The Chinese Room has unveiled the protagonist for upcoming RPG Vampire: The Masquerade – Bloodlines 2. Named Phyre, players will be thrust into the shoes of an Elder Kindred for their journey across the World of Darkness version of Seattle.
In an interview with IGN, narrative designer Arone Le Bray provided more details about the protagonist, who was originally turned into a vampire in the early 17th century.
While Phyre is a character with their own distinct history, players will still be able to customise them to quite an extent, including gender, clan, behaviour and outfits, among other aspects.
Phyre will also have their very own companion—Fabien—who seems to be inhabiting Phyre for some reason. Fabien is a thinblood vampire, and will be the player’s guide to Seattle. The relationship between Phyre and Fabien will depend on the player’s interaction with them. It is also worth noting that Fabien can only be heard by Phyre.
“Even if you don’t understand much of what is going on at the beginning, Fabien is here to help be that cipher for you a little bit, even though it’s not your character,” Le Bray said. “You, as the player, are still getting that information alongside Phyre.”
Le Bray also talks about some of the choices that Phyre will make throughout their journey in the game. Vampire: The Masquerade – Bloodlines 2 will apparently avoid shoehorning players into a binary good or evil playthrough, and instead will allow the player to flow through the game in any way they might want.
“We didn’t want it to feel like you can only be a nice person or a jerk,” Le Brey said. “So, one of the things that we looked at very early on is how can we make it feel like Phyre is a person in control from moment to moment? And we looked at what different responses you would have at a particular moment to still get the outcome that you want? How can you go about getting that outcome? And just because I might want one outcome, another player who’s playing Phyre might not want that same outcome, or they might not care about acting the same way that mine does.”
Vampire: The Masquerade – Bloodlines 2 will focus quite a bit on providing a complex narrative for players to adventure through. The game will take players through the seedy underbelly of Seattle, which also happens to be inhabited by mythical creatures like vampires and werewolves.
“That is one of the fun things about Vampire: The Masquerade – the real world elements and sort of looking at, well, what was the reason for that real world thing?” said Le Bray. “Did that thing happen because of history saying that it happened for this reason? Or was there an alternate reason why such a thing happened, especially in Seattle. I mean, Lou showed up at a very turbulent time in the history, so was there anything there that maybe was Kindred-related or was this all mortal? How much did those two worlds impact and meld and what does that mean for Phyre now? That’s where a lot of that fun is.”
Vampire: The Masquerade – Bloodlines 2 doesn’t yet have a release date, but is slated to come to PC, PS5 and Xbox Series X/S in Fall 2024. For more details, you can check out the studio’s explanation of its game design priorities from a dev diary.