Game Review: Choice of the Vampire

So I was recently talking about how awesome the Choice of Games series was, when I noticed that the reviews I wrote of my favourite games never went up, they were supposed to be posted alongside this interview with Jason Stevan Hill, the co-founder of the company, which was done back in 2018 but for some reason it was just missed entirely. So here we have it, albeit a little late, my review of Choice of the Vampire. While I’m talking about it, make sure and check out my review of Choice of the Deathless, which you can find here.

So first off, you can play the first two volumes of this 850,000-word epic for free, with the subsequent two volumes, The Fall of Memphis and St. Louis, Unreal City being paid. I would like toi add that I am in no way associated with the company or the developer other than that I like their games, and that the co-founder of Choice of Games was kind enough to let me interview them, so assume I mean it, with no external motivations, when I strongly suggest you go ahead and buy a copy for yourself so you have full access to the complete story for about the same price as a cup of coffee. 

First off, it’s an interactive story and while to a point there are linear plot points, it has a reasonable degree of personalisation and branching storylines to suit your unique preferences and play style. I found that it was worth trying  more than one route as you could get a considerably different story by just changing up a few key variables. I especially liked the options  to not only set your own moral standards but also set your own identity across the gender and sexuality spectrum.

I feel that it was incredibly well written, and it balanced history with narrative in a way that was engaging. Also the character sheet, and adaptive sliding scale for your traits make it feel more like a developing journey, one where your actions, and the choices open to you are different depending upon which traits are more prominent.

I honestly found the overarching storyline to be incredibly enjoyable, the real life history blended against the backdrop of the night world of the vampires is super rich and interesting. Also while some of the choices didn’t matter as much as I would have liked, the big choices mattered significantly and they had lasting consequences which added depth to the story as well as encouraging replayability. 

Perhaps my favourite part was the option for romance in The Fall of Memphis, it added something to my playthrough and made it more fun, regardless of the outcome. I touched on it above, but the game also doesn’t constrict you to a heteronormative love story, you can romance any romancable character regardless of which gender you selected for yourself. 

I personally found the stat system to be interesting, some choices are locked unless you possess adequate stats to follow that route, which I can understand being cumbersome, but for me it adds an element of difficulty, it’s not as easy as just memorising answers to get a specific ending, instead you need to build towards a conclusion which makes it far more rewarding, and encourages investment in the game as well as multiple replays. 

Overall, I found the game to be well worth playing, it had an engaging plot that was fun even after playing through the entire thing more than once. It had an incredible degree of diversity across the four volumes, and managed to combine real life history with the dark narrative of a vampire to create something truly interesting. So for all those reasons and more, this earns solid 5/5.

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