Vampires get a bit of a bad rap, we think. Thanks to a few rotten apples like Dracula and Kristen Stewart we've grown accustomed to seeing vampires as insidious creatures of the night, but there's lots of fun vampires, too. Count Duckula, for example, and the one from Sesame Street that goes "Ah-ah-ah!" Anyway, what we're saying is, we need to stop treating every person we see with fangs and a cape like they're about to nibble us. It's a stereotype, and it can be quite hurtful.
Vampire: The Masquerade - Swansong is an interesting take on vampire fiction in that it doesn't really demonise the vampires, and if anything, it's the devout Christians that are presented in a more nefarious light. In this narrative-heavy adventure game, we play as three honest to god, blood suckin' vampires trying to negotiate their perilous political situation in a clandestine society of supernatural beings living in Boston.
The plot centres around conspiracies and betrayals and coup d'états and an existential threat to vampire unlife as we know it. It's all very serious and perhaps a mite too dry but there's oodles of fascinating lore to absorb derived from the Vampire: The Masquerade tabletop role playing game. The vampires we play as are a mixed bag: the stripper-turned-nightclub-owner is a little bland, but the one that just got out of the vampire insane asylum is fun. The story is mostly pretty engrossing.
Swansong's biggest problem is that at times it's perhaps not as clear as it could be about what you're actually meant to be doing or how to bypass certain problems, and you'll find that it's trial and error that gets you through. There's also a couple of technical issues, including one in which we spent ages wandering around trying to solve a puzzle only to reset the game and discover that the solution to the problem hadn't loaded the first time around. Not cool.