Released at the end of April, Sharkmob’s new free-to-play battle royale Vampire: The Masquerade – Bloodhunt is here. Players will step into the dark and dreary world of Vampires and their different sects and duke it out with this new release. So naturally, we decided to check the latest release from Sharkmob. So how was it? Find out in our review of Vampire: The Masquerade – Bloodhunt.
Story: Set in The Masquerade universe, but little of it there
Coming from the Vampire: The Masquerade franchise, it’s reasonable to expect there would be some story or lore in Bloodhunt. Set in the seedy world of the vampire with their factions, politics, and conspiracy that many players are familiar with from the original Vampire: The Masquerade, released in 2004.
Vampire: The Masquerade – Bloodhunt is set in Prague, one of the original settings for the tabletop version of Vampire: The Masquerade. Immersed in a conflict between vampire sects following a vampire gathering in the city. With the second inquisition becoming involved, players will take the roles of vampires and try to survive the sect war.
Players will find much of this plot translated into gameplay through various lore unlocks and quests that will have players fetching something or traveling to a location during a match. As the player makes progress through each of these quests found in the central lobby. Explained through short conversations with lobby NPCs, more of the evening’s events will become clear. But unfortunately, players will not find much more in-depth exploration into the plot of Vampire: The Masquerade or even the plot of Bloodhunt itself.
Gameplay: All the tropes of a battle royale and some innovation
Vampire: The Masquerade – Bloodunt is similar to many of the different battle royale genera games out there. Players are spawned into a giant battle map, which they can explore. Finding weapons, items, and feeding on the human NPCs dotted around the map to level up your abilities, but be careful not to be caught doing it. Of course, it’s best to do all of this in a timely manner. Like many other battle royales, there is a safe area that grows smaller with time. Surrounded by a red mist, the players will eventually need to take shelter in the shrinking safe zone. Beware, though, as the safe area shrinks, the chance of running into an enemy grow ever greater. Defeat your enemies and be the last to survive to claim victory against your fellow vampires.
Playing Vampire: The masquerade is quite fun. In this battle royale, players can scale buildings, become invisible, and heal their allies. With the abilities of a vampire, players have a large amount of freedom to traverse the streets of Prague up to the rooftops. But, with the inhuman abilities of players in the Vampires, gameplay can become relatively fast-paced compared to other battle royales.
Finding items, weapons, and humans to feed is simple, with the ability to activate a sense skill that will highlight all the player’s needs. The sense skill also has another very great use along with these capabilities. When hearing gunfire, the player can activate the sense skill and see waves from which the gunfire is coming. The team at Sharkmob has added a versatile tool with the sense skill in their release Vampire: The Masquerade – Bloodhunt.
Vampire: The Masquerade – Bloodhunt contains much of what players are familiar with from playing many other Battle Royales. The team at Sharkmob managed to elevate the gameplay of their game, adding a bit of originality to an already crowded genre.
Graphics/Audio: A beautifully dark city, but it has its issues
Set in the city of Prague, the capital city of the Czech Rebuild, the developers set out to make a dark version of the city. Besieged by the various vampire sects, the player will see a city that looks and feels dark and gritty, full of shadowy corners the enemies might lie in wait. Sharkmob did a great job with the map design and layout, layering in NPCs for the player to interact with. Complemented with an intricate and layered city that allows the player multiple avenues to approach enemies.
The audio goes to great lengths to pair itself with the level design. Gunfire sounds proper at close range and distance, along with player movement sounds, allowing others to locate enemies by sight or sound. Unfortunately, there’s no real soundtrack in Vampire: The Masquerade – Bloodhunt. Some musical tidbits in specific areas around the map and the lobby, but that’s it.
Unfortunately, during our review of Vampire: The Masquerade – Bloodhunt, we encountered various bugs that players may also come across during their playtime. Notably, the UI in Vampire: The Masquerade – Bloodhunt is slightly broken, with notification icons not vanishing after seeing the item. Additionally, two premium-themed outfits were not useable, only viewable in the outfit section. Lastly, the lobby would often glitch, causing textures to load improperly. While these bugs are inconsequential to the gameplay, they will undoubtedly create headaches for the player.
Conclusion: A solid battle royale, but the setting makes little sense
Sharkmob ultimately released a solid battle royale title with Vampire: The Masquerade – Bloodhunt, which also elevates their game in small ways. Vampire: The Masquerade – Bloodhunt is worth trying for a free-to-play game. Unfortunately, if you are a fan of the Vampire: The Masquerade franchise, this game will probably leave you scratching your head, wondering why they chose to set this genre of game in this franchise.
After reading our review of the Sharkmob title Vampire: The Masquerade – Bloodhunt, you can check it out for free on PC via Steam and PlayStation 4 & 5. Additionally, if you are interested in the developer Sharkmob, you can find them on their development website.