Vampire: Bloodlines Preview

GameSpy has put together a preview of Vampire: The Masquerade - Bloodlines, the upcoming Source Engine powered RPG from Troika Games. A snippet:

In many cases, though, the player doesn't have to initiate dialogue at all. If the player decides to weasel the information out of Venus' records rather than Venus herself, play moves into an RPG classic - the locked door. In the traditional RPG, a locked door usually means you have to look for the key. The beauty of Vampire's open gameplay style is that the player has many more options than that. Players can try to bash down the door. This, of course, isn't the most subtle move in the world and may cause defenders to take any interest - leading to a whole lot of Kill Bill-esque bloody combat.

The tie-in to the RPG aspect comes in when you realize that bashing down the door is entirely dependent on your Strength, but the action of trying isn't! In other words, you are free to knock down the door and your success or failure is completely separate from the reaction of any guards. Succeed and you may have to scramble through the office to try to get what you need before you're overwhelmed. Fail and you may be forced to retreat and try another method of getting into the club. On the other hand, if your perception and manual dexterity is high enough, you may notice one of the employees carrying the key and be able to pick his pocket (or just pick the lock). It's a remarkable level of freedom.