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Why did I buy it? I remember that when it came out I tried it somehow (demo? or did I download cracked copy?), played it for maybe 30 minutes, and decided to buy it, when it's on Steam, and possibly on discount. I did buy it, quite awhile ago, and yesterday finally got to play it properly, and... I do not understand what I liked about it 2 or more years ago.

It's not just ugly and completely dead faces of majority if not all of the characters or lack of animation. The Council, previous game of the studio, was not that much better in that regard, but characters still felt more alive. But even when they did not, it did not feel out of place, because it was clear from the get-go, that we are in a weird and non-realistic world. "World of Darkness" franchise, though, is somewhat realistic, that's part of the appeal, but I was not able to believe anything going on in the beginning of this game.

A lot of things here just do not make sense. We start with talk about some party, and that something happened there, it seems extremely important, since it's the trigger of the story. But while I was playing, I was not able to find any information about what that party was about, and what exactly happened, that prompted the code red. Speaking of which: pretty early, Emem talks as if she has no idea what code red is, and generally behaves as if she is a relatively young vampire, but within like 10 mintues, Prince talks to her as if Emem knows that stuff, and she is even suggested to become a Primogen. So which is it: is Emem young vampire with little to know knowledge or is she vampire with some good notoriety?

Then there is a case of child vampire hiding herself to not talk to adults, but mere moments after that we see her near adults, not hiding in any way, and being "at the front" even, as if she is totally fine with adults. And then there is a Childe, who seems to understand that code red is a big thing, but for whatever reason still asks her master, if he can ask Prince about embracing her. So is she aware of the situation or is she not? There are lots of these little things, that just do not make sense and completely break the immersion, which should be the main feature in such a game.

I also think they overcomplicated the skills compared to The Council. Yes, inclusion of disciplines makes sense, but there are now also traits, permanent and not, hunger, suspicion, there is also "Focus" mechanic... There is a lot of things to keep in mind, which simply affect the dialog options, that you can have, and your success rate in them. The Council's system was not a straightforward one, that's for sure, but it made way more sense to me, and was much easier to understand. It felt more balanced and more "integrated" into the overall narrative, which is important for a narrative-based game:  you do not want to think too much about all the traits and small probabilities.

So, yeah, better play The Council, if you have not. It's not perfect, but still an enjoyable experience. Or if you want something good in terms of story and narrative and connected to World of Darkness, then Coteries of New York, Shadows of New York and Heart of the Forest are good games, even though they are visual novel, and not 3D exploration.