Troika's Vampire: The Masquerade - Bloodlines Is Just $5 On Steam

As far as unpolished gems go, Troika's Vampire: The Masquerade — Bloodlines could be classified as a sapphire, maybe an emerald with the 1.2 patch. With the latest unofficial update however, which now sits at version 7.9, it easily hits ruby, and perhaps even diamond, heights. Why the bizarre analogy involving precious stones? Because the game's just $US5 on Steam, that's why.

If you want to experience the wonders of Valve's Source engine before Half-Life 2 went and made it famous and what not, look no further than Bloodlines from now-defunct developer Troika. True, it was rough as guts on release and contributed to the studio's downfall, but some seven years after it hit shelves, you can now experience the RPG, based on White Wolf's popular pen-and-paper system, as it was (probably) meant to be.

To do this, you'll need to apply both the official and unofficial patches. Fortunately, you don't have to scrounge the internet looking for them; The Patches Scrolls has them conveniently located on the one page, along with some complementary mods. Users of Windows 7 64-bit will want to check out this Steam forum thread for tips on getting it to play nice with Microsoft's OS.

As I write this, there's about 16 hours and 30 minutes left on the sale, so you have a little bit of time to act. But not much. If you haven't played Bloodlines and want a heavy RPG for the weekend, you could do much, much worse*.

Image: Steam / Activision.

* Yes, Big Rigs is hardly an RPG. But then, it's barely a game.


    Gosh I miss Troika. As much as I loved the original Fallout series, I'd pick Arcanum over it any day.

      The main menu theme music still moves me in ways that are mostly unnatural.

        'Tis perfectly natural! Any who say otherwise are uncultured braggarts!

    For me it's a true classic RPG up there with Deus Ex, System Shock 2 and Thief for me. Sure, it was buggy as hell, but what a game. They should do a Kickstarter for a sequel.

      Brilliant. Sadly I think the core guys have moved onto separate studios. Leonard Boyarsky for example is working on D3 at Blizzard. That's probably as cherry a gig as you can get.

    No point buying it though, Troika is dead and buried and not a dime goes to them, it all goes to Activision, the company that killed them.

      *rolls eyes* Of course, no point buying one of the best roll playing games of the last ten years at all... no point at all.

      Wait, it's that reason it died off in the first place.

        I'm assuming he means, no point paying for it when not a dollar goes to the original creators.

        That doesn't mean its not worth playing.

    Arcanum and Vampire the masquerade loved these games both bloodlines and the original were great. The humanity system in vampire is still one of the best I can remember and the trade off between technology and magic and how it affects the work was awesome in Arcanum.

    Thanks for the heads up. Just purchased it on steam :).

    I miss all the old studios Eidos, Trioka, Sierra, Westwood such quality games.
    Wish they would make another Commandos game too

    Logan, that's a real shame, though it's good to know that at least one of the devs got the success he deserved. Btw thanks for the alert about the Steam sale, just bought it since my old copy was *furtively looks around* unofficial.. : )

      My old copy is real, but it doesn't work under Windows 7 because Starforce needs to be updated, but it can't be updated.

      Not paying for another copy.

    Lost the discs so many years ago...Seems all i do lately is download versions of games i used to own. It's almost poignant.

    Amazing game, atmospheric, well written and has some of the most memorable moments in gaming for me. Dat snuff film.... *shudder* I'll never forget it, was so well done.

    No, no there isn't.
    If you feel inclined to pay someone mail the cash to the devs themselves.
    Otherwise just pirate it.

    I have that game in a box somewhere.. I really need to reinstall it and DL those patches 'cause that was such an awesome game.

    This is by far my FAVORITE western RPG of all time.

      Amen brother.
      I spent so many damn hours in this.
      One of the only games to ever actually immerse me in the world.

        Agreed. It's possibly the most immersive games I've ever played... until you reach Hollywood. Mind you, I haven't messed around with the unofficial patches yet.

    You know that feeling when you buy a game that you know nothing about and then when you go and play it you're totally overwhelmed by how awesome it is and wonder how you didn't hear about it.

    This is the one for me. Just sitting on the shelf at the shop I just picked it up and paid full price and then bam! Best Vampire game and story I've seen yet.

    Played this for the first time recently and...

    + Great conversations, diverse skill upgrades and quite a bit of re-playability.
    - The load times become exponentially longer the more you play the game. It felt like 2 minutes of loading for 3 minutes of gameplay for me near the end of the game.
    - The gameplay quality drops the further you go into the game, It ends up being just corridors of enemies.

    So, if you like vampires, this is the best videogame choice, but if this type of gameplay interests you, play DEUS EX - it blew me away when I played it a few months ago.

    This is my most played SP game. I've done 10+ playthrough's of this game. Even playing the EXACT same character has been fun. This game has many flaws but it's so damn enjoyable that you don't care.

    Get it. Play it.

    An excellent game. Like everyone else has said, play it!

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