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June 10, 2010

Vampire the Masquerade Redemption is a neck biting RPG

Filed under: Gaming — Tyler @ 5:44 pm

Vampire the Masquerade: Redemption is a great Action/RPG Game

In the year 2000 a very special thing happened. Vampire the Masquerade: Redemption was released for the PC. This game is an Role Playing Game (RPG) that is about a French Crusader named Christof Romuald. He was shot by an arrow and was wounded, and he was brought to Prague to heal. There Christof meets the beautiful nun, Anezka and he falls in love with her. But there is a silver mine that became haunted by a powerful vampire and her flesh-crafted minions. Christof is sent to investigate the mine and fights with the vampire. After the battle Christof is turned into a vampire by a local elder who believes that Christof would be a powerful ally in her upcoming war with the other vampire clans. This is where the game gets amazingly awesome. You get vampire abilities and it feels like you want to gain as much experience points as you can by achieving objectives and killing enemies, because those points can be used to directly boost your stats or give you new abilities. The graphics and engine for the game are excellent. The characters look very good for the amount of polygons used, and the lighting for the game is exceptional. The attack animations and movement are great also. When you sometimes kill an enemy with a critical hit if you use a lethal weapon (usually a sword as opposed to a mace ) there is a chance that you will chop the head off of your enemy.

The story for this game is great and what really makes it hit home is the amazing voice acting. All the dialogue in the game including notes and papers you find on your journey are voice acted with amazing skill. You really feel like Christof loves Anezka and he is willing to travel to the ends of the Earth to find her again. At it heart, Vampire the Masquerade: Redemption is a love story. As a man, I wasn’t exactly sure that I wanted to play a game about a romantic love story. But after listening to the characters talk to each other I immediately got emotionally involved in the story. I felt like I was playing the part of Christof and being able to choose dialogue options at specific points in the game deepened the immersion. The story is also about redemption and the struggle to maintain someone’s humanity while in a perilous situation. Christof has to choose whether or not if he wants to embrace his vampire ways or else labor to become human again. Christof also teams up with other women that fight in his coterie (that’s like a vampire team) and they share their sympathies for Christof and sometimes offer themselves discreetly to him. But Christof stays focused on being with his true love, Anezka.

The combat system in Vampire the Masquerade: Redemption is top notch and very enjoyable. It is basically a click-and-slash game but you can select spells and vampire discipline abilities from your list and then right-click to activate the ability. So you will spend most of your time left clicking on enemies and keeping an eye on your health and blood levels to see how you’re doing. Sometimes there is a slightly delayed reaction to when you hit an enemy to when they pull back and are hurt but this isn’t Tekken or something so it doesn’t take away from the fun. What is really fun is combining skills in the game. There is a skill called Prison of Ice which is part of the “Blood Rituals” discipline category, and if you use it, you will freeze your enemy for a few seconds as well as do some damage. What is rad is that you can get this other skill called, “Celerity” which basically means rapidity of motion. Celerity allows you to attack much faster and even run faster. You should MAX this skill because at higher levels you can run blazing fast. So the combo is you make sure you have celerity activated and then you freeze your opponent with Prison of Ice, then you hack away at your enemy super fast while it is frozen. This combo will let you beat any enemy in the game and will basically make you unstoppable.

Anezka and Christof

Anezka and Christof - Cutscene

Here are some helpful tips in order to play Vampire the Masquerade: Redemption and make your gameplay experience very enjoyable. Whenever you find a spell book in the game give it to Christof before reading it. Only give spellbooks that Christof already knows to other characters. Your three main physical stats are the most important, that includes Strength, Dexterity and Stamina. By the end of the game you should end up maxing Strength to 100, get dexterity to 90, and max Stamina at 100. The reason for this is because you want Christof to be your main tank and damage dealer. I’ve tried playing him as a caster and even though it is fun, it is much more fun running around and chopping people’s heads off. The other stat that you want to raise to high level is manipulation. If you get this stat high enough you can actually sell items for more than they are worth. This stat will help you get better armor and weapons early in the game and will make the game more fun. The other stats are important for gaining skills and can help you with resistances. But the ones I mentioned are the most key. While you are pumping up your key stats there are some disciplines that you should level up. The most important one is called, “Blood Healing” this skill will let you use a small amount of blood and heal your physical wounds as well as lower your frenzy rating. You should max this skill as fast as you can. The next skill is Celerity, I’d max this skill later in the game because it costs a lot of blood to cast, but later when you get the skill, “Theft of Vitae” you should definitely max it. The next skills you need to get are ones that you must find in spellbooks during your adventures. The spellbook, “Blood Magic” is something that you find in Ardan’s Sanctuary and if you put enough points into the Category you will unlock the ability, “Theft of Vitae.” (REMEMBER: You only need to gain one discipline point in a spell in order to unlock the next one down the line. So if you know you want Theft of Vitae, you should only put a single point into Blood Rage and Blood of Potency. This way you will be able to save valuable EXP that you can allot to other skills and stats.)  You should max this skill because it will let you steal blood from your enemies from long range, and it has the ability to kill humans because they won’t have any blood in their circulatory systems. Also, since the enemy vampires use blood to cast their spells, Theft of Vitae is great for draining Mages from using their powerful spells, and they will just get frustrated and will try to punch you. Later in the game you will find a Spellbook called, “Blood Rituals” you need to put a skill point into the ability, “Heart of Stone” in order to unlock the ULTIMATE SKILL, “Prison of Ice.” You should put 4 skill points into this ability or else max it. It is really up to you. You will end up using Prison of Ice for basically stunning enemies and for crowd control, rather than trying to kill them. Your physical attacks will most likely finish the job. Those are the four best skills in the game. If you max those your character will own pretty hard. But keep reading because I got more tips!

