It’s always a good time to play Vampire: The Masquerade – Bloodlines, but especially now—Halloween season is practically upon us, and VTMB’s expansive, open-ended roleplaying makes a great follow-up to Baldur’s Gate 3.
Modder Wesp5’s Unofficial Patch is essential to having the best Bloodlines experience today, both to get it working on modern PCs, and to fix all the issues the ill-starred Troika Games never got around to. The Unofficial Patch team continues to tweak the game and even produce new content for it, and in the 11.3 patch at the end of last year they introduced a level pack come mini-campaign where you play as a Vampire Hunter.
In the base game, the Vampire Hunters of the Society of Leopold are pure antagonists: culty zealots who kidnap an archeologist, torture Vampire River Phoenix, and just generally get in your way. The World of Darkness tabletop setting, however, isn’t nearly as restrictive, allowing you to play as Vampire Hunters or even Werewolves—there’s precedent here.
The Hunter mini-campaign takes place after the events of the main game, and sees you hopping into a few familiar levels to slay Vampires with a new suite of divine powers. You’re basically a postmodern Paladin, and instead of sucking blood you get a “faith” pool to activate powers like divine healing or a shield, and you have to pray in between fights to restore your good boy meter.
Right now, it’s more of a proof-of-concept than anything else—the missions are largely combat-focused, which was never Bloodlines’ real strength, and the Santa Monica level I played feels like a redux of the base game’s Bloodhunt sequence. Still, It’s still awesome to see just how malleable Bloodlines can be, especially with an alternate power system at play. There’s a lot of potential here.
Wesp5 describes the Hunter powers as being based on cut content from Troika, the delightfully-named “Counter-Bite” Vampires vs. Vampire Hunters multiplayer mode described by company co-founder Tim Cain in a recent vlog. Vampire: The Masquerade – Bloodhunt may be dead, but Counter-Bite lives on in some small way.
In addition to the Unofficial Patch and its new levels, Wesp5 and other veteran Bloodlines modders are working on a Hunter-focused prequel to the original game, VTMB Prelude. Part 1 is already available, while the team released a demo for Part 2 at the end of last year. The Unofficial Patch itself, meanwhile, can be gotten off ModDB, NexusMods, or The Patches Scrolls.