Vampire: The Masquerade – Bloodlines
|Vampire: The Masquerade – Bloodlines|
|Release date(s)||NA November 16, 2004
EU November 19, 2004
|Distribution||Optical disc, download|
Vampire: The Masquerade – Bloodlines is a 2004 action role-playing game developed by Troika Games and released by Activision for Microsoft Windows. Based on White Wolf, Inc.'s role-playing game, Vampire: The Masquerade, the game follows a newly-created vampire who must seek to uncover the truth behind a recently discovered relic that heralds the end of all vampires. Set in White Wolf's World of Darkness, Bloodlines allows the player to assign their character to one of several different vampire clans, each granting unique powers, and customise their abilities from combat to dialog, allowing them to progress through the game using violent and non-violent methods.
Although Bloodlines divided critics at the time of release, it has gained a popular cult following. It is also notable for being the first third-party game to use Valve's Source engine. The game can be played from either the first-person or third-person perspective. It is also Troika Games' third title and the last to be made before Troika closed down in February 2005.
Bloodlines is a role-playing game with the choice between first person and third-person perspectives. The player character's ability to overcome obstacles is in many cases a mixture of player and character abilities, with character stats determining the effectiveness of actions, and player abilities determining whether or not the actions succeed. For example, the ability to move silently and avoid being detected is heavily influenced by the character's Dexterity and Stealth ratings; however, if the player does not stay in the shadows while sneaking past enemies, the character can still be detected.
The player character increases in power dramatically during the course of the game through the expenditure of earned experience points on attributes, skills, and vampire abilities called "Disciplines". A multitude of items, weapons, and books can be found or purchased to make the player character even more powerful. Melee and ranged weapons exist in equal numbers, although only in the later stages of the game.
How the player interacts with the game world varies depending upon which clan the player character belongs to. Differences range from different dialogue options becoming available to certain quests becoming available or unavailable. The most notable gameplay differences are experienced by those who play as Malkavian (due to their insanity, dialogue options are often non sequiturs, making it difficult to conduct conversations and negotiations; Malkavians also encounter numerous bizarre moments during gameplay, such as television sets and stop signs speaking to them) and Nosferatu (who, in order to avoid Masquerade violations, are prohibited from speaking to humans and who do not have access to any gameplay options involving seduction).
Unlike most role-playing video games, the experience needed to increase stats and skills is not awarded for killing enemies. Experience points are awarded solely for completing quests, no matter how many creatures the player eliminates in the process (though the quest objective often involves killing). This encourages the player to complete quests in creative ways and significantly increases the game's replay value.
The game invokes two other unique penalties and rewards for certain behaviors in the game's non-quest (i.e. non-combat) areas. Also, the player is able to gain and lose "humanity" points, which have an impact on how well the character can be controlled when his or her blood supply is low. This can potentially cause the character to go into a feeding frenzy at the wrong time which in turn can lead to Masquerade violations. Humanity points are awarded for acts of kindness, such as finding alternatives to killing certain non-player characters. They can be taken away if the player character kills a human outside a combat zone (or even sometimes within a combat zone if the human is a noncombatant), intentionally or not, or if the character commits an unethical deed such as stealing money from a charity. Unlike Masquerade points, the game does not end if the player humanity level drops to minimum (3 by default), but the player's character is almost certain to enter frenzy when it is this low (and they are hungry, or take damage), and some dialog options may change. Experience points can be used to purchase humanity points. Having a very high or very low humanity affects some conversation options.
Players are penalized for using vampiric abilities or exposing the existence of vampires through the loss of masquerade points. Violating the masquerade five times ends the game in failure, but additional masquerade points can be earned through the completion of quests and other in-game actions.
