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Platform

Xbox

 

Genre

Action

 

Publisher

Majesco

 

Developer

Terminal Reality

 

ESRB

M (Mature)

 

Released

October 2004

 

 

- Avoids being boring
- Great presentation
- Improves upon the original in almost every way
- Control over camera is more precise

 

 

- Camera still not the greatest
- Enemies blasting your from off-screen just isnít nice

 

 

Review: BloodRayne (XB)

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Interview: BloodRayne 2

 

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BloodRayne 2

Score: 8.6 / 10

 

bloodrayne 2 review          bloodrayne 2 review

 

Letís be perfectly clear about two things: the original BloodRayne sucked and its sequel BloodRayne 2 sucks even more. Because Rayne is a half-vampire femme fatale, the sucking is definitely a good thing.

BloodRayne 2 (BR2) picks up many years after the events in the original as Rayne uncovers a vampire plot to hold the world in eternal darkness and farm extremely fat humans so thereís always plenty of blood to go around. With the help of the super secret Brimstone Society, Rayne hacks, dismembers, and slices her way though the opposition to ostensibly ďSAVE THE WORLD!Ē What BR2 lacks in

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storytelling it more than makes up for in the action department.

For the most part, the original gameís shortcomings have been addressed in BR2. The camera still isnít great but the control over it feels more precise; some inconsistencies have been ironed out; the endless cycle of picking up guns has been dropped; and thereís decidedly more strategy involved this time around. For an action game, strategy

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usually comes to whom to kill first. There is still that aspect but when faced with bunches of enemies some kind of strategy is in order. Rayne has far more options available to her than previously, like rail sliding and interacting with the environment to create some serious chaos.

Even at the point of feeding there are constant decisions to be made. Suctioning blood from enemies is the only way to keep Rayneís health bar stacked but Rayneís stock Dhampir Guns also need blood to keep the ammo up and if Rayne wants to use some of her cooler moves like Super-Speed and Ghost Feed she has to keep her Rage meter up. To keep that bar filled Rayne has to perform brutal fatality moves. The regular slicing and dicing with Rayneís massive gauntlet blades produces quite a bit of gore with seemingly random lobotomies, torso separations and limb removals keeping the blood constantly sloshing around the screen, but enact a fatality and really watch the gibs fly (particularly when using Dilated Perception when it can be seen in slow motion).

There is also a role-playing element similar to the Hunter: The Reckoning series. As Rayne earns Carnage points by solving killing puzzles on impaling enemies on handily-placed sharp objects in the environment. Once the Carnage meter is maxed out Rayneís Rage and Health meters increase in capacity. Itís similar for Rayneís guns Ė the more she uses them, the more proficient and deadly they become. Itís possible to proceed through the game without an eye on boosting these stats, but itís a lot easier if you do.

 

bloodrayne 2 review          bloodrayne 2 review


In a not so obvious way, all this addresses another issue many had with the original: the tedium that set in feeding all the time. With so many options available and constant re-evaluations about the situation I didnít feel the creep of boredom even if most of the enemies are pushovers (at least early on).

Thanks to the new game engine, BR2 is a visual feast. Itís an extremely graphic and brutal game but thereís a sense of due care and attention to everything is much improved, particularly Rayneís harpoon that can be used to hurl enemies onto sharp objects, into fans, off ledges, or into each other. Rayne also has some new moves, which mostly amount to acrobatic stunts to navigate levels (and even then Rayneís ready to attