This Vampire: The Masquerade battle royale might actually work

The face of a female vampire, her face is slick with blood and her eyes are glowing.
(Image credit: Sharkmob)

As far as bizarre game concepts go, a battle royale based on Vampire: The Masquerade has gotta be up there. But while details still remain vague, Paradox Interactive has stepped in to explain why, exactly, they feel a high-stakes deathmatch is a good fit for the venerable vampire setting.

Following last week's announcement, the publisher put out an FAQ justifying their decision to have new studio Sharkmob develop a bloodsucking battle royale. 

The most interesting part of the FAQ, for me, is the idea of The Masquerade playing a role in a multiplayer shooter. In fiction, The Masquerade is the idea that, no matter their faction, all creatures of the night work to conceal their existence from us regular mortals. 

Here, that throws up the tantalising prospect of a kind of social stealth deathmatch—a battle royale where you're trying to kill your foes without alerting human onlookers. That's backed up by the notion that feeding will also play a vital part in the game, prompting you to take a little sip of blood from time to time.

If it works, I reckon it could help the game stand out from a genre that seems to have run its course. Hunt: Showdown has proven that combining PVP deathmatches with a threatening environment full of supernatural brutes can create something special, and it'd be interesting to see Vampire turn that concept on its head by making the players the monster.

The blog also dives a little more into the game's plot, which appears to be drawing from a deep well of V:TM sourcebooks and novels. Set in the streets of Prague, Sharkmob's game takes place in the wake of a huge undead gathering gone wrong: "Sect war, Second Inquisition’s involvement—you’re in the midst of it, and you need to survive, either solo or with the help of your coterie."

We wrap up with a few smaller confirmations, mind. It'll be a free-to-play, third-person action game, and the post notes that last weeks trailer recorded in-engine. Internally, the game is in early alpha—and while it won't release until late-2021, there should be "opportunities to play this game" well before launch. 

Natalie Clayton
Features Producer

20 years ago, Nat played Jet Set Radio Future for the first time, and she's not stopped thinking about games since. Joining PC Gamer in 2020, she comes from three years of freelance reporting at Rock Paper Shotgun, Waypoint, VG247 and more. Embedded in the European indie scene and a part-time game developer herself, Nat is always looking for a new curiosity to scream about—whether it's the next best indie darling, or simply someone modding a Scotmid into Black Mesa. She also unofficially appears in Apex Legends under the pseudonym Horizon.