Bloodlines allows the player to build their character by spending acquired points to increase their ratings in areas like strength, intelligence, wits, and appearance, which in turn impact the different skiill sets available to the character, such as brawling, firearms, lockpicking, and research. Each ability can be raised from zero to a maximum of five, and it is impossible to complete every skill. Additionally, the clan to which the player belongs also impacts their available skills and powers: the attractive Toreador's receive bonuses to seduction and persuasion opening new dialog options but are physically weak, while the disfigured Nosferatu are a walking masquerade violation that is forced to travel in the shadows or through sewers, but they receive bonuses to intelligence and computer skills that allow access to to more information. Malkavians meanwhile have entirely separate dialog options to reflect their inherent insanity.
Gun combat plays out in first-person perspective, with the character points committed to the firearms skill determining the accuracy of the shot, and how long it takes to target an opponent. The player can use weapons in melee combat such as a katana or sledgehammer. If the player sneaks up behind an enemy unaware of their presence, they can perform a stealth kill, instantly disabling the opponent; weapons provide their own unique stealth kill animations.
The player can optionally recruit a female ghoul named Heather who acts as their servant, providing them with blood, gifts, and money, as well as customizing their appearance on their master's whim.
Vampire: The Masquerade – Bloodlines takes place in four hub areas within 21st-century Los Angeles: Santa Monica, Downtown, Hollywood, and Chinatown. Set within the World of Darkness, the game depicts a world where vampires, werewolves, demons, and other creatures are real, and responsible for shaping human history. The vampires are bound to a code to maintain the secrecy of their race, disallowing the use of vampiric abilities in front of humans, as well as discouraging unnecessary killing to preserve the last shreds of humanity in the vampire that prevent them becoming bestial. The vampires are separated into one of seven Camarilla clans with their own respective traits and abilities: the Toreador are the closest to humanity with deep passions for culture; the Ventrue are regarded as nobility and powerful leaders; the Brujah are brutes; the Malkavians suffer from insanity; and the Nosferatu are condemned to a life in the shadows as the most deplorable race.
The main character of Bloodlines, whom the player controls, is an unnamed male or female fledgling vampire, transformed at the start of a game and belonging to one of these clans. The fledgling is employed by the Sebastian LaCroix (Andy Milder), the prince of Los Angeles' vampires. The fledgling's travels through the vampire political world brings them into contact with other undead creatures, such as the deformed information broker Bertram Tung, the Anarch Smiling Jack, and the mentally unstable Voerman sisters, Jeanette and Therese.
In Los Angeles, the unnamed protagonist is killed and resurrected as a fledgling vampire. For this unauthorized act, the protagonist and their Sire are brought before the local Camrailla; the Sire is executed on the order of the Prince, Sebastian LaCroix, while the protagonist is spared the same fate by the intervention of Nines Rodriguez, a member of the Anarchs, with the fledgling instead being employed by the Prince.
LaCroix sends the player to Santa Monica to aid his ghoul Mercurio in destroying a warehouse belonging to the Sabbat. Following his success, the player travels to downtown Los Angeles, meeting separately with Nines, LaCroix, and the Anarch vampire Jack. LaCroix tasks the player with investigating the docked ship, the Elizabeth Dane for information about the Ankaran sarcophagus carried aboard; an ancient item rumored to contain the body of an Antediluvian, one of the eldest and most powerful vampires, whose arrival would herald the vampire apocalypse, Gehenna. The fledgling investigates the ship and discovers that the sarcophagus appears to have been opened from within.
The increased Sabbat activity coincides with the disappearance of the Malkavian primogen Alistair Grout. At Grout's mansion, the fledgling sees Nines leaving. The fledgling discovers Grout's remains in the mansion, and vampire hunter Grunfeld Bach who denies involvement in Grout's death. Learning of Nine's presence at the mansion, LaCroix calls on the other primogens to approve Nines' execution. Meanwhile, the fledgling is sent to the Museum of Natural History to recover the sarcophagus, but finds that it has already been stolen. Later, Jack suggests to the fledgling that LaCroix wants the sarcophagus so that he can drink the blood of the ancient within, gaining all of its power.
