Vampire: The Masquerade – Bloodlines 2: Everything we know so far

Vampire: The Masquerade - Bloodlines 2 everything we know
(Image credit: Paradox Intertactive)

Vampire: The Masquerade – Bloodlines 2 is a brand new RPG that seeks to reshape the World of Darkness for modern day console and PC gaming. The developmental process of this upcoming vampire RPG has seen its fair share of bumps in the road, with publisher Paradox Interactive having acquired the IP back in 2015 before scrapping its first attempt. With Still Wakes the Deep studio The Chinese Room is at the helm now, though, we're getting a clearer picture of what the sequel has in store some 20 years since the first game launched.

In a story described by the developer as a "neo-noir thriller", The Chinese Room confirmed that Bloodlines 2's customizable protagonist Phyre breaks the newborn vampire tradition by having players start out as an experienced Elder. The game will introduce us to the Camarilla – that is, the vampiric council – of Seattle, Washington, where Elder vampire Phyre awakens after centuries of slumber.

The original Bloodlines was adapted from tabletop RPG origins, but Bloodlines 2 is shaping up to be a pretty different beast, even compared to Troika Games' 2004 predecessor, Bloodlines 1. Early gameplay reveals put a greater focus on Bloodlines 2's combat mechanics, demonstrating the developer's turn toward a more action-RPG experience when you play as certain vampire clans. OG fans need not worry, though; these action elements exist alongside the dense narrative and roleplaying aspects as seen in the first game. 

The Chinese Room has been more than generous as of late when it comes to VTMB2 intel, and we're here to relay it back to you. Read on for the latest Bloodlines 2 news, including its prospective release window, storyline, known playable clans, and more.

Recent updates

This guide to everything Vampire The Masquerade: Bloodlines 2 was updated on June 7, ensuring all our information on the clans, powers, and storyline is as up-to-date as possible ahead of Summer Game Fest.

Vampire the Masquerade: Bloodlines 2 release window

Vampire The Masquerade Bloodlines 2 Sept 2023

(Image credit: Paradox Interactive)

The Vampire: The Masquerade - Bloodlines 2 release date is set for "Fall 2024", according to developer The Chinese Room (via Steam). An initial ballpark release window placed the game on track to launch sometime next year, but a recent announcement regarding character creation confirmed that the studio has narrowed it down just a touch. 

Warrior vampire clan Brujah is "...the first of four playable clans available at release in Fall 2024," The Chinese Room says in a Steam post accompanying the YouTube video announcement. It might not be a solid release date, but at least we know not to expect Bloodlines 2 too early in the year.

Vampire the Masquerade: Bloodlines 2 platforms

In terms of Vampire: The Masquerade – Bloodlines 2 platforms, we expect it to launch on PC, PS5, and Xbox Series X in 2024. It is not expected to launch on last gen consoles (via Gematsu) with the publisher having scrapped that idea when the project changed hands to a new developer in 2020. Sad news for PS4 and Xbox One owners, but it's already an improvement on the computer-only restrictions of the first Bloodlines game back in 2004.

Vampire the Masquerade: Bloodlines 2 delay

Bloodlines 2

(Image credit: The Chinese Room)

This isn't the first Bloodlines sequel Paradox has worked on. The original Bloodlines 2 was intended to launch in 2019 from Killing Floor 2 developer Hardsuit Labs, shortly after the publisher acquired the IP in 2015. Following two delays in 2019 and 2020 respectively, as well as roles being reshuffled in the dev team, Paradox announced in 2021 that Bloodlines 2 had been delayed "indefinitely". Hardsuit Labs was then removed from the project, with no mention of a replacement.

It was a relief to see a sign of life two years later, when Paradox released fresh production screenshots in June 2023. There was no mention of which studio was actually developing the game until September 2023. A post on the Vampire: The Masquerade - Bloodlines 2 Steam page revealed The Chinese Room as the official project lead, and since then, the information has been coming in steady drip-feeds of dev interviews and sneak peeks.

Vampire the Masquerade: Bloodlines 2 developer

Vampire: The Masquerade – Bloodlines 2 is being developed by British studio The Chinese Room. Studio design director Alex Skidmore penned the Steam announcement on September 20, 2023, introducing the developer as an "award-winning studio focused on telling grounded, believable and rich stories - these are the traditions behind our ground-breaking games in our portfolio, like Dear Esther and the internationally acclaimed Everybody's Gone to the Rapture."

