Recently, I had the chance to get early access to Vampire The Masquerade: Justice. The preview build was provided to us by developer Fast Travel Games for the chance to try it out. So let’s get into my early thoughts. For these impressions, I played it on the Quest 2, but the game will also be coming to the Quest 3 and PlayStation VR2.
Before we get into my thoughts I wanted to provide a brief description of the game from the store page. The description for Vampire The Masquerade: Justice is as follows:
Become a vampire. Strike from the darkness and drink the blood of your prey. Use stealth, persuasion, and an arsenal of upgradable abilities to sneak past enemies undetected or punish the guilty in the seedy backstreets of nighttime Venice. Vampire: The Masquerade: Justice is an open-ended, narrative Adventure RPG set in the World of Darkness universe. You have the power to strike fear into the hearts of a criminal underworld as an untraceable shadow, picking off targets one by one.
One of the first things I noticed when I began was the great setting and aesthetic. You get to see the dark barely lit alleys of Venice, Italy. Or if you prefer traveling through the buildings or rooftops you have that avenue as well. You can also navigate through the sewers. The game does a really good job of capturing the look and feel of Venice in that era. I appreciate how accurate they tried to be in the depiction of the scenery and location.
Stealth Is Your Friend
Stealth is a big aspect of Vampire The Masquerade: Justice. To me, while I have been playing it does have an Assassin’s Creed and even a little bit of a Dishonored feel to it. In both of those games, stealth is important if you don’t want to get caught. Hiding and slinking about the shadows is pretty prevalent. Then the opportunity comes and you can deal the death blow. You can take to the rooftops and seek new paths away from enemy eyes. There are also Shadow Traps you can use to snatch up unsuspecting prey and drag them into the darkness. You have the very important Cloak of Shadows which can allow you to walk right by enemies.
Several times I used this to help me sneak up and drain someone of their blood. Being that I am not super far into the game I haven’t encountered a bunch of different enemies. What I have encountered so far are the obvious enemies of humans. There are rats in the game which can be used as a food source as well.
There are more cool abilities than I mentioned above, but using your abilities requires a cost. In Vampire The Masquerade: Justice your vampire abilities require you to maintain a “steady food source.” What I mean is that the more you use your abilities, the more you will have to find a person or rat to drain their blood. In return, this will quench your thirst. This was a great mechanic to keep you in check, so you aren’t just continually jumping around the map. You have to think some and play the game instead of just being overpowered.
The meter isn’t hard to keep track of at all. You can just look down at your left arm and see the meter whenever you need. If you try to use abilities and you don’t have your thirst in check, it won’t let you. So they didn’t want you just to be an almighty vampire without obviously leveling and earning that right. This is a great feature of the game.
Character Leveling & Abilities
The dark skies of Venice provide ample opportunity to level up powers and build a character suited to your playstyle. I’m still playing the game, so I haven’t experienced everything yet. I have chosen to do different side missions to try and gain more experience. Cauldron of Blood is another useful ability that lets you boil their insides. I have preferred the option where I sneak up and drain them. This allows me to keep my thirst under control. Another useful ability is the ability to launch yourself forward into an attack. Or even use it to jump from roof/ledge to roof/ledge. From my experience, all the abilities have been cool so far.
My only real gripe so far has been sometimes in-game the controls have been glitchy. I feel they are well-placed and I like how they are on the Quest 2 controllers. When it comes to in-game though, there are times when I’m climbing across a wire or ledge my hands seem glitchy or get stuck on each other. It was early access so they do have time to fix this. I believe it’s also better to be played standing up. There are options to set it up for playing while sitting. But the experience was better while standing. So far those are my only minor gripes.
Mostly when I play VR games on my Quest 2 I go for turn-based style games. So I didn’t know if I would like this or not. I will say with what I have played I am glad I tried it out. Motion sickness wasn’t an issue for me. However, I can see where some people who are more sensitive to these types of games could experience that. I really enjoyed my time so far with Vampire: The Masquerade: Justice.
Overall, my early thoughts are I recommend people try it out if they like VR and like Assassins Creed/Dishonored-style games. Also of course if you like vampires that’s another reason to give it a try. You can experience this game on Meta Quest 3, Meta Quest 2, and PlayStation VR2. The price of the game is $29.99.