Believing that Gary, the Nosferatu primogen has stolen the sarcophagus, the fledgling is sent to Hollywood to seek him out; after locating a captured Nosferatu for Gary, he reveals that the sarcophagus was stolen by the Giovanni vampire clan. The fledgling infiltrates the Giovanni mansion, and finds the sarcophagus guarded by the Kuei-Jin, eastern vampires who claim their leader Ming-Xiao has formed an alliance with LaCroix. The sarcophagus is returned to LaCroix's tower, but it is locked. The historian Beckett informs the fledgling that the only person who would know how to open it has been abducted by the Grunfeld to lure out LaCroix. The fledgling kills Grunfeld, and learns that the sarcophagus' key was also stolen.
The fledgling returns to LaCroix, finding that the Sabbat attempted to steal the sarcophagus to destroy it and prevent Gehenna. The fledgling hunts down and kills the Sabbat leader to scatter his followers. Afterwards, the fledgling is met by Ming-Xiao who offers an alliance. Ming-Xiao reveals that she has the key, and that LaCroix killed Grout to prevent his powerful insight from unveiling LaCroix's plans, while Ming-Xiao transformed into Nines at the mansion to frame him. Denying Ming-Xiao's claims, LaCroix rescinds the blood hunt on Nines and entrusts the fledgling with recruiting the Anarchs to help wage war on the Kuei-Jin for murdering Grout. The fledgling finds Nines hiding in the forest, but the pair are attacked by a werewolf, and Nines is left badly injured. The fledgling escapes with Jack; he reveals that LaCroix has placed an execution order on the fledgling, accusing them of framing Nines on the orders of Ming-Xiao.
The ending varies depending on whom, if anyone, the fledgling chooses to ally themselves with. If the fledgling chooses to support either LaCroix or Ming-Xiao, they send the fledgling to kill the other; LaCroix opens the sarcophagus only to be killed alongside the fledgling by explosives hidden within, while Ming-Xiao betrays the fledgling, chaining them to the sarcophagus and sinking it in the ocean. Supporting the Anarchs or themselves results in the fledgling killing Ming-Xiao and maiming LaCroix, who proceeds to open the sarcophagus only to be blown up; the fledgling can additionally choose to open the sarcophagus themselves, and be blown up. If playing as a member of the Tremere clan, the fledgling kills Ming-Xiao and LaCroix is replaced by the Tremere leader Maximillian Strauss with the sarcophagus stored away. Each ending concludes with Jack sat watching from afar, alongside the mummy taken from the coffin, and the enigmatic taxi driver responsible for transporting the fledgling between locations, who states: "the blood of Caine controls our fate... farewell, vampire".
Development on Vampire: The Masquerade – Bloodlines began at Troika Games in November 2001. The team wanted to innovate the role-playing game by putting it in a first-person setting, believing that the genre had become stale. Troika Games was a small developer with only five developers, including lead writer Brian Mitsoda who joined the team just under a year after development began. Some preliminary design and levels had been completed, but much of this work was abandoned or redeveloped, with development effectively starting over again. At this time, the Source game engine on which the game was being built, was itself still concurrently being built by Valve Corporation. Valve themselves approached Troika about using the engine, making Troika the first external team to use it. Troika opted to use Source based on its facial animation and lip-synching system, as they wanted players to speak to each character face to face. The engine was in development in tandem with Bloodlines and Valve's own Half-Life 2, which meant that Troika Games was working with brand new and unfamiliar code and tools, with only a single source that could provide any support to overcome obstacles. Then, in October 2003, Valve suffered a security breach in which hackers stole the source code for Half-Life 2. The breach required new security implementations for the engine, delaying both it and Bloodlines while the new featured were added, at the time pushing back Bloodlines release to spring 2005.