Skidmore's post revealed that The Chinese Room has been working on Bloodlines 2 since 2020, alongside a second "narrative-focused" project, Still Wakes the Deep. "Still Wakes the Deep builds on The Chinese Room’s heritage, and Bloodlines 2 is about looking to the future for our games, taking a big leap forward into the action role-playing genre while bringing our narrative expertise to bear." 

Vampire the Masquerade: Bloodlines 2 story

Vampire: The Masquerade - Bloodlines 2

(Image credit: Paradox Intertactive)

The story of Vampire: The Masquerade - Bloodlines 2 will see us playing as Phyre, an Elder vampire newly awoken from a centuries-long slumber to find the city has left them behind. Phyre will be a highly-customizable main character, with their gender, appearance and vampire clan all down to player choice, but an overarching narrative to pull the pieces together. "Choices and conversations (even outfits!) shape how the environment and characters react to Phyre, changing how the story unfolds, " writes The Chinese Room (via Steam).

One of the most important Bloodlines 2 story elements is bound to be the vampire clans. As in the TTRPG, the clan you pick will dictate Phyre's skills, disciplines, and traits, which could affect how you play the game and interact with NPCs around you. 

The developer stated that there will be "four playable clans" to choose from, each outlined below, when the game launches. There will be one more added in a post-launch DLC, and a sixth via a "unique, standalone DLC" sometime in 2024. 

We also know that Phyre will share the main character spotlight with a Thin-Blood vampire named Fabian, described by the developer as being "inside Phyre". Sharing a peculiar "bond" with them, Fabian will act as Phyre's guide through the modern world, giving them access to information that a recently comatose Elder might not ordinarily have known thanks to their long and restless slumber. The extended gameplay reveal shows Fabian's mental bond with Phyre as something akin to a voice in her head, though we aren't quite sure how he came to be there.

Vampire the Masquerade: Bloodlines 2 clans

The Chinese Room has announced that the first four playable vampire clans in Bloodlines 2 will be Brujha, Tremere, Banu Haqim, and Ventrue. There will also be two new clans added in post-launch DLC, but here's a breakdown of the main four:

  • Brujah: Brutal melee-based combat. Rebellious, passionate, and very good with their fists, the Brujah are a clan of punks and outcasts who making use of their immense physical strength to get their points across.
  • Tremere: Magic-based combat. The Tremere clan's pursuit of knowledge has given them notoriety as the clan of warlocks and blood mages, as seem in the announcement video where the player picks up and throws an opponent using telekinetic abilities. They can control their own blood and that of their foes.
  • Banu Haqim:  Stealth and assassination. The Banu Haqim are the lawbringing clan that thirsts for the blood of other vampires, and uses a strict code of conduct to help them enact justice on wrongdoers. The developer references Blade and Angel as two pop culture vampires who might align themselves with the Banu Haqim characteristic of being "a hunter of hunters driven by strong principles."
  • Ventrue: Mind control combat and high defence. Clan Ventrue's Disciplines allow them to psychologically overcome enemies with their Presence or Dominate them. As the self-proclaimed blue bloods of vampire society, Vantrues are often associated with status, wealth, and hold high positions in the Camarilla (vampire congress).

Bloodlines 2

(Image credit: The Chinese Room)

We know that The Chinese Room is targeting a visceral and immersive combat experience in Bloodlines 2, one "that can compete with modern titles," says the developer in Dev Diary 7. The teams aims to do this through three core gameplay styles: Strategic Stalker, Action Brawler, and Narrative Adventurer.

Each of the three playstyles will be pertinent to one of the above vampire clans in Bloodlines 2, dictating how your rendition of Phyre moves through and interacts with the world around them. 

Strategic Stalker speaks to a more stealth-centric gameplay style that "gives you time to prepare what Discipline power you’d like to use and when. Once your plan is ready, summoning the powers of the blood, sneaking up on an enemy, distracting them, feeding on them before a fight breaks out or hit and run tactics are options for people who love to play this way." This sounds like a go-to for the Banu Haqim and Tremere clans.

