Vampire: The Masquerade Redemption - Reawakened, the mod project to rebuild the first VtM videogame in Skyrim, has shown off new gameplay of its Prague early game. The original game, which follows the story of a crusader knight from the Middle Ages all the way to the modern day, is one of those hyper-ambitious, turn of the millennium RPGs that just doesn't come all the way together, and is a prime candidate for a fan revival.
We last checked in on Redemption - Reawakened a year ago. The mod team had shown off some of its later hub areas and more dungeony levels, but project lead Galejro's latest videos show off a significant portion of the early game in Prague.
There's no getting around the Skyrimmyness of it all—those Creation Engine vibes are a proverbial shot of Baileys that any talented modder will struggle to overcome. Still, I think Reawakened is doing a good job of carving out its own identity. The new music and combination of Bloodlines and OG Redemption sound effects help set a more World of Darkness mood, as does replacing Skyrim's default cursor with the bloody Ankh from the original game.
Making a fantasy RPG's cursor into a little gauntlet or other form of kitschy doodad is the straightest path to my heart. My only issue is that all the city guards are wearing House Stark armor that seems to be borrowed from one of those Game of Thrones armor packs that everybody used to make for Skyrim. It's cool armor, they had a great costume team on that show, but I can't unsee it.
The team's doing a great job with Prague itself—the city feels more medieval than high fantasy, with muddy, twisting streets and believably Bohemian architecture. I'm a particular fan of the mod's version of the original game's clan Brujah headquarters, with a gorgeous colonnade at the entryway and impressively detailed gothic flourishes on the facade.
Skyrim's hack and slash combat, while a little dated on its own now, is still a hugely welcome upgrade over the original Redemption's combat. It was a worst of all worlds type of deal, frustratingly complex but not particularly deep, vaguely "tactical" but without party controls. These days, it's the sort of game you use mondo cheat codes to get through in order to better enjoy its plot and atmosphere.
One big question mark with gameplay is the modern day portions. I'm a big fan of the WIP Final Nights levels Galejro's already shown off, and a tweet from July mentions the team is reaching out to firearms-focused Skyrim modders to get the gunfeel just right. Still, that seems like a potentially big hurdle for development, all the new details and functions that have no analogue in Skyrim's base game that the team will have to implement.