Vampire: The Masquerade – Swansong Review: Mystery, Conspiracy, Walking

From the ’90s onwards, movies have taught me that vampires spend all their time eating and having sex with people (often simultaneously). Vampire: The Masquerade – Swansong taught me that they spend most of their time wandering around looking for things, sometimes stopping in for tense conversations or picking up key cards. There eat sometimes.

This is probably because the three vampires you play as in Swansong aren’t exactly in their spare time. The movie is set in Boston in 2019, as it begins in media accuracy after a sudden violent attack on a party that left the Boston vampire court reeling. The Prince, an Annie Lennox costume player named Hazel Iverson, summons three of her most trusted lieutenants to first check for first-hand effects, and then investigate the wider fallout and hit the whodunnit. Since the developers Big Bad Wolf are the people behind The Council, your role is not an action hero but a different shade of spy and/or detective. Neither of them leave you much time to wonder about being totally sexy.

Your three leads are ultra-cool nightclub owner Emim Lewis, amnesiac nerd Leysha, and the perfect vampire vampire Galeb Bazory. They are completely different, but they are all interesting and well-acted, which is what you need in a game like this. In general, my favorite is Galeb, because he is very serious and tired and this particular combination is very funny. Each has a different level to play in each stage of the story, and you can tackle them in any order you want because everything happens around the same time. In the beginning, the levels are small and contained, which gives you a chance to control everything; The first place you explore is Hazel’s Court, which has two two-room areas to look at. You then advance to entire apartments where murders have occurred, before graduating to giant secret bases with multiple regions.

For my money, Swansong is best in the mid-stage, where levels are medium-sized but intense. In the larger levels, you do a lot of running up and down between areas, and it ends up becoming a chore. But the slightly smaller stages still feel like a challenge even though you don’t go long without finding something. Leysha’s first juicy fit level is a lot of fun, as you try to rebuild a great battle with fire and learn about vampire bodies, all while trying to control your hunger for all the blood everywhere.


Here I’ve used Auspex to keep track of a few different things at once, so it’s a very nice crime scene.

People who eat at Swansong is a purely utilitarian thing. Using your supernatural powers turns into your hunger, and if you get too hungry, you might explode completely. To replenish your hunger meter, you can eat some humans in the little safe rooms you find (one person per room, another reason to explore). Powers vary. Emem’s unique skill is speed, a fast power that allows you to turn through certain gaps or go at breakneck speed. Emem can also become invisible or copy a uniform – even impersonating a real person, if you upgrade him enough. Galeb can make a vampire version of a Jedi mind trick and just say “It’s totally normal I’m here, dw.” The most interesting is Auspex, which allows you to see supernatural fingerprints left in the room, dispel a camouflage that hides secrets, or even see events or feelings associated with something.

There are also non-supernatural skills, which can cost what you thought were Talky Squares, your other ability bar. This covers things like persuading people, intimidating, hacking, or being able to deduct things from what you find or hear at a level, and you can focus your skills on the cost of more Talky Boxes if you really want to get through an interaction. As in The Council, encounters with NPCs are Swansong’s combative version – dialogue battles where you have to win a certain number of interactions to get the result you want. This is really fun. There is an interesting arithmetic, and the really cool thing is that you can get through encounters without using any abilities at all if you make the right dialogue options – although doing so is much more difficult.


Emim has a word fight with a magician

In general, I wish I had been bolder using my abilities, because I never once got hungry or ran out of Talky Squares. The biggest problem I had is that I tried to trade it on settlement and it just kind of doesn’t work. As you advance in the game, the thresholds for being able to use skills get much higher, and while it’s frustrating to miss some things because you don’t have any learning points, in the long run it’s better to specify . The game isn’t very forgiving here, and Emem struggled because I fell behind in one level, which meant I didn’t get much XP to move up to the next, and thus fell into an episode of biff.


court session
All three vampires are loyal to the king, although she clearly lies to them all. Hazel is a caricatured villain who may also be the MP for North East Somerset. But I loved being on the court because there is a lot of intrigue with all the other people out there – im/ex son, overbearing child, weird hackers downstairs…a bunch of spies and liars for one…good stuff.

I couldn’t find any use for technical skills because I’m willing to stare at a manual for 20 minutes to find out the answer. It might not be, but I appreciate that it is absolutely possible to do so. Swansong is one of those games where I needed a notebook on hand so I could scribble over shapes and symbols, and I enjoyed how open some of the clues actually were. You’ve taken Emem out of your funk by looking at some stickers for a very long time. I hacked a computer because of a text message saying the password was dumb and easy. Sometimes Swansong gets too vague, and you’ll fail to achieve goals you didn’t really know existed. Overall, though, it’s very satisfying to put the effort into it. Swansong also transfers most of its presentation to script inputs, which means in-game dialogue is freer, can focus on plots and “Trust no one!” talks. The tone as a whole is vampire drama and not serious issues, and it works.

Having said that, it took a lot longer than I expected, not only because I was afraid to miss things, but because the game was a little bad in places. It’s one of those games where you add your choices – although you can sometimes spot railroad tracks, especially if you’ve made a really big mistake – so there’s no quick rescue. It’s all fine until you reach a level too far to realize that you can no longer run, which is At this particular level It means you are missing a bunch of content. On a level with Galeb, my camera was locked in place so I couldn’t look up, so I wasn’t able to trigger the next level of the level by interacting with a giant screen. And in a game without checkpoints, you will lose a lot of time when you need to restart an entire section.


There’s also incomprehensible non-game play in some of the character’s movements – sometimes NPCs might slide on the ground instead of walking, or their lips get out of sync as if you’re watching a song. It’s forgiving, if a little annoying, and fortunately, the three main characters don’t have that problem. I see Leysha’s eight-year-old daughter Halsey as a complete problem with the game per se, but the number of miles she has gone with the vampire kids may vary. And Lesha-Malkwiya, “When were these rules written?” The Clan of VtM has its own trait of being mentally ill – and it has some of the most fun powers, levels and scenes, so it’s just rocking and rolling.

Overall, Swansong is a lot more fluid and messy than I expected, but with a few screws tight, the hassle will be less of a hassle and the game will be more fun. that it approx Really good as is. I had, I think, a mediocre run, enjoying the silly parts and interesting details, and didn’t have many tragic failures. I’d love to play it again and try different options, or make better decisions, but… I’m in the middle of a new TV show. And there’s that book I was reading, you know? And I need to wash it. I clung to my three patches, but no who – which Attachment.

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