Alongside issues with the Source engine, the designers found that the scope of the game was exceeding their resources. Bloodlines offers multiple styles of gameplay, requiring different interfaces, animations, and artificial intelligence designs for both stealth and melee combat, as well as the ability to perform these actions from a third-person or first-person perspective. The designers underestimated the length of time required to both prototype and improve these systems. The scope also suffered from content not being excised from the development process when necessary, while other components were approached with a perfectionist attitude that meant they would be continuously refined instead of finalized to allow the developers to begin focusing on other parts of the game system. After three years in development, these issues meant that the game was progressing slowly, and there was seemingly no guarantee of when it would be complete. Publisher Activision stepped in, ordering that the game be ready for release within the next few months, and even advanced more money to Troika so that they could complete their separate work on The Temple of Elemental Evil for Atari, and have the entire Troika team available to work on Bloodlines. Troika continued with development but the game was still unfinished when Activision forced its release. Bloodlines' creative director, Jason Anderson, would blame Activision, saying that the publisher took the game from Troika without providing enough time to rest and polish it.
The nearly three-year-long production cycle was plagued by many problems. Because Valve's work on opponent AI was not completed in time for Troika to show Bloodlines at a press event, Troika wrote their own AI routines, which never worked as well as the code that Valve eventually developed. Early attempts by Troika to create a multiplayer mode and levels working were unsuccessful and eventually the feature was abandoned. The original writing team was replaced midway through the project, causing most game levels and dialogs to be completely revised.
When Troika had not completed a playable Santa Monica hub with combat and discipline usage that met Activision's satisfaction after more than two years of development time, the publisher took several steps to bring closure to the troubled project. First, Activision increased the budget to add Troika's second development team to the project in March 2004, after they had completed work on The Temple of Elemental Evil. Next, it sent the game's Activision producer and two testers to work on-site at Troika's offices until the game was completed. Finally, it set a deadline of September 15 for Troika to produce a Code Release Candidate.
Many of the basic plot elements existed before Mitsoda's involvement such as the prince, the anarchs being upset, aspects of the Gehenna storyline, and Jack and the sarcophagus being a major plot point. The designers developed ways in which the overarching story could be tied broadly into each individual hub and level. Each designer retained a great deal of control over their assigned sections in the game, and working with such a small team meant that it did not take long to develop a consensus or keep the plot elements consistent. Mitsoda eventually became the primary writer for many of the characters and their quests, dialog, and side content in the game such as e-mails which further helped to retain a consistent narrative; he was given a lot of freedom in regards to his script without restrictions on the use of language or the content, and was able to even rewrite characters like Damsel after he deemed his initial draft to be weak.
Discussing the process of designing characters, Mitsoda said that he tried to put effort into disguising the necessity of characters that serve simply as a means of pointing the player in the appropriate direction. He said:
"You need a character to pose a problem or give out a quest or be a barrier of some kind. I don’t like to make the [character] outright say 'I need you to do X, then I’ll give you Y' because I see it all the time in games and it shows the writer’s hand – it makes the character into an automated quest kiosk. I like the characters to come off like people actually do – they don’t say 'hi' when strangers come knocking, they say 'who the hell are you?' or they’re expecting you and know more then they let on, or they don’t care. I don’t like my [characters] to be standing around as if their lives begin when the character starts talking to them and end when the player leaves.
Single-use characters that the character may only talk to once needed a unique personality trait to quickly establish them with the player, rather than serving as a disposable item, while major characters that the player speaks to on multiple occasions need to reflect the actions and progression the player as made in the game. Mitsoda wrote the characters by thinking about who each character was, assigning them individual motivations that would determine why they are where they are, what they think of the player, and what they want from them. The Malkavian player character featured a unique dialog script to the other eight playable races, but Mitsoda noted it was one of the less difficult aspects of the development cycle. Mitsoda wrote the Malkavian last, with time running out on development, which saw a lack of sleep and being overworked help contribute to what Mitsoda considered an unhealthy state-of-mind ideal to writing their insane dialog. He wanted to highlight their madness without it becoming comical.
