Vampire: The Masquerade – Swansong from NACON and Big Bad Wolf Studio is a third-person narrative-driven RPG on PS5. Check our Vampire: The Masquerade – Swansong review!
Vampire: The Masquerade – Swansong from NACON and Big Bad Wolf Studio is a third-person narrative-driven RPG on PlayStation 5. After mysterious assassins attack the Boston Camarilla, a secret society comprising most of the vampires in the city – Prince Hazel Iversen orders vampires Galeb Bazory, Emem Louis, and Leysha to find out the identities of those who dared to attack the Boston Camarilla. To complete this objective, they must infiltrate, investigate, and get the answers they need, even if it means using their supernatural powers in the process.
The game is based on the long-running Vampire: The Masquerade tabletop game from White Wolf Publishing. The series started over thirty years ago, way back in 1991 – yes, it’s really been that long since the 1990s. The previous game in the Vampire: The Masquerade series – Vampire: The Masquerade – Coteries of New York – was a Rated M for Mature visual novel. And there’s also the Werewolf series that is set in the World of Darkness universe that also encompasses Vampire: The Masquerade. The latest game is Werewolf: The Apocalypse – Earthblood, which we got a chance to check out on PlayStation 5.
You’ll move your character with the left analog stick as you review your goals by pressing right on the D-Pad. You can interact with objects and other characters with the X button. If you need to run, press and hold down the Circle button. Since you’re playing as vampires, they will have a need to feed, so you’ll need to plan accordingly, selecting your prey with the Triangle button and acting only when it’s safe to do so. The vampire’s special abilities – known as Disciplines – will be mapped to the L2 and R2 buttons. The L1 button will allow you to focus, in order to enhance your senses. These special abilities include, for example, being able to teleport over short distances to gain access to new locations, or hiding yourself in plain sight.
To give you a chance to get used to things, the game’s first Scene – a.k.a. chapter – will allow you to play as Galeb Bazory, Emem Louis, and Leysha separately as you focus on making the most of each of their abilities and personality traits. The first Scene will act as an extended tutorial that you must complete before being sent on the hunt. After it’s over, you’ll then get to select on which of the character’s you’d like to focus for the next story beat, which each one offering a different experience.
Galeb Bazory, Emem Louis, and Leysha will each have their own character sheets, which you can customize with the experience you obtain. You could improve each character’s physical, social, and mental attributes or improve their skills in the dialogue, exploration, and knowledge branches. On top of this, they will each have separate skill trees where you can unlock and improve your abilities. You could decide to persuade and dominate other characters or focus on the knowledge needed to hack with computers.
Each of the characters will also have special skills that you should take advantage of – the aforementioned Disciplines. For example, Emem Louis can use celerity, which can help her reach locations that would otherwise be out of reach. Leysha can obfuscate to conceal her presence, hiding in plain sight. Galeb can channel his energy to use domination, which will allow him to make others his puppets. You do need to be aware of how using their vampiric powers will increase their hunger for blood!
If one of the characters is short of blood and you can’t feed them, then their inner beast will take over. As expected, this will change what you can do and how you can interact with other characters and with the locations you visit. Remember how I mentioned you should make sure that you feed out of sight? This is important since it’s needed to maintain the Masquerade. The Masquerade is the vampire law that hides the existence of the creatures of the night from humans. As expected, there will be times when you need to make choices at a fast pace to remain hidden and not end up blocked from advancing down one of the game’s story branches.
The game includes a full trophy list that is split into 24 Bronze trophies, 8 Silver trophies, and 4 Gold trophies on your path to adding a new Platinum to your collection. There are trophies for progressing through the game’s story, as well as for completing Swansong. There are also trophies for increasing a skill or Discipline to level 3 for increasing a skill to the max level. Oh, and there’s one for finding all safe zones. After that, you’re going to have to work hard to unlock all other trophies since they’re tied to specific actions you need to perform, with some of them excluding you from completing others during a normal run.
Vampire: The Masquerade – Swansong is an interesting game set in the World of Darkness universe that will allow you to take on the role of three vampires with different abilities that will complement each other as you try to uncover the truth about the attack on the Boston Camarilla. It’s not as action-packed as, say, Werewolf: The Apocalypse – Earthblood, but it doesn’t have to be. Vampire: The Masquerade – Swansong will release tomorrow. You can get the game on PlayStation 4 or on PlayStation 5 as separate $59.99 purchases, including the Vampire: The Masquerade – Coteries of New York game as a bonus. There’s also the option of getting the Primogen Edition, which includes the PS4 and PS5 versions of Vampire: The Masquerade – Swansong, the Vampire: The Masquerade – Coteries of New York, alternate outfits, as well as the Victoria Ash and Artifacts DLC for $69.99.
This Vampire: The Masquerade – Swansong review is based on a PlayStation 5 copy provided by NACON.