via Fast Travel Games
A Quest 2 code was provided to GamingPizza for this review. Vampire: The Masquerade – Justice will be available on November 2, 2023 for Quest 2, Quest 3, and PSVR 2.
At PAX West 2023, I had the unique opportunity to sink my teeth into a preview version of Vampire: The Masquerade – Justice, armed with the PlayStation VR 2. While the game itself was a delicious morsel of dark, gothic storytelling, I found the PSVR 2 to be more of a garlicky repellent than an ally in my nocturnal escapades.
Yes, the hardware’s prowess is undeniable, but its comfort and usability paled in comparison to ol’ reliable: My Quest 2. So, it was with bated breath and heightened expectations that I donned my trusty Quest headset to see if this vampire saga would really take flight in familiar territory for the full review.
And, frankly, I’m happy to report that Vampire: The Masquerade – Justice delivers on its promises, and then some.
A stealthy approach to eternal night
via Fast Travel Games
The essence of Vampire: The Masquerade – Justice lies in its stealth mechanics, weaving through the shadowy nooks of Venice like a whisper in the night. This isn’t your guns-blazing, swords-clashing kind of game. Here, the emphasis — with three exclamation points — is on strategy and patience. You lurk in the darkness, waiting for the perfect moment to strike or glide past unsuspecting prey.
The stealth component is handled magnificently, offering a palpable tension as you navigate each environment. Being detected isn’t the end of the world (or your undead existence), but it sure does make your life … er, your unlife, a lot harder. The game craftily balances the allure of your vampiric powers with the constant gnaw at your conscience (and neck) for fresh blood — whether that blood is coming from a human or a rat.
Yet, when the situation calls for it, action in Vampire: The Masquerade – Justice can be as exhilarating as a midnight flight over the Venetian canals. The moments when you’re backed into a corner, with nothing but your wit and supernatural abilities to rely on, the game transitions seamlessly from a creeping horror to a heart-pounding thriller. Each special ability, from your stealth-enhancing Cloak of Shadows to the gory spectacle of Cauldron of Blood, adds a layer of tactical depth and excitement to these encounters.
Diving deep into the VR rabbit hole
via Fast Travel Games
What truly sets Vampire: The Masquerade – Justice apart in the crowded VR landscape is its immersiveness. The game doesn’t just make you feel like a vampire — it engulfs you in the experience. Leaping from a building to the ground floor isn’t just a visual trick, it’s a gut-dropping, heart-leaping sensation. I found myself physically reacting to these virtual drops in ways I haven’t with other VR titles which speaks to the game’s finely-tuned VR mechanics and environmental design.
The beauty of Vampire: The Masquerade – Justice doesn’t stop at gameplay, either. The game is a visual spectacle, especially on the Quest 2 (it looked great on the PSVR 2 as well, to be fair). Navigating the dark, gothic environments of Venice is a treat, with each alley and moonlit canal rendered in impressive detail. This visual feast is further enhanced by an atmospheric, brooding sound design that sinks its claws into you, refusing to let go. The sound of your footsteps echoing in a deserted alley or the distant hum of nightlife adds layers of depth and realism to the experience.
When I first experienced Vampire: The Masquerade – Justice on the PSVR 2, I was left wanting more in terms of comfort and usability. With the Quest 2, the game feels like it had come home. The controls feel more intuitive, and the overall experience is significantly more enjoyable. However, for gamers who have adapted to the PSVR 2’s ecosystem, the game still offers a solid experience. That said, with the Quest 3 on the horizon, I can’t help but feel a twinge of excitement at how this title will look and perform on even more advanced hardware, giving me even more of a reason to upgrade my current VR rig.
The night is young
Vampire: The Masquerade – Justice sinks its teeth into the VR genre with confidence and flair, offering a deeply immersive, narratively rich experience. The game strikes a fine balance between stealth and action, wrapped in a visually stunning and audibly captivating package. Its focus on strategy over brute force, coupled with the immersive VR mechanics, sets it apart in a genre often dominated by more straightforward action titles.
The lack of open-world exploration and the sometimes linear feel of missions might put off gamers seeking a more sandbox-type vampire experience. The game’s focus on VR also means it requires a decent amount of space and a tolerance for VR gameplay. However, VR sickness was kept mostly at bay throughout my entire playthrough, which bodes well for the game’s accessibility to all players.
Vampire: The Masquerade – Justice is a must-play for VR enthusiasts and a compelling reason for the curious to take the plunge into virtual reality. As I wait for what the Quest 3 might add to this experience, one thing is certain: the night, and the hunt, are far from over — especially with Bloodlines 2 looming on the horizon.
GamingPizza Rating: 9 out of 10