On Halloween, developer The Chinese Room unveiled the player character for its highly-anticipated RPG Vampire the Masquerade: Bloodlines 2 — Phyre. The Chinese Room took over development for this game from Hardsuit Labs in 2021 and were officially announced at PAX West 2023.
During our interview with them at PAX, the developers were cagey about the player character, but now we’ve gotten a real look at who we will be playing when the full game releases. Notably in the video where they showed the protagonist off, The Chinese Room’s narrative director Ian Thomas said that this is “one version” of Phyre. Players will be able to customize this character in several ways, including their gender, their vampire clan, their behavior, their outfits, and even what kind of blood they drink.
Despite that, Phyre’s backstory remains the same. They are an “elder kindred,” embraced back in the 17th century, who has been asleep for the past 100 years. They suddenly wake up out of nowhere and find themselves in 2024 Seattle with a strange marking on their hand. VtM: Bloodlines 2 is taking a different approach with Phyre as an elder, putting us into an older role, rather than that of a newbie taking on the powers that be. As Thomas puts it, “Phyre is old, experienced. She’s a hunter, she’s a stalker, she knows how to be a vampire.”
That said, at the start of the game Phyre won’t be at their full power. Because they have woken up so suddenly with no context, they are slightly weakened and do have to regain some of their strength. But Thomas noted that Phyre will still be strong enough to have an impact on the world around them right from the game’s start. The marking they wake up with also serves as a sort of mysterious limiter that Phyre will need to investigate to return to their full strength.
Another aspect of their awakening and marking is Fabian, the voice that now occupies Phyre’s head. Players will be able to have internal conversations with him, alongside external conversations with the many characters who inhabit this version of Seattle.
More information about Vampire: The Masquerade Bloodlines 2, including details about the game’s four clans, will be available in the coming weeks.