Action Brawler is the more combat-heavy gameplay style for those who wish to go in fangs and fists first. "Any Clan can brawl but this is where the Brujah shine," says project creative director Alex Skidmore. "Their powers are aimed at dominating close combat. References for this style are action-brawling games like the God of War series, Shadow of Mordor and Elden Ring. It is about being in the centre of the brawl and using your abilities to control the crowd so you can deliver as much damage as possible."

Finally, Narrative Adventurer seems like a gameplay style for those who want to emulate the feeling of the original Bloodlines game. In short: "You can still enjoy exciting battles without having to delve too deeply into the combat mechanics if things like characters and story are more important to you."

In a Tremere highlight dev diary posted on Steam, The Chinese Room gives us a closer look at how these different clans will play out in the RPG. Among the skill tree detailing the various ways that your chosen clan (in this case, Tremere) can level up their powers, giving us a closer look at how each vampire clan's skills can overlap with their combat potential as listed above. We've also seen the Brujah ability tree in past dev diaries, so it's looking like this RPG element will be standardized across the clans.

Vampire the Masquerade: Bloodlines 2 gameplay

Early Bloodlines 2 gameplay suggests that the game will play out from a first-person perspective, with conversations and feeding animations zooming out to the third person. 

This was revealed in a recent extended deep-dive, showcasing an early mission sequence where a female Brujah-clan Phyre infiltrates a warehouse to investigate a strange mark that has appeared on their hand. Confronting Nosferatu vampire Willem, the reveal shows Phyre wielding her super-strength as a Brujah vampire to punch and feed her way through Willem's confusing illusion puzzle on a mission to get more intel out of him.

We get to see more of the feeding mechanics in Bloodlines 2 in the above gameplay reveal, involving pushing down on both console controller triggers when biting into a victim. The main combat we've seen so far pertains to the Brujah's fists-first approach, with a targeting mechanic that looks reminiscent of Red Dead Redemption 2's Dead Eye. We've yet to see how the Tremere, Banu Haqim, or Ventrue clans engage in battle (if at all), so this is something we're keen to see from The Chinese Room over the coming months.

According to studio design director Alex Skidmore, "Bloodlines 2 is designed with a balance of roleplaying game and adventure story. A compelling and rich plot you’d expect from an adventure game, but with RPG agency allowing you to act out your vampire fantasy. Something about it does look reminiscent of Arkane's Dishonored series, a reference cited by the developer in the accompanying Steam post. 

The Chinese Room says it has reworked this approach, going for a more nuanced vampire roleplay experience, so when Bloodlines 2 releases we should expect "an action experience where players feel confident, almost trolling the enemies with their [vampire] disciplines." This suggests that, as in the first Bloodlines game, our chosen vampire clan and its associated strengths and weaknesses will inform how combat, feeding, and exploration works.

In another YouTube video featuring gameplay and dev interview footage, we see Bloodlines 2's voiced protagonist Phyre having a conversation with an NPC, this time showing both characters in animated third-person close-ups. "We put in a rule that the non-combat gameplay should be about something only a vampire could do; keep it aspirational," says The Chinese Room. We see this in the extended gameplay reveal embedded above, where Phyre uses her vampiric senses to solve a puzzle in an abandoned warehouse by way of smashing through hidden gramophones to break Willem's illusion.

Outside of the three dialogue trees shown in the recent Bloodlines 2 gameplay reveal, we've yet to see much more of the game's RPG mechanics at work. As well as those all-important vampire Disciplines that are yet to seen, we know to expect four core features no matter which Kindred clan you choose: feeding, telekinesis, vampiric senses, and the voice of thin-blood vampire Fabien listening in on all Phyre does.

Check out some of the best RPGs ever to play while you await Bloodlines 2, from The Witcher to Persona 5.

Jasmine Gould-Wilson
Staff Writer, GamesRadar+

Jasmine is a staff writer at GamesRadar+. Raised in Hong Kong and having graduated with an English Literature degree from Queen Mary, University of London in 2017, her passion for entertainment writing has taken her from reviewing underground concerts to blogging about the intersection between horror movies and browser games. Having made the career jump from TV broadcast operations to video games journalism during the pandemic, she cut her teeth as a freelance writer with TheGamer, Gamezo, and Tech Radar Gaming before accepting a full-time role here at GamesRadar. Whether Jasmine is researching the latest in gaming litigation for a news piece, writing how-to guides for The Sims 4, or extolling the necessity of a Resident Evil: CODE Veronica remake, you'll probably find her listening to metalcore at the same time.