01/04/2020

๐Ÿง›‍♀️๐Ÿฆ‡ Bloodlust 2: Nemesis | Review | PC | "No ‘Suck’ Jokes, Please." ๐Ÿง›‍♀️๐Ÿฆ‡ @Vampire_RPG #GameDev #IndieGames

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It’s always impressive to see what extremely small development teams can achieve on a budget, especially when tackling a genre that is usually associated with both expanse and expense.

An Action/RPG hybrid presented in third-person view that takes its cue from a mashup of both Vampire the Masquerade: Bloodlines (mood, lore and setting) and the Diablo series (heavy focus on loot and dungeon crawling), it aims high but the focus on the more repetitive aspects detracts from the more impressive touches that Bloodlust 2: Nemesis has to offer.
Having not played the first game, I wasn’t sure what to expect, beyond vampires. Waking up in a death-shrine based in a sewer – as we all do at some point, usually after a night on ‘Grandpa’s cough medicine’ – your soul has been transferred into an undead vessel that requires that oh-so-tasty, salty red sustenance to keep it ticking over and so your mission begins…find out what the heck is going on.

The game is played purely in an over-the-shoulder perspective and ran extremely well on my mid-range PC with all the graphical setting knocked up to ‘high’ and it feels responsive in the mouse and keyboard-based controls. The left mouse button is your attack whilst the right button uses your unlockable vampiric skills, which are fun to use and varied in style.

Within an hour I had spiders, rats and zombified sires following me around and quite frankly doing a lot of the combat as I stood a safe distance away hurling fireballs into the fray. The world in which the game is set is quite well-realised, with different bloodlines and cliques of vampires holding different relationships with each other and some skills requiring a certain level of comradery with each clan to unlock.

There are also talent pools which can be selected upon levelling up and yet more skills for your sired vampires, this, combined with an extremely loot-heavy setup can result in being a bit overwhelmed in the early moments of the game but it does do a good job of explaining everything to the newcomers (although some text has some misspellings, which isn’t a big deal).
The voice-acting is surprisingly well-done and doesn’t have the usual issue of having massively alternating volumes from each character that some indie games struggle with (I look at you, 13th Doll) although I feel that the use of the same quips and statements being used when you are sifting through your cavernous inventory should have been replaced as they get tiresome fast (the in-game merchants have the same issues). Whilst I don’t mind spending some time on menu screens, you will really be tested by Bloodlust 2, with rare, high-level items being blocked off, item scrolls needed to identify almost everything and also clothing being locked if it is for the opposing gender to your character.


This results in a cluttered screen and constant selling and sorting (made more difficult by the cursor sometimes not registering items in certain parts of your inventory, one of the more major bugs I came across) to the merchant that for some reason spends his days running randomly around extremely dangerous dungeons filled with monsters.
Whilst the early game leads you in, introducing the characters and setting the mood, the majority of the game is spent hunting through deep dungeons to fight bosses and gain more loot.

Whilst it is functional, the combat did tend to boil down to the same thing over and over due to the enemy AI being to run towards you and hit you, often ending up in a frantic clickathon as multiple characters swarm you, making the screen hectic and baffling.

There is also a heavy mist in the game’s dungeon sequences which mean that you have to be pretty close to enemies in order to target them, which again lowers the tactical options available. The variety in the abilities and weapons that you have is fun for a while but when you get a routine down; you pretty much stick to it and hope you don’t get overrun.

Summary
Bloodlust 2 is a game that will appeal to those gamers that enjoy spending time in the inventory screen fidgeting with their mass of loot. The ‘clicky’ combat and design overall in these sections of the game feels more like an online MMORPG as opposed to a single-player experience (there is an online multiplayer element here as well) and I really wish that the game focused more on the narrative and exploration of the city as opposed to dungeons and sewers which get samey pretty quickly.

WRF Studios have done a decent job with what they have available but, as I’ve already said, unless you really enjoy this genre, there’s nothing here to grab you.

I’d love for the developer to really build on what they have here with more of a focus on adventure than combat but that’s just personal preference. If you are a fan of indie titles and like vampires and looting and don’t mind a little bit of a rough ride in a game that could do with some fine-tuning, sink your fangs into this.

If this doesn’t describe you as a gamer…walk into the light.
๐Ÿ’ง❄️ RATING: MELTING ❄️๐Ÿ’ง

Ratings Explained
ICE COOL (Great Game Recommended)
MELTING (Recommended with reservations, one to consider if you are a fan of the genre)
MELTED (Not A Recommended Purchase)

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