Vampire: The Masquerade — Bloodlines 2 is the upcoming sequel to 2004's Vampire: The Masquerade Bloodlines, originally in development by Hardsuits Labs and published by Paradox Interactive. Quite a few of the developers on the original game, most prominently designer and writer Brian Mitsoda and composer Rik Schaffer, have returned for this game. The game additionally features Cara Ellison as writer.
Fifteen years after the events in Los Angeles, on a foggy night in Seattle, vampires swoop down from the rooftops in Pioneer Square and conduct a mass embrace, converting a group of humans into so-called "Thin-Bloods." It's a dangerous and illegal act, forbidden by vampire society under threat of death-for both the sire and the victim. Abandoned to the world, these bewildered and naïve Thin-Bloods threaten the Masquerade, the elaborate social pact that prevents humans from finding out about vampires.
As one of these Thin-Bloods yourself, you're captured and brought to trial. Wheeled before a council of the governing vampire clans, you're asked to recall the events of that night in Pioneer Square, and thus expose the culprits behind this terrible deed. Your reward for cooperating? Execution. Except it all goes wrong. The trial implodes as the council members squabble amongst themselves, and an unexplained fire breaks out and engulfs the room. You take the opportunity to flee into the night, resolving to try and uncover who did this to you, and why. If youre lucky, youll survive long enough to find out.
Originally announced for release in March 2020, the game was delayed early that year, with a new release window sometime in 2021. In February 2021 it was announced that the game was being delayed again, with the only confirmed information being that it now won't release in 2021. In the same announcement, it was revealed that Hardsuit Labs are no longer heading up the project, and that the remaining work will be headed by another (as yet unnamed) developer.
This game features examples of:
- Alternate Reality Game: The game's existence was revealed through Tender, a surprisingly interactive fictional dating app with a suspicious interest in its participants' blood. Fans following it were greatly divided on what the trickle of information and suggestive VTMB-themed imagery meant, theories ranging from absolutely nothing, to a Bloodlines remake or remaster, a brand new IP, a mobile game, an MMO... The few who steadfastly believed it spelled a proper sequel to Bloodlines were definitely in the minority, so unlikely it was after fourteen years.
- Bloody Horror: The announcement trailer shows a bathroom sink dripping blood before it erupts from the faucet and gushes down the hallway ala the elevator scene from The Shining, and then a gigantic tidal wave of blood descending upon Seattle.
- Go Mad from the Revelation: The trailer alludes to the source material on how anyone embraced into the Malkavian clan goes insane due to becoming part of the Hive Mind that permeates the clan, forcing all the collective knowledge into the recently embraced's mind at once."Never ending... Never silent... Never alone..."
- Hearing Voices: The introduction trailer mentions the Malkavian hear voices because of being part of a Hive Mind.
- Leaning on the Fourth Wall: The announcement trailer ends with the line "...But I have waited so long to see it again".
- Left the Background Music On: During the "Come Dance On Your Grave" trailer, a 45 of Wayne Newton's "Danke Schoen" can be seen playing on a turntable
- Mirroring Factions: Each one of the clan introductory videos so far other than thin-blood and Malkavian has featured a vampire brutally murdering someone, to drive home the point that there really is no "good guy" clan and that none of them are necessarily any more benign than the others.
- The Schlub Pub Seduction Deduction: The "Come Dance On Your Grave" trailer shows the drop-dead gorgeous Elif beckoning an average, unfashionably-dressed guy to join her on the dance floor. He's soon lunch.
- Shout-Out: One preorder item is Blade's outfit from the Wesley Snipes movies.
- Smoking Is Cool: One of the developers' diaries notes that many vampires still smoke (and drink, for that matter) because it looks cool, even though physiologically they get nothing out of it.
- Snuff Film: The Toreador trailer depicts a clan vampire filming the murder of one of her victims, which is in keeping with the "art obsessed" theme of the clan.
- Soundtrack Dissonance: The "Come Dance On Your Grave" trailer features various vampires dancing to "Danke Schoen", while or after they've been mauling their victims: Mr. Damp dances with four of his victims' corpses, strung up around a Christmas tree and facially mutilated into a Glasgow Grin with no eyelids. Prince Cross dances in a luxurious apartment but stops to wipe a bloodstain off his window. Elif lures an unfortunate sucker in so she can add a bite to her dance party.
- Take That!: During the announcement stream, the lead developer snarked that, unlike the first gamenote , the release of this game wouldn't be overshadowed by a new Half-Life. (Perhaps this was Tempting Fate, because if they had stuck to the original release date, it might have been.)