My kind of modders are re-building the first Vampire: the Masquerade in Skyrim

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A group of ambitious modders is working on recreating the first World of Darkness videogame, Vampire: the Masquerade - Redemption (opens in new tab), as a total conversion mod for Skyrim.

Four years before the release of Troika's swan song, absolute vibes machine, and one of my personal favorite games, Vampire: the Masquerade⁠—Bloodlines (opens in new tab), Nihilistic Software (aka nStigate Games) unleashed Redemption on the world.

In contrast to the Fallout-but-in-3D structure of Bloodlines, Redemption almost feels like a proto-Knights of the Old Republic. Redemption has combat halfway between a tactical pause-and-play and an ARPG, as well as a story-heavy campaign following the crusader knight, Christof.

Chris gets embraced in Prague in the 12th century, and the story sees him acclimating to vampire life, attempting to reunite with his lover, and generally swording and boarding around Central Europe before getting locked in a coffin for 800 years. Chris wakes up a fish out of water in the "Final Nights" of New York and London in the year 1999 for the game's second half.

It's a unique, intriguing premise for an RPG, and I enjoy how Nihilistic baked in that contrast between the European low fantasy of its first half and the Y2K, Punk-raver-cybergoth swag of its second. It's also an extremely obtuse, difficult game that indulges in that '90s ARPG penchant for complexity without depth. There's a lot of numbers to juggle without meaningful build choices, and a full party cohort lacking tactical options. Just the sort of classic PC jank that begs a remaster treatment.

Enter Nexus modder Galejro (who looks to be an old hand (opens in new tab) at modding the WoD into Gamebryo/Creation) and the rest of the team behind Vampire the Masquerade: Redemption Reawakened (opens in new tab). The first person action of Skyrim ironically enough brings things closer in feel to the better-known Bloodlines, and I appreciate the way the team's tweaking things to fit the World of Darkness. They're adjusting Skyrim's UI to have that VtM bloody, gothic flair, swapping the menu font with the more vampy one from Bloodlines, and replacing Skyrim's skills with VtM disciplines.

This gameplay footage (opens in new tab) from September shows Skyrim's base aesthetic making a nice vehicle for the 12th-century portions of Redemption, with a high-fi recreation of an early game dungeon romp. I'm really impressed with the team's presentation of the early modern portions (opens in new tab) as well⁠—their snippets of London '99 have that Deus Ex-y blue haze we all remember from cities of the era (at least in videogames, I guess).

The mod is not yet playable, and has no set release date, but the team has made impressive progress in just one year. Galejro's NexusMods (opens in new tab) and YouTube (opens in new tab) pages seem like the best place to follow along with progress, and the mod team also has a Discord Server (opens in new tab)

Associate Editor

Ted has been thinking about PC games and bothering anyone who would listen with his thoughts on them ever since he booted up his sister's copy of Neverwinter Nights on the family computer. He is obsessed with all things CRPG and CRPG-adjacent, but has also covered esports, modding, and rare game collecting. When he's not playing or writing about games, you can find Ted lifting weights on his back porch.