Vampire: The Masquerade — Bloodlines 2 is the upcoming sequel to 2004's Vampire: The Masquerade Bloodlines, currently in development by Hardsuits Labs and published by Paradox Interactive, scheduled to release in late 2020. 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. 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.
This game features examples of:
- Ain't Too Proud to Beg: If the PC defeats Slugg and his ambush to try and shanghai the PC for their money, then he begs for his life. The player can murder him or spare him. (And Slugg promises to owe them one if they should choose the latter)
- Alternate Reality Game: The game's existence was revealed at the climax of a particularly elaborate one, based around 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.
- City Noir: The game is set primarily in contemporary Seattle around Christmas time, including the ruins of old Seattle the current city is built on top of. Nights are very long, theres lots of rain and wetness, the streets are shadowy and filled with jaded denizens, with plenty of neon lights, and theres a lot of jolly Christmas decorations and annoying holiday music to juxtapose all the horrible things that are occurring.
- Contrasting Sequel Protagonist: The Fledgling from the original game was a full-fledged vampire that was implied to be 8th generationnote . The protagonist of the sequel is a high generation thin-blood (according to this video) that doesn't even belong to a clan at the start of the game.
- Early-Bird Cameo:
- It has been confirmed that the five vampires who narrate the clan introduction videos are in fact actual NPC's who can be encountered in game.
- Slugg, the Nosferatu Thin-Blood who appears in the E3 demo, is actually in the original launch trailer for the game, being pursued by the player character.
- In Vein Pursuit, an official prequel campaign to the game, five vampires are sent to track down a courier on the way to Seattle from Los Angeles before they can be intercepted. The person who sends the coterie is Nines Rodriguez, and the courier is ultimately revealed to be Damsel.
- 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, but those familiar with the setting know it's also the sleeping Malkav speaking to all of his clan, too.
- Leaning on the Fourth Wall: The announcement trailer ends with the line "...But I have waited so long to see it again".
- Not So Different: 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.
- Pet the Dog: A minor example, but Slugg tries to screw over the PC if they give him the money before finding out where he's stashed the data. But if the PC tells him they are leaving Seattle, (like he apparently plans to) and just needs to run this errand first before getting out, then he tells them that this is a wise decision and admits he was planning to have you killed, but won't go through with it now. Instead he simply sells you the data and allows you to leave in peace.
- Properly Paranoid: The Malkavian in his intro trailer mentions hearing the "murmurs of those plotting against me." Considering the insight of Malkavian madness, he's probably right.
- 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.
- Smug Snake: Tender CEO Malcolm Chandler of the Alternate Reality Game just oozed tech company smarm. It didn't last long.
- 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.note
- 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.)
- Vampire Variety Pack: Like in both the tabletop game and the previous video game, vampires will be divided into various Clans, and the player, though starting out as a Thin-Blood, will eventually get to pick one (with the Clans being introduced, each, in, an, individual, trailer).