There’s a lot to love in Vampire The Masquerade: Bloodlines 2, but the team brought something special back for the fans: dancing.
One of the first locations you become really aware of in Bloodlines 2, which is coming to Xbox One, Playstation 4, and PC in 2020, is the local club, Atrium. It has a lot in common with a goth club I used to visit in Chicago, which was called Neo and apparently used to be a regular hangout for the Wachowskis while they were working on The Matrix. Even though Neo has closed (RIP), I can see the same bones of it in Atrium, with its purple lighting and intense dancing.
In the demo that I saw last week at E3, there was plenty of blood sucking, demonic powers, and vampire faction in-fights. Personally though, I find that you can really judge a piece of vampire fiction based on what the clubs look like. Buffy The Vampire Slayer had The Bronze, which was both a hangout for the gang and a vampire feeding ground, and is considered a classic piece of vampire fiction. The Twilight series didn’t have any clubs at all, and is routinely mocked for being corny and bad. If Bloodlines 2 didn’t have a club, I was pretty sure I could write it off, but the game’s developers clearly think clubs are as central to the vampire mythos as I do.
“Clubs are like supermarkets for vampires,” Cara Ellison said. (She’s a writer on the game, as well as a former Kotaku contributor and a friend of mine that I hadn’t realized would be in town for the Bloodlines 2 demo.) “You go there to look at the selection.”
There’s one other special thing about this club that fans of the first Bloodlines game may recognize. The wild, arm-flinging dancing from the first game has returned, with the developers carefully studying the original dance from the 2004 game.
“Night clubs are kind of core to the experience of being a vampire,” said Rachel Leiker, the lead user interface and experience designer on Bloodlines 2. “One of the things that people enjoyed from the first game is dancing, so of course we were going to have it in our game as well.”
“We actually took that directly from the first game and one of our animators studied it very intensely,” she said. “He actually did the motion capture for it in our game. He’s very dedicated. They did motion capture for a bunch of dances, and it was like a big party in the mocap room.”
From what I’ve seen of Bloodlines 2, it expertly captures the seedy feel of vampire movies like Queen of the Damned and or The Hunger, complete with plenty of leather pants and club dancing. You’ll get to do some murders too, using your vampire powers to traverse Seattle and feed from mortals. But for the Bloodlines diehards out there, rest assured that you’ll be able to hit the club both to dance and to grab a quick bite.