections. About halfway into the game, the upside-down version of the castle is revealed with various enemies and bosses.
Alucard has severed vampiric abilities, such as being able to turn into a bat, a wolf, or an intangible mist. Alucard also has access to a host of different weapons through the video game’s inventory system. Additionally, he can even gain the ability to summon familiars, which can aid him in combat for a while.
2) Infamous 2: Festival of Blood
This is a standalone expansion story for the main video game, Infamous 2, developed by Sucker Punch Productions and released on October 25, 2016, for the PlayStation 3. The expansion does not require players to finish Infamous 2 in order to play or understand the story, as it is merely a fictional retelling.
Narrated by Zeke Dunbar, this story follows Cole McGrath, the protagonist of Infamous 2, in a what-if scenario of him being turned into a Vampire. This leads to a number of events involving other vampires and Blood Mary, the antagonist in this expansion.
The core gameplay mostly remains the same, but new vampiric superpowers are now accessible to Cole in the expansion. Notable ones include Shadow Swarm, which allows him to turn into a cloud of bats to fly around, and Stake, which involves using a cross to defeat normal as well as stronger Vampires. Moreover, Cole can also bite citizens to refill his health and the new corruption meter.
1) Vampire: The Masquerade - Bloodlines
Based on the popular tabletop board game of the same name, Vampire: The Masquerade - Bloodlines is an action role-playing video game, which was developed by Troika Games and released in November 2004 for the PC exclusively.
Set in early 21st-century Los Angeles, players can create a vampire character of their choosing and head out into the city, leading them to uncover a plot to end all vampires.
In true RPG fashion, players can choose one of seven Vampire clans: Brujah, Toreador, Malkavian, Venture, Nosferatu, Tremere, and Gangrel.
The game also has classes where each class has preset points in different attributes that control how the player will fare in various tasks requiring said attributes.
Feeding on NPCs to satiate their thirst is an interesting gameplay mechanic, although feeding for too long might kill the victim.
The masquerade is the veil over humans that keeps the secret of the vampires safe. Thus, doing vampiric acts in front of humans costs the players masquerade points, while the same can be regained upon completing missions. A sequel to Bloodlines is in the works by developer Hardsuit Labs.
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