Vampire: The Masquerade - Shadows of New York
Top Critic Average
Though it's light on meaningful choices, this brief dip into the Vampire: The Masquerade universe is at least filled with strong writing, interesting characters, and gorgeous art.
A promising visual novel that just slightly misses the mark.
Going into this "standalone expansion," it was always going to be the case that it wasn't going to address the issues of Coteries of New York. There just wasn't enough time to rethink the approach to the game so quickly. Instead, it was always going to be an extension of everything that game did, both good and bad.
A lot of the world-building in tabletop game universes comes from a DM, and the Draw Distance visual novels aim to create almost a one-on-one story. They've done well in the first couple of attempts this year, so if you're looking for an entry point into Vampire: The Masquerade, Shadows of New York is worth staking out.
While Vampire: The Masquerade – Shadows of New York has a few negative points, it ultimately works well as a standalone title. Admittedly, it is a bit of a hard sell when compare it to the main titles in the series and even the proviso expansion, but it mostly gets it right in the end. Although the loss of player initiative and a noticeable lack of player choice do mar the overall experience, the tight narrative is ultimately enhanced by an extremely relatable protagonist – who helps to keep things interesting from start to finish. Vampire: The Masquerade – Shadows of New York is a Visual Novel that takes a step back from the flashiness of its predecessor, but still manages to stand on its own as a decent companion. It is perfect for anyone who wants more World of Darkness, but may come off as a bit of a surprise to fans of gameplay-rich Visual Novels.