5 Hardest Choices In Vampire: The Masquerade – Swansong

Vampire: The Masquerade – Swansong is a game that is filled with choices. Some of those choices impact the ending. Other choices determine how a level ends. The best choices? Those are the ones that have you questioning everything you know about the game, the universe, and yourself.

Swansong has a bunch of the latter, and getting through them had us pausing to ponder for an inordinate amount of time. All of these decisions are difficult to make, and some of them have long reaching consequences outside of the moral quandary they offer. Here are a handful of the most difficult.

5 Taking Journey Back To The Prince

This is the first major decision you will make when playing Swansong, and depending on what you pick, will lead to further decisions that could lead to quite the telling off. Journey is trying to prove her innocence, there are rumors of a Final Death sentence looming, and, well she is your friend. She is the first person you speak to in Swansong.

The choice to make her stay to convince her to leave is a tricky one. It’s also one that quickly pulls the rug from under you if you think you are alone. Journey could die if you let her stay, and she might get hunted down (and killed) if you tell her to leave. Ultimately, the choice doesn’t have much of an impact on the greater narrative, but it still nailed the tension regardless.

4 Sparing Joseph Manneh

Joseph is the first (and only) character you meet from the Second Inquisition who is not immediately out to get you. Where Stanford wants to purge you from existence, and his underlings are performing all manner of vile experiments, Joseph is just trying to uncover the truth. When Galeb bumps into him on Long Island, it’s clear he is a decent man in a bad situation.

But, he is a man of the cloth, and his order largely wants you dead. Can he be trusted? This is the foundation of Galeb’s decision, and choosing whether or not to kill Joseph has some surprisingly long-lasting ripples. Your choice can greatly influence the final scenes in the game, so treat Joseph’s life with care.

3 Follow The Plan Or Go It Alone

Another moral dilemma. Emem has managed to convince enough of the Anarchs to follow her on a suicide mission. The thing is, you get the choice, right at the end, to bail and just go it alone. The Anarchs are not aware you are leading them to their deaths, and after spending a couple of hours talking and interacting with them, it becomes much harder to pull the trigger.

Killing humans is one thing, but condemning tens of vampires to their Final Death just so you have an easier time infiltrating the S.A.D Base sounds like a rough deal. Unfortunately, the game doesn’t take this choice too seriously, as following the plan changes nothing about the story. The decision itself, however, was a hard one to make regardless of the outcome.

2 Stay With Halsey

This is the first of many emotional gut-punches Swansong throws your way. Leysha has just learned that her daughter, Halsey, is not real. She is but a mental projection Leysha uses to channel her clairvoyance. You have two options – purge her from your mind by taking some medication Richard has given you, or accept your psychosis, and continue to live with Halsey in your mind.

This is a heartbreaking decision as the entire game has had Leysha and Halsey working together as a tag-team duo. There is a lot of pain, emotion, and weight behind this, and many of Leysha’s decisions. What you do here causes some minor ripples in the overall story, but it is the first real choice that bends your perception of who Leysha actually is.

1 Galeb And Stanford

Stanford is one heck of a villain. He is imposing, powerful, and seemingly unstoppable. This is apparent when he permanently scars Leysha, and then reinforced when he tortures Galeb in a genuinely disturbing scene. Here lies the conundrum so to speak.

Unlike most major encounters in Swansong, every encounter Galeb has with Stanford requires stats to overcome. This makes it mechanically more difficult. In terms of narrative weight, however, being too weak to stand up to Stanford is devastating. Information on vampires, their hideouts, and their powers can all be revealed if Galeb fails – and that’s just the start of it.

Galeb is in the upper echelons of characters in Swansong, and his continued struggle with Stanford highlights that perfectly.

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