The 8 Ball: Top 8 Vampire Video Games
Welcome all to another edition of The 8 Ball. This wek th topic is on games with vampires, which is simple enough. The big criteria is that the game either has to have you playing as a vampire, or else vampires are the primary foe you battle against, which is simple enough. Also, for at least a few of these games, I chose to only pick one game from a franchise, otherwise this list would have about 4 or 5 different Castlevania’s on it. With that said, let’s begin:
DARK is decidedly not a good game, the combat is sloppy, the stealth is worse, a shoddy camera, poor voice acting, etc. Your character is also very fragile, no parkour, and his name is “Bane” for god’s sake. So, why is it on this list? Two reasons, one small and one big. The small reason is that, despite the shoddy graphics, I do kind of enjoy how the game looks, just some of the design work in it. The big reason it’s on here is because one of the songs from the soundtrack is from a singer named Sonja Kraushofer who I love. I actually bought this game strictly for the song, which says a lot about how much I like her.
#7: Dracula’s Legacy
Dracula’s Legacy is a pretty bog-standard Hidden Object game and I generally enjoy those. Legacy doesn’t do anything groundbreaking, but it does have a fair bit more FMV sequences than most of them. Also, the arcane logic that the genre is known for is kind of absent here, as the puzzles are pretty easy and can be enjoyed by novice players. Lastly, the voice acting doesn’t completely suck, so that is a nice bonus for this game.
#6: Infamous: Festival of Blood
Infamous: Festival of Blood didn’t set my world on fire when it came out, but that was before I became a fan of the series, which started with Second Son. Still, I did play it some and recognize it was an enjoyable, if short experience. Basically, Cole is bitten by a vampire and has only that night to find her and kill her, otherwise he becomes her slave. You get a few new weapons, and a great new blood power, which completely negates any/all the parkour and locomotive powers in the game. It’s worth a look if you’re really in the mood for an open-world vampire game at least.
BloodRayne almost defines a “B-Tier” game. It’s not a terrible game and not a “AAA” game, but one squarely in the middle of the road, and honestly, we need more games like that. Every game doesn’t need to sell 10 million copies to be successful, but I digress. BloodRayne was a mix of vampiric abilities and shooter, giving you access to feeding on enemies, slowing down time, and a great Scorpion-like spear to kill foes. Or you could just shoot them with your various pistols and assault rifle. The best thing to do in the game was to just use your blades and cut the enemies to literal pieces with the dismemberment system.
#4: Buffy: The Vampire Slayer
The original Xbox wasn’t known for many great things, but one thing it did do well was licensed games like this and Riddick. I’ve talked about Buffy before in these columns but that’s just because it’s a very fun, atmosphere brawler with a pretty good combat system. It’s not the deepest game in the world, but it does have goals in mind and meets them. My favorite part about this game is that you can’t just beat the enemy vampires into submission, you do have to stake them, otherwise they just regenerate health and come after you. Luckily, Buffy always cares a stake on her, and there were plenty of environmental kills to do against the vampires as well.
#3: Legacy of Kain: Soul Reaver
I tried to only put one Kain game on here so I have to go with Soul Reaver. The original Legacy of Kain game is too archaic for me, and the later Soul Reaver/Blood Omen games just felt like going through the motions. Soul Reaver benefited by having a great protagonist in Raziel and you wanted to gain revenge on Kain just as much as he did. In a certain way, the game is actually still pretty visually impressive now, not the graphics mind you, but the fact the entire world is streamed, and there are no load times to be found. Also, some of the architecture in the game was cool looking. You don’t drink the blood of your enemies in this game, you instead devour their souls to regain your health and manifest yourself in the material (real world) realm.
#2: Castlevania: Symphony of the Night
“What is a man? A miserable little pile of secrets!” Thus, a video game meme was created. There have been a handful of good Castlevania games over the years, mostly on the GBA/DS, but SOTN is still the best one. It just set the standard for so many future Metroidvania games like a leveling up system, giving you a percentage of how much of the map you’ve unlocked, and dozens of alternate weapons for you to find and use as you play. The vampire stuff in the game isn’t great, and off the top of my head there are really only three vampire-type enemies (normal bat enemy, vampire bat boss and Dracula), but the game is still steeped in the vampire fandom, since you’re playing as the half-human/half-vampire son of Dracula. It’s a monumental game and still one of the best 19 years later.
#1: Vampire: The Masquerade – Bloodlines
While I think SOTN is inarguably a better game than Bloodlines, in Bloodlines defense, SOTN was actually finished when it was released while Bloodlines was rushed out the door to fill an Activision release date, in an unfinished state. Still, I give points to this game being ambitious as hell and at least attempting to be new and different. In the game, you play a newly sired vampire as he makes his/her way to Santa Monica. You quickly become embroiled in the various machinations of the different vampire dynasties and clans and it is largely up to you on how you want the story to progress. You can be either a stealthy vampire, or you can use mental powers to dominate people, or you can just go a full tank route and become unstoppable, it all depends on the class you pick at the start of the game. Bloodlines isn’t a perfect game but I still respect it, and it deserves a place on this list.
For comments, list which vampire games you enjoy.
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