Is the upcoming Vampire: The Masquerade – Bloodhunt just another battle royale clone, or is its gameplay unique enough to stand out in the genre?
Vampire: The Masquerade – Bloodhunt is a new third-person battle royale game currently in the alpha stage of development by SharkMob. The game takes place in the world of Vampire: The Masquerade, although it seems to be only loosely connected to previous games, outside of the vampires and its Prague setting. While only a select few have been able to get their hands on the game so far, preview videos have shown how Bloodhunt will compare to other battle royales.
Bloodhunt looks to be a fast-paced battle royale with a much smaller map than games like Warzone and Fortnite. So far, lobbies contain 40 players max, quite small compared to the hundred-person lobbies in other battle royales. Unlike most games in the genre, there is no overall storm/gas circle that closes in on the map. Instead, the map is split into various sections, and as the game continues, those sections become blocked off by a red mist that damages players within. Vampire: The Masquerade – Bloodhunt can end in any of the sectors, making it a unique experience compared to constantly keeping up with a moving circle. The map’s size will also make for quicker matches and much less walking.
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Like most battle royales, Bloodhunt has various tiered loot items to gather that make the player character more powerful. It seems to follow other battle royale games in this aspect, with green, blue, purple, and orange loot drop rarities. Among these are a multitude of weapon types, such as assault rifles, light machine guns, shotguns, submachine guns, rifles, and melee weapons. Guns may be the most common way for players to take down their opponents, but melee weapons can be just as effective.
Bloodhunt Puts Its Own Spin On Shared Battle Royale Mechanics
Similar to Apex Legends’ character skill system, the alpha build of Vampire: The Masquerade – Bloodhunt contains six different classes (listed below), each with its own set of unique skills and passive abilities. Abilities belong to a specific class and cannot be interchanged – at least not in the alpha.
- Brute: Send out a shockwave to deflect bullets and launch opponents back.
- Vandal: Jump and slam the ground for AoE damage in close combat.
- Prowler: Reveal enemies with echolocating bats.
- Saboteur: Lay down a toxic trap that triggers after sensing enemy movement.
- Muse: Heal teammates in a small area.
- Siren: Blind enemies with a brilliant flash of light.
These classes are divided up between Bloodhunt’s three overarching clans; the Brujah clan has the Brute and Vandal, Nosferatu has the Prowler and Saboteur, and Toreador has the Muse and Siren. Each clan has a special ability only its members can use.
- Brujah – Soaring Leap: Allows players to gain an extra jump boost in any desired direction, leading to easier escapes or allowing the player to close in on a wounded enemy.
- Nosferatu – Vanish: Allows players to disappear in a veil of smoke, making them appear mostly invisible to opponents and allowing stealthy getaways or a sneak attack.
- Toreador – Projection: Lets players send out a ghostly projection in any direction they choose. They can then teleport to the projection, even if it’s in mid-air.
Beyond the basic abilities each Vampire: The Masquerade – Bloodhunt character has, buffs can also be acquired by using the NPC feeding system. This has some similarities to fellow battle royale Spellbreak’s scroll collection and talent upgrade system. As players scour the city of Prague for loot, they’ll notice certain NPCs have a colored auras. If fed upon, these NPCs grant buffs to things like health regen, melee damage, or ability cooldowns. These buffs are limited – players can only upgrade melee damage two times, for example. But by performing a finisher on downed enemies called a “Diablerize,” players can increase their maximum buff limit from two to three.
Players who feed off the humans roaming the streets will need to be careful, though. If another human NPC notices the player’s vampiric abilities, their location will be broadcast to any enemies in the area, outlining the player in red and making it easy for opponents to spot them through buildings and from rooftops. To remain in Bloodhunt’s titular Masquerade, players need to be aware of their surroundings.
Bloodhunt Integrates New Battle Royale Combat Mechanics
While the game does seem to share various systems from other popular battle royales on the market, it puts its own twist on them. For instance, Prague is littered with tall buildings players of any class can freely scale. Being able to climb the outside of virtually any building and gain a height advantage is something few battle royales have done. The most similar mechanics are Fortnite’s building system and Spellbreak’s hover system, which allow verticality to play a bigger factor in taking down enemies. Many of the locations in Spellbreak and Fortnite are very open, however, with few structures in between. Bloodhunt is much more compact, with many buildings of various sizes placed close together.
It also appears rooftop battles play a big part in Vampire: The Masquerade – Bloodhunt’s combat. Players can jump from building to building, zipping around with their dash abilities and shooting at enemy players doing the same. If falling from a high place, players can take aim to slow their descent, making it easier to land shots but also making them a sitting target in the air.
Overall, Vampire: the Masquerade – Blood Hunt looks to be a promising new title in the battle royale genre. Its movement system is its biggest wow factor, apart from the unique abilities of its classes. These mechanics could make the game feel like more than just another simple Fortnite wannabe. Bloodhunt is still in a closed alpha stage, but hopefully, fans will be able to play an open beta sometime soon.
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