There is a stage in the game where you are in a base controlled by the Teutonic Knights. These knights are wearing protective armor so you won’t be able to bite them to feed off them. So if you put points into Theft of Vitae you can get around this problem and still drain blood. Remember: You can also drain blood using Theft of Vitae against non-human targets like spiders and wolves. This is a handy tip if you are in a bind. Well, make sure to explore this area up and down. Because there is an area where a large number of knights are protecting a room. In this room IS THE BEST ITEM IN THE GAME. This item is called the Ankarin Sword. This sword changes your attack damage type to Aggravated. This is super important because Aggravated damage can penetrate most defenses. It can even enable you to hit enemies like wraiths and other targets that are immune to Lethal and Bashing damage. Another important thing to remember is that the ability, “Feral Claws” changes your attack to aggravated, so you should use this ability when you fight wraiths early in the game before you get the Ankarin Sword. SUPER IMPORTANT TIP: Make sure to keep the Ankarin Sword and most of your magical items and blood enhancing jewelry on Christof. The reason for this is because there is a point in the game where some serious things happen and you basically loose everything that isn’t on Christof. So keep that Ankarin Sword equipped on Christof at all times! Another cool tip to remember is that Blood Enhancing jewelry stacks with each other. So if you have a necklace or ring that reduces the blood cost, then you equip bracelets that reduce blood cost, they will both work to lower blood cost even more than if just one was equipped.

Do you remember when I mentioned how cool the Manipulation skill was? It lets you buy things for cheaper. But in the game you can buy rings that increase your Manipulation stat levels. Now you shouldn’t wear these all the time, it is much better to walk into combat with jewelry that boost your blood levels. But if you buy rings of Manipulation and then put them on your most manipulative character, (who should be Christof) and then talk to a shop owner, you will be able to buy items at a much lower cost. This is good to know because later in the game boosting the Manipulation stat can get very expensive EXP wise. So spending the money on the rings to make all your future purchases cheaper, and to possibly bump your stat so you MAKE money by buying and selling things back to the shop owner, is a really cool thing to do.

You may have noticed your Humanity stat by now. It starts out around 7o or so and you want it to stay high. The reason for this is because your Humanity Stat will directly determine which endings you get when you beat the game. So if it is super high, you will only be able to experience the good ending. If it is super low, you won’t have a choice and you will get the evil or the loser ending. (yes there is a loser ending and it’s pretty lame, I recommend saving often before the final battle so you can check it out and laugh) So in order to keep it high, you need to make sure not to kill innocent civilians. And also the dialogue options that you are presented with affect your humanity levels. Think before you speak if you want to affect your Humanity Rating.

One thing that I noticed is that the computer allies don’t do an amazing job of managing their blood pool and sometimes they just cast stupid spells. To manage this, there is an clickable option in the options menu. It is under,”AI options” and you can configure how the AI cast disciplines from there. I usually had the option, “Use Quick Skills Only” checked. In general, I felt that it was best to equip my allies with shields and one handed weapons like swords. Later in the game where one handed swords are more rare, I used two-handed swords on my allies. I also would pump their strength and dexterity and stamina stats as usual. This helped make my allies less likely to get killed easily. The computer is good about casting blood healing so I’d MAX that skill on my allies as soon as inhumanly possible.

A final note is that there is a little green diamond that you can activate near the portrait of an ally. This means that they are instructed to hold their position. This is very important in later stages of the game where you can get burned to death by sunlight. It is also good for sending a single warrior out to pull enemies and lure them near your coterie.

I hope you enjoyed my review and tips on Vampire the Masquerade: Redemption! It is a very fun game and if you have any questions/comments/or strategies please feel free to contact me on Facebook or leave a comment.



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