A Fangtastic Idea? Where are the truly awesome Vampire games?
Vampires, they are dead cool aren’t they? Yes, yes they are. Thanks.
Broody, calculated and cunning, they are lethal beings. Especially to us mere mortals for whom they lower even further down the food chain, unless you happen to have some garlic, a stake or silver at the ready, then if you’re confronted by a vampire well you’re pretty screwed. Now add into the mix other mythical beings, Werewolves. Yes you can probably see where this is going, but its not all bad, no really.
Twilight is such a huge commodity amongst the film going public, teens and young adults alike (some of our mothers also) are privy to the charms of the Cullens and specifically Edward. The R-Patz phenomenon is something that has been rather colossal, creating a fervour amongst the public you hanker after every bit of merchandise adorned with the faces of the more than familiar (with the entirety of the Clarins range) Vampires and the perma-tanned steroid enhanced Werewolves. Where am I going with this, you may ask?Well it’s simple isn’t it, Castlevania aside where are the countless movie tie-ins? Where is the shameless cashing in on the vampirical phenomena? Surely there is a market for the charms of the pasty fellows, Romeo & Juliet plot pandering aside there is much to be gained from a game based on the blood-suckers.
There was one other game this generation based openly on vampires you roar, the room reverberates with chants of “Vampire Rain”. Well that was quite frankly an example of interactive excretion. It had some good ideas, moody atmosphere? Check! Cool title? Check again! But it also had… No wait, it had nothing. Nothing that redeemed it, nor endeared it to the games playing public. Released in such limited qualities it was a failure more out of the developers embarrassment, but my point is that given the right amount of input, planning and creative vision a game based on Vampires or it’s mythology could well be a fangtastically brilliant gaming experience.
But only if it takes nothing from games what have gone before it and actually casts you the protagonist as either a vampire or one hunting him. I don’t mean like in Castlevania when the ultimate objective is to de-throne and destroy Dracula. As much as this game model works, I would like to take part in a gaming experience that is focused solely on actually “being” a vampire. Doubtless there have been countless vampire games over the past ten years, Bloodrayne which recently saw an excellent XBLA release in a 2D overhaul, the sadly forgotten Legacy of Kain series which has had no love this generation, or the last great (but incredibly buggy) Vampire: The Masquerade: Bloodlines. But this generation (previous reference to Bloodrayne and Castlevania aside) there have been scarcely any mainstream games in this genre, sure there has been the recent releases of The Dishwasher: Vampire Smile and Bloodrayne: Betrayal And I wonder why?Imagine the potential…
Ideally it would feature a control scheme and visual fidelity to that of Batman Arkham City/Assassins Creed, both for the traversal of a thriving, alive and richly atmospheric environment, obviously utilising the mechanics of both. Done correctly this could be a wonderful proposition and (potential) franchise in the making. Periodic era and setting is down to the designer to come up with, but it could be a modern piece, set in a specific time period any time really just make it smooth, swift and lethal in implementation. Ubisoft would do well to use the Assassins Creed engine and essentially re-skin their game and make such a game.A simple plot line would suffice. One that allows you to step into the shows of one of those blood lusters, on a journey to seek something or someone.Based in a certain era, you as the character could possess a similar but obviously enhanced agility just like Altair for example. This generation we have gone through Nordic fantasy, sci-fi, period pieces, current affairs, countless zombie games and your inevitably Tolkein inspired fantasy, but Castlevania aside there has been nothing of note that panders to the theme of the vampirical (I like that word, No I did not just make it up for this article). Last generation there was a dearth of quality (and some less so) games that utilised this culture, to name but a few you have; Legacy of Kain: Soul Reaver, Bloodrayne, Castlevania (multiple DS games) and more that you could no doubt pull me up on. This generation it all seems to be limited to solely XBLA (Xbox Live Arcade) games, well it does to me at least.
However this is all essentially me thinking aloud, I don’t design the games, I simply play them. Write about them (or not in many cases), but I certainly do discuss them. What do you the reader think? That maybe there is the market for such a genre, or am I just spouting useless bollocks and there are infact plenty of recent examples of vampire based gaming, and I have just been ignorant to it?Do discuss in the comments below.
As for such a game, over to you Ubisoft.