Original instrumental music for the game was written by Rik Schaffer. Troika licensed many songs for the game, and posters for real bands are featured on the walls of the game's clubs. The song "Bloodlines" performed by Ministry had lyrics written specifically for the game, and is a revised version of the song "So What". The official soundtrack was released through Best Buy stores for customers who pre-ordered the game.
|Music track title||Written by||Performed by||Record company|
|"Swamped"||Marco Coti Zelati, Cristina Scabbia and Andrea Ferro||Lacuna Coil||Century Media Records|
|"Cain"||Johan Edlund||Tiamat||Century Media Records|
|"Bloodlines"||Al Jourgensen||Al Jourgensen / Ministry||Megaforce Records|
|"Needle's Eye"||F.G. Reiche||Die My Darling|
|"Come Alive"||Daniel Ash||Daniel Ash|
|"Pound"||J. Blackwell, H. Cummings, S. Smith, C. McCall and M. Wolfe||AERIAL2012|
|"Isolated"||Emileigh Rohn||Chiasm||COP International (license)|
|"Lecher Bitch"||Jennifer Vincent, David Vincent and Vincent Saletto||Genitorturers|
|"Smaller God"||C. Elen, J. Thomas, and S. McManus||Darling Violetta||Opaline Records|
Troika delivered the Code Release Candidate on the required date, though it left the development team in low morale. Due to the game's size and complexity, the Code Release Candidate took three weeks to test, but on October 4, 2004, Bloodlines went Gold as Version 1.0. Since contractual obligations with Valve would interdict Bloodlines to be released before Valve's debut of the Source engine in Half-Life 2, Activision did not publicly announce that the game had gone Gold and instead gave Troika an additional week to polish the game, after which Bloodlines Version 1.1 underwent another three weeks of testing.
The second version of Bloodlines shipped on November 16, 2004, the same day that Half-Life 2 was released. Valve's first-person shooter, a hugely successful sequel, sold four million units by 2006. The original Half-Life had itself sold 12 million units by then. Earlier release plans were to postpone until Spring 2005 so that Bloodlines would not compete against a sequel to a blockbuster, with a large advertising budget and ready made loyal following during the already competitive Christmas season. Additionally, Valve's contract with Troika guaranteed that Bloodlines could not be released before Half-Life 2. In a 2013 interview, Mitsoda remarked that it was released at "the worst possible time - most people didn't even know we were out... fans and the Troika [developers] are always going to wonder what the game could have been like with another six months."
|This section requires expansion. (July 2013)|
Tom McNamara of IGN opined that the visuals and in-depth RPG elements were of high quality but the combat and especially the AI were lacking, and called it a "grand RPG but a flawed gem of a game". Computer and Video Games praised the game for its execution and flair, but resented it (and Activision) for the number of bugs and the discontinuation of technical support immediately after the game's release, calling it "the best buggy game ever". Kieron Gillen of Eurogamer admired the accomplished and "effortlessly intelligent" script, claiming that "no other game has come close. Nothing's even tried." However, he criticized the game for becoming repetitive in its final third, and for sporting a large amount of bugs on release. Lewis Denby of HonestGamers overlooked these flaws, stating that the game "may not be polished and may end with a sigh instead of a shout, but for its ambition alone it deserves stream after stream of compliments."
Despite generally favorable reviews, Bloodlines sales underperformed in the first few weeks, selling 72,000 units ($3.4 million). In early 2009, the game experienced a significant revitalization, thanks in particular to its re-release on the Steam development service. Retrospective articles by Rock Paper Shotgun and Eurogamer praised the title as "a clever, multi-faceted RPG," and declaring that "it bristles with life and character."
Bloodlines's initial release sold 72,000 copies which was considered a poor response and helped contribute to Troika's shutdown.
The relative failure of Bloodlines' release contributed to the eventual demise of Troika Games. Shortly after the game's release, most of the development staff were made redundant, while the remaining staff alternated between attempting to patch the released version of Bloodlines and developing new game concepts to help secure funding to keep Troika in business. By the time the company finally closed in February 2005, it had secured no other game development deals.
