24/04/2020

๐Ÿง›‍♂️ Vampire The Masquerade: Coteries of New York | Switch | Review | "Fangs For The Memories" ๐Ÿง›‍♂️ #GameDev #IndieGames

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An interactive visual novel set in White Wolf Publishing’s ‘World of Darkness’ made most familiar to gamers by Vampire The Masquerade: Bloodlines, a cult title released back in 2004 by Troika Games, Vampire the Masquerade: Coteries of New York (VTM:COTN) is a visual novel with light adventure elements in the form of choices that the player can make.

Whilst this means the game is quite casual in nature, the brevity of the writing and length of the game (3 hours or so) means that it feels accessible and doesn’t get too bogged down in dense text.

On the other hand, those who are used to such heavy-duty visual novels may feel short-changed here. 
Choosing from one of three (a common theme throughout the game) character backgrounds, you begin the game as a fledgeling, the bottom of the vampiric social hierarchy. You are turned into a vampire and your sire scuttles off into the night leaving you to come to terms with your new death/life and the surprisingly complex masquerade and subsequent etiquette that is demanded of you in your new…state.
Those familiar with the world in which the game takes place will be in safe hands as the game does not shy away from the lore and has helpful, brief guides to various terms that will crop up in the course of the many conversations that you’ll have. The presentation of the game really ticked my boxes, the majority of the screen is taken up by dynamic backgrounds as ambient sounds fill the space. Character portraits are large and the text appears in the bottom of the screen and is for the large part, very concise and clean. The choices that regularly pop up and shape the story can sometimes be a bit ‘cut and dry’, occasionally boiling down to:
Something sensible
Something meek
Something snarky/angry
Whilst this isn’t a huge problem for the most part – I felt like I was being carried through a tale being told to be as opposed to driving it (which is fine) – there were some moments I wish I could make a choice which, in a given situation seemed more pragmatic but wasn’t available.
Naturally, being a vampire you have a real thirst for the dark, red stuff and this has to be kept up as you go through the chapters and meet the characters. Taking opportunities to drink your fill from the human herd can sometimes have unseen results that will help or hinder you and the threat of the rarely-spoken blood beast that lingers at the back of every vampire’s psyche is tempting enough to make you abstain from blood just to see what happens…I’ll leave that choice up to you.
The characters are drawn in broad strokes which fit the sharpness of the story being told here but this is a visual novel and the limitations of the medium come with it.

The majority of my knowledge of the game world comes from the time I spent with VTM: Bloodlines and Coteries of New York was a great way to delve back into the clans and shady dealings of the vampire world.

The good thing here, though, is that even if this is all new ground to you, the game guides you well into its arms so you won’t ever feel bogged down by terminology.

Soon you will be ensconced in the sweeping, dark cape of Coteries of New York, just remember to keep a hold of your human side…if you can.
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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