Vampire: The Masquerade Bloodlines 2’s protagonist is an Elder vampire who flips the script on RPG convention.
Paradox Interactive and developer The Chinese Room have today released a long-form YouTube video diving into the long-awaited sequel’s main character: Phyre. Or one possible version of the main character since Phyre’s clothes, background, gender, and more are all customizable. No matter what you do with your fanged hero, they don’t seem too pleased about waking up in modern-day Seattle after a hundred-year-long nap.
The interesting thing about Phyre is that they’re an Elder vampire, someone who’s been cursed with sharp teeth and immortality for centuries. Compared to the RPG rookies we’re usually cast as - the children, the students, the couriers - Phyre is a breath of fresh air. Not literally, because they’re also really old.
Narrative director Ian Thomas and series executive vice president Sean Greaney both spoke about how Phyre is “inverting the RPG journey” in the video embedded above. Phyre begins with a significant level of power and sway in vamp society, which is the exact inverse of the first Bloodlines. But you’ll still be going through the satisfying RPG paces as Phyre recovers their dusty powers and potentially exceeds their ancient self.
“Bloodlines 2 comes to life with Phyre as they wake an Elder vampire in a very different world than they remember. They have a certain edge to every encounter, whether combat or social - a few hundred years’ practice makes for an advantage,” says Greaney in a recent press release. “Seattle adapts and changes to the choices and dialogue options players choose, resulting in a different story experience.
The other half of the equation is Fabian, a thin-blood vamp who’s mysteriously trapped inside Phyre’s head, serving up both commentary and context to the now-unfamiliar world. Thomas describes the character as an “anchor” to the modern world and a “compass” for the player - should we choose to listen. Phyre won’t understand the new world order or how phones work, for example, so Fabian could just be our best friend.
Vampire: The Masquerade Bloodlines 2 was previously in development at Hardsuit Labs, before the publisher pulled the studio off the project and delayed it indefinitely. Paradox then stayed tight-lipped about the project until this summer’s re-reveal with The Chinese Room at the helm - the team best known for Dear Esther.