Rock, Paper, Shotgun's Cara Ellison has written a new article for Vampire The Masquerade:Bloodlines as part of her S.EXE columns , and posted the first part.
More information.Bloodlines treats characters as much more complex than we have a right to expect from games, though I think there could be huge improvement in its treatment of women and sexuality, and its treatment of people of colour is very poor. It still manages to stand out from other games in the way it welcomes sexual themes, and doesn’t end up being hamfisted about the negotiations spurred on by them. The grimy, murky environmental art only serves to make the world somehow smokier, sexier too. The mood is an important reason you indulge the cartoonish character models. It’s hard to make NPCs into real, live people. It’s hard to make a player feel like they are a sexual being. Somehow Troika did it, by preserving a particular mood, by making characters bluster in with all their id and ego and a charming rapport. They made you understand that although the game wants you to fetishise others (namely goth chicks), that those goth chicks have agendas. And yes, the next time we visit, perhaps when my laptop is not so broken, we will talk more about Jeanette and her brash seduction techniques.