I’ve never been a Dungeons and Dragons player. I’ve tried, and while I like the concept and the often-ambitious storytelling, I just couldn’t get into it. Probably because the folks I played with were more devoted, more engaged. They loved it, and more power to them.
The same went for superhero RPG type games; hey, I love my Marvel Universe but playing a character just didn’t do anything for me.
Then there’s Vampire: The Masquerade. My experience with the particular RPG has always been a little different. While I never played it with others, I did play the Bloodlines PC game some twenty-odd years ago; I even own the slightly less-than-good television show on VHS in the early 21st century. And while I could never keep the clans straight and which clan did what and which represented this, I always just liked the idea of Vampire: The Masquerade.
That idea has now made its way onto next-gen consoles with Vampire: The Masquerade: Coteries of New York. The game lets you play as one of three characters, each with pre-defined abilities and characteristics. In all of them, you’re a newly embraced vampire who is making allies and enemies. Here’s the rundown from publisher Draw Distance:
Vampire: The Masquerade – Coteries of New York is a narrative experience set in the rich universe of Vampire: The Masquerade 5th Edition. It presents the struggle for power between two vampiric factions – the Camarilla and the Anarchs – bathed in the night lights of the Big Apple.
Vampire: The Masquerade – Coteries of New York presents the conflict between two vampiric factions: the traditionalist Camarilla and the fiercely independent Anarchs among the landmarks and night lights of the Big Apple. It’s a unique, atmospheric, single-player narrative experience, set in the rich universe of Vampire: The Masquerade 5th Edition.
- Choose one of three pre-defined characters and play as a Ventrue, Toreador or Brujah
- Each playable character offers a selection of powers (Disciplines), different ethical approaches to certain issues, and unique dialogue lines
- Character-oriented quests allow you to meet four unique non-playable characters: a Tremere sorcerer, a Nosferatu detective, a Gangrel of conflicted loyalties and a Malkavian multifoliate online personality with their own agendas. Win their hearts and minds and up to two of them will assist you in the finale
- Depending on your choice of the Clan you will be able to see the events from a distinct perspective. One playthrough is not enough to see all the game has to offer!
- Different paths leading to a grand finale that will leave you surprised and eager to see more
- Suitable for both Vampire: The Masquerade veterans, and fans of mature narrative-driven games who are newcomers to the setting
Though I have some past knowledge of the franchise, I’m far from an expert when it comes to the world of Vampire: The Masquerade. However, that hasn’t stopped me from being absolutely drawn into the world and Coteries of New York. Essentially a video game Choose Your Own Adventure, you make the choices for your character when they appear on the screen.
Vampire: The Masquerade – Coteries of New York looks great on the Switch; it doesn’t push the envelope, but it doesn’t have to. There’s no real movement, other than the flicker of lights here and there, usually, to illuminate a beautifully designed background. Instead, this is a text-based game and an incredibly well-written one at that. I’m hugely impressed at the story and the layers given to all the various characters you meet. I’d even go so far as to say its the game is seductive, which fits right in with the whole vampire mythology.
For vampire fans generally or fans of the Masquerade specifically, Vampire: The Masquerade – Coteries of New York is a well-done addition to the world of fanged gaming.