Unveiling the Combat Mechanics of Vampire: The Masquerade – Bloodlines 2 in Developer Diary


January 25, 2024 by our News Team

at The Chinese Room (TCR) The development diary for Vampire: The Masquerade - Bloodlines 2 discusses the game's first pillar of "Feeling like a Vampire" and the team's focus on creating immersive and visceral combat, catering to different playstyles.

  • The game's first pillar, "Feel like a Vampire," serves as the guiding light for creative decisions, ensuring full immersion in the vampire fantasy.
  • The combat system offers three separate gameplay styles, catering to both existing Bloodlines fans and newcomers to the World of Darkness.
  • The team's focus on immersion and stylistic choice to embrace visceral combat adds depth and excitement to the gameplay experience.


In the first installment of the development diary for Vampire: The Masquerade – Bloodlines 2, Alex Skidmore, Project Creative Director at The Chinese Room (TCR), delves into the game’s first pillar: “Feel like a Vampire.” This pillar serves as the guiding light for creative decisions, ensuring that players can fully immerse themselves in the vampire fantasy. Skidmore acknowledges that combat has been a major focus thus far, influenced by the second pillar: “Visceral, Immersive Combat.” Today, Skidmore shares his thoughts on this crucial aspect of the game.

When designing the combat system for Vampire: The Masquerade – Bloodlines 2, the goal was to create an action experience that could hold its own against modern titles. The team at TCR wanted to offer three separate gameplay styles that would cater to both existing Bloodlines fans and newcomers to the World of Darkness.

The first playstyle, known as the Strategic Stalker, is perfect for fans of more strategic combat experiences. This style emphasizes staying hidden and utilizing the element of surprise. If you enjoyed games like Dishonored or preferred stealth-focused builds in Fallout or Elder Scrolls, then this playstyle will cater to your vampire predator fantasies. It allows players to carefully plan their moves, deciding when to unleash their Discipline powers and how to approach each encounter. Sneaking up on enemies, distracting them, feeding on them, and employing hit-and-run tactics are all viable options for those who embrace this playstyle.

The second playstyle, dubbed the Action Brawler, is geared towards players who prefer a more fast-paced and reflex-driven combat experience. While any Clan can engage in brawls, the Brujah Clan excels in this style. Their powers are specifically designed for dominating close combat situations. If you’ve enjoyed games like God of War, Shadow of Mordor, or are eagerly awaiting Elden Ring, then this playstyle will be right up your alley. It revolves around being at the center of the action, utilizing your abilities to control the crowd and deal maximum damage.

These two playstyles represent opposite ends of the action spectrum, with players having the freedom to mix and match elements from both to find their desired balance between stalking and brawling. Additionally, there is a third playstyle called the Narrative Adventurer, catering to players who prioritize the game’s fantasy, narrative, and exploration elements over combat and action gameplay. This playstyle is ideal for fans of the original Bloodlines game and TCR’s previous titles. The team at TCR understands the importance of not overshadowing these players with excessive action, ensuring that they can still enjoy exciting battles without delving too deeply into complex combat mechanics.

To achieve these diverse playstyles, the focus is on immersion rather than complexity. The control scheme is streamlined, allowing players of all three playstyles to easily pick up and play. Depth is added through additional layers of mastery for those seeking it. For example, the defensive mechanic is a dash that can be used to dodge incoming attacks or reposition. If used towards an enemy performing a melee attack, it becomes a counter, staggering the enemy. While it’s not necessary for players to utilize this move, it provides a higher skill-ceiling for those who want to explore advanced combat techniques.

Abilities are also streamlined to maintain immersion. They are mapped to the face buttons on a gamepad, limiting players to four available abilities at a time. This small yet deep selection allows players to use their abilities without interrupting their flow, while still providing enough depth through different combinations and usage strategies to keep combat engaging and enjoyable.

The team’s principal focus is on creating Immersive Combat. They want players to be thinking about what cool move they want to execute next, rather than getting bogged down by complicated mechanics.

In addition to immersion, the team has made a stylistic choice to embrace Visceral Combat. They believe that being a vampire should involve a certain level of bloodshed. Feeding plays a significant role in any vampire story, and the team wanted to provide players with a compelling reason to tear out throats in the midst of a fight. As an Elder vampire, the protagonist, Phyre, has become desensitized to violence. The team hopes that players will go through a similar transformation over the course of the game, initially shocked by the brutality but eventually accepting it as a necessary part of being a centuries-old vampire in a city filled with enemies.

The final game pillar in Bloodlines 2 is “Exploring the World of Darkness,” which will be discussed in the next dev diary. Stay tuned for more updates, and mark your calendars for January 31 when the gameplay trailer and deep dive will be revealed. Good night!

Alex Skidmore
Project Creative Director

Unveiling the Combat Mechanics of Vampire: The Masquerade – Bloodlines 2 in Developer Diary

Unveiling the Combat Mechanics of Vampire: The Masquerade – Bloodlines 2 in Developer Diary

Unveiling the Combat Mechanics of Vampire: The Masquerade – Bloodlines 2 in Developer Diary

Unveiling the Combat Mechanics of Vampire: The Masquerade – Bloodlines 2 in Developer Diary

Unveiling the Combat Mechanics of Vampire: The Masquerade – Bloodlines 2 in Developer Diary

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