Vampires: The New Birth

Vampires: The New Birth is a upcoming visual novel about the trials and experiences of the undead. From the website:

"Welcome to the world of vampires, newborn. You have been blessed with a dark gift, one that few people ever have the pleasure to experience. But many like yourself have often met an untimely fate. If you wish to savor your newfound powers, you must learn to survive like a true vampire.

Become a social master as you seduce humans into becoming your blood dolls.

A skillful hunter, you'll stalk the night in search of our next feeding.

Utilize your abilities of stealth, and evade the hunters and rival vampires infesting the city streets

Do this, and you might just survive the night."

While the release of the game is set for sometime in the winter of 2015, they just released a game demo to wet your bloodthirsty appetite.

If you are unfamiliar with the "visual novel" genre of games, well you're not alone, as this is a game genre I have very little experience with. However the promise of a new (actually good) vampire game drew me out of my coffin to give it a try. Essentially a visual novel is just as it sounds, you read through a story, of which you have limited interactions based upon how much freedom the designers give you (more on that later) and follow along with beautifully drawn set pieces and characters, more like a living art gallery than a picture book.

The demo begins with you, disoriented, as a newly born vampire, in a room with your maker and older vampire sister. You are understandably confused and concerned, as you've just had everything you knew ripped from you as you are reborn unto a world of eternal night. The progression in the demo essentially sets up some of the game systems and the foundation of the story to come. From what I gathered, you will be able to make some story path decisions, and there will be a hunting mechanic, which I assume means there will be some action oriented elements as well.

Your character is given a sort of living tattoo in their new life. The red line denotes your blood level, the golden line is essentially your XP which will allow you to increase your abilities, and the purple is your stealth level. Personally I find it very encouraging that there are RPG elements incorporated into the game, which should give you some level of control and interaction, rather than being completely on rails.

The demo, which you can get here concludes with more information about the undead and the promise of your first hunt, doing a very effective job of leaving you wanting more.

The demo is a nearly complete game demo, my only critique, was that there seemed to be some music or sound effects missing at the very begging, and there was no tutorial for which buttons do what (though it was very simple). Left click progresses dialogue, right click opens the save menu, and at the very bottom there is a button to take you to the settings.

Overall this was a very polished demo that left me excited to see more of the game. I was promised that this had Vampire the Masquerade influences and you certainly get that. Even from the short demo, there was a familiar feel which opens the possibility of complex social and political intrigue (which players of VtM:B or the tabletop game will be familiar with) yet the terminology used was different enough to create the atmosphere of their own unique mythos, separate from World of Darkness universe. The music was also spot on, setting the perfect atmosphere and drawing you in to the story. I would recommend anyone into vampire stories, even if you aren't a gamer, to check this out. It won't require any special gaming computer, and it's very simple to pick up and learn.

For continued updates on the game you can follow the Devs on twitter. They just launched an Indiegogo campaign where you can support the game!

-The Count runs the Cemetery Confessions podcast and The Requiem Podcast. For more info on The Count, click here.