There were still many technical and playability bugs in the released version of Bloodlines, but none were judged to be serious enough to further delay shipping the game. After Bloodlines was released to the public, Activision compiled a list of problems customers were reporting to its customer service department and on various Vampire websites. It then authorized Troika to spend a week creating a patch to address the most serious issues. However, Troika's inability to find revenue from another project had already forced the developer to lay off all its employees in two waves, except for the three owners: Jason Anderson, Leonard Boyarsky and Tim Cain. Despite this, several employees continued to work without pay on the Version 1.2 patch, which after three weeks was released on December 22, 2004.
As a result, direct support for the game ended. Many community patches have since been released, in order to fix errors and bugs that were not corrected by Troika due to the scope of the game and the subsequent closing of the developer, as well as to restore unreleased additional content found in the game files.
Following its release, analytical chemist Werner Spahl began further development on the game, after installing a fan-created patch which rendered the game inoperable for him. Spahl contacted the creator who informed him that they were no longer working on the patch but provided information on how to fix its issues. Spahl then gained permission to continue developing the patch, taking over from version 1.2 onwards. The community around the game served as testers for Spahl's patches, providing information on spelling errors, altering character models, and even creating entirely new maps for the game. The complexity of the game system often meant that repairing one aspect broke another, but as work on the patches progressed, Spahl moved beyond simply fixing issues with the base game and began restoring removed and incomplete content which still remained within the game's code, adding new characters and using fans to provide voice acting, to reinstating entire levels.
The changes altered the original game so much that Spahl was criticized by some of the game's community, resulting in the release of separate patches: one that fixes the technical issues in the game, while the other installs the additional content. As of April 2014, the game has received 10 years of post-release support with the release of version 9 of the patch.
- Lane, Rick (April 27, 2014). "Reanimated: The story of Vampire: The Masquerade Bloodlines". Eurogamer. Archived from the original on July 19, 2014. Retrieved July 19, 2014.
- Westbrook, Logan (March 9, 2010). "The Last Masquerade". The Escapist. Retrieved 2010-10-09.
- McNamara, Tom (November 17, 2004). "Vampire: The Masquerade - Bloodlines Review". IGN. Archived from the original on July 21, 2014. Retrieved July 21, 2014.
- McNamara, Tom (November 17, 2004). "Vampire: The Masquerade - Bloodlines Review". IGN. Archived from the original on July 21, 2014. Retrieved July 21, 2014.
- McNamara, Tom (November 17, 2004). "Vampire: The Masquerade - Bloodlines Review". IGN. Archived from the original on July 21, 2014. Retrieved July 21, 2014.
- Rausch, Allen (November 16, 2004). "Vampire: the Masquerade - Bloodlines". GameSpy. Archived from the original on July 21, 2014. Retrieved July 21, 2014.
- Rausch, Allen (November 16, 2004). "Vampire: the Masquerade - Bloodlines (page 2)". GameSpy. Archived from the original on July 21, 2014. Retrieved July 21, 2014.
- Rausch, Allen (November 16, 2004). "Vampire: the Masquerade - Bloodlines (page 3)". GameSpy. Archived from the original on July 21, 2014. Retrieved July 21, 2014.
- Gillen, Kieron (April 9, 2008). "Vampire: Bloodlines – Heather and Me". Rock, Paper, Shotgun. Archived from the original on July 21, 2014. Retrieved July 21, 2014.
- Pradhan, Ravi (August 23, 2013). "Homage To A Forgotten Video Game – Vampire The Masquerade: Bloodlines". What Culture. Archived from the original on August 27, 2013. Retrieved July 20, 2014.
- Cavalli, Earnest (July 9, 2014). "10 Years, 10 Great Games: Earnest's picks". Joystiq. Archived from the original on July 20, 2014. Retrieved July 20, 2014.
- Reed, Kristan (August 13, 2003). "Vampire: The Masquerade - Bloodlines". Eurogamer. Archived from the original on October 20, 2012. Retrieved July 20, 2014.
- Westbrook, Logan (March 9, 2010). "The Last Masquerade". The Escapist. Archived from the original on July 20, 2014. Retrieved July 20, 2014.
