It’s time for another Battle Royale to enter the field, and this time it’s with vampires! Bloodhunt comes as part of the Vampire: The Masquerade universe (and coinciding with the release of Swansong too) and puts the focus squarely on multiplayer action… but is it worth sinking your teeth into? The short answer is not yet. The whole lore idea around vampires and history for them I love, and I thought this could be interesting, which it is for a bit, but then I’m left pondering is immortality worth it here?
Like every other Battle Royale game, Bloodhunt has you spawn to fight and the arena closes in on you. In this case it’s a red mist circle which damages if you get stuck in it. There are no fancy air drops or even climbing out of a coffin (I mean missed opportunity here for some cheesy lore guys!), instead you simply choose the point on the map and that’s it. You choose your class which determines your vampire’s different abilities, and one that’s easier for new starters is the Brute or Brujah who has a soaring leap which allows a big jump forward, along with a nice passive power that lbrings half the health back whilst taking no damage. However, I usually opted for Vandal which has adrenaline rush as a passive ability, allowing for moderate damage resistance when in close vicinity of enemies. It’s definitely worth playing around with each class and sticking to one until you’re used to it.
With Bloodhunt throwing super powers into the mix it does add something new to grapple with in the genre, but the problem in my time so far is that I barely saw anyone use the abilities. Each round seemed to just turn into everyone using guns which is understandable as it’s a quick way to get rid of a squad, but considering the potential the game has it’s a shame. I mean the default setting here is a vampire world and the game doesn’t really focus on you using those abilities that much against each other. Mobility is good, with it being quick to move around and every player can climb buildings quickly and leap around the area, and lends itself to quite a lot of roof combat. The most vampire-like part is that you can attack civilians that are dotted around the map, and these give you a way to increase your stats slightly such as health regeneration or melee damage. It’s always worth spending a bit of time in the game hunting down the civilians in Prague – after all any advantage in a Battle Royale is worth it. Plus you’re a vampire, drain the blood!
The gunplay itself is fun and some weapons really fit well with the lore, like crossbows, but otherwise it’s your standard affair of assault rifles, pistols etc. Snipers here are a complete waste of time due to how mobile everyone is and how quickly you can leap around. You’re just at a disadvantage if you use it. If you’re not sucking down on the civilians and need health, then blood bags are your saviour… I mean what else could it be, it’s vampires after all. Bloodhunt does make it quick and easy to use items, and in general abilities recharge fast unlike most other games in this genre. It works to ensure you’re always on the go. However, unlike some other titles in this genre there’s a hub world before you join any game, and here is where you can pick up quests to do whilst you’re playing. It’s a nice touch and can involve finding items, traversing or performing specific actions. With any luck as the game progresses with updates we’ll see the hub expand along with the type of quests that can be picked up. This part has potential. Bloodhunt’s hub is also the best place to change up how your character looks, and this is done through unlocks. Some items you’ll get for free by playing and others you will need the ubiquitous battle pass for to get the better options. Win a game and you’ll get more experience and rank up the battle pass a bit quicker, though I’ve played a fair amount of games now and only won once.
It might sound like this must be good to play as it stands, well it is… and isn’t. What it seems to lack is a hook and it doesn’t draw me back in at any point. Bloodhunt is visually nice to look at, the lore is there and the combat is solid so in theory it should be a win, yet it feels like a flash in the pan. I don’t see it being an immortal game and leaving a mark in the history books. There is some hope because there’s enough of a foundation to build on, and it’s free so it’s worth a peek for anyone to make their own mind up. This definitely isn’t going to displace Apex Legends from my playlist and my vampire fix shall remain Kate Beckinsale in her leather in Underworld.
Bloodhunt is available now on PC and PlayStation 5 for free, and a battle pass was provided by Sharkmob’s PR team for this review.