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.
Unless you’re a mad fan of Vampire: The Masquerade, and need to absorb every piece of literature about the universe, this will be a disappointing experience. While the artwork is rich and the music moody, the writing – the game’s backbone and its entire selling point – is weak.
Shadows of New York is an unremarkable story that tries to hold your attention with relevant themes, but ultimately fails into abyss of triteness and weak presentation. If you crave some good vampire story, just read an Anne Rice novel, instead of wasting your time with this game.
Review in Russian | Read full review
A proper iterative effort that builds upon Coteries of New York in unexpectedly compelling ways, Vampire: The Masquerade - Shadows of New York is an often opulent and brilliantly written visual novel that both veterans and newcomers alike can sink their fangs into.
A mature visual novel that isn't afraid to be fun, Vampire: The Masquerade - Shadows of New York is a quick plunge into the freezing waters of a bloodsucker-filled Big Apple. It won't last you forever, but you'll be hooked for its short runtime. It does a lot with a little and is breezy enough to fly by. Just don't expect to actually, you know, do that much. Great art and good writing, but not enough of it.
A promising visual novel that just slightly misses the mark.
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.
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.
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.
The quickest way to summarize Shadows of New York is to say that it is a castrated version of VoTM: Coteries of New York, missing most of its mechanics and quirks. It really is baffling to me as all of the original’s mechanics would make a perfect sense in context of a detective story, allowing the players to fully emerge in VoTM world. We we’ve got, however, is just a shadow of the original. A visually and audibly fantastic one with an okay story, but still it is not what I hoped to get.
Review in Polish | Read full review