- Westbrook, Logan (March 9, 2010). "The Last Masquerade (page 2)". The Escapist. Archived from the original on July 20, 2014. Retrieved July 20, 2014.
- Westbrook, Logan (March 9, 2010). "The Last Masquerade (page 3)". The Escapist. Archived from the original on July 20, 2014. Retrieved July 20, 2014.
- Rossignol, Jim (April 6, 2009). "Interview Without A Vampire: Bloodlines’ B Mitsoda". Rock, Paper, Shotgun. Archived from the original on July 19, 2014. Retrieved July 19, 2014.
- Morris, Chris (February 3, 2004). "Half-Life 2 sets a date". CNNMoney. Archived from the original on October 27, 2013. Retrieved July 20, 2014.
- "David Mullich: The Interview". TeaLeaves. Retrieved August 24, 2004.
- "First In Half-Life Episodic Trilogy Debuts At Number 1". Valve Corporation. 2006-06-09. Retrieved 2008-09-22.
- Lane, Rick (February 4, 2004). "Vampire Bloodlines delayed". Eurogamer. Archived from the original on July 20, 2014. Retrieved July 20, 2014.
- Ruscher, Wesley (November 2, 2012). "Weekend Modder's Guide: Vampire The Masquerade Bloodlines". Destructoid. Archived from the original on November 6, 2013. Retrieved July 20, 2014.
- "Vampire: The Masquerade – Bloodlines (PC)". 1UP.com. 2004-08-12. Retrieved 2010-09-20.
- "Vampire: The Masquerade – Bloodlines". Allgame. Retrieved 2010-09-20.
- Ocampo, Jason (2004-11-18). "Vampire: The Masquerade – Bloodlines Review". GameSpot. Retrieved 2010-09-20.
- "Vampire: The Masquerade – Bloodlines (pc: 2004)". MetaCritic. Retrieved 2010-09-20.
- "Vampire: The Masquerade – Bloodlines Reviews". GameRankings. Retrieved 2010-09-20.
- "The Greatest PC Games That You've (Probably) Never Played". Computer and Video Games. 2006-11-03. Retrieved 2008-06-21.
- "Vampire: The Masquerade - Bloodlines Review". EuroGamer. 2004-11-24. Retrieved 2008-09-24.
- "Vampire: The Masquerade - Bloodlines Review". HonestGamers. 2008-07-18. Retrieved 2008-09-24.
- "Vampire: The Masquerade - Bloodlines reviews: metascore 80". metacritic.com. Retrieved June 12, 2006.
- "Troika Games Officially Closed". Archived from the original on April 5, 2005. Retrieved December 24, 2006.
- "Steam Puts Vampire the Masquerade: Bloodlines on Sale This Weekend". [BigDownload. 2008-10-31. Retrieved 2009-07-31.
- "Forever Young, The Tragedy Of Bloodlines". Rock Paper Shotgun. 2009-02-11. Retrieved 2009-07-31.
- "Retrospective: Vampire: The Masquerade - Bloodlines Article". EuroGamer. 2009-07-04. Retrieved 2009-07-31.
- "Troika closes". GameSpot. Retrieved February 24, 2005.
- Barter, Pavel (February 2009). "Closed for repairs: The Vampire's kiss". PC Zone (203): 17.
- Rossignol, Jim (August 2008). "Vampire: The Masquerade – Bloodlines". PC Gamer UK: 105.
- Meer, Alec (2011-07-15). "Undying: Vampire Bloodlines Patched Anew". Rock Paper Shotgun. Retrieved 2012-12-22. "Bloodlines is now seven years old, was essentially abandoned by its publisher after its developer closed a few months after release, but the fans have just kept on going, fixing things, improving things, digging up locked away extra content and generally trying to keep their dream game alive."
- Grayson, Nathan (April 25, 2014). "Vampire: Bloodlines Achieves True Immortality, Hits Patch 9.0". Rock, Paper, Shotgun. Archived from the original on July 20, 2014. Retrieved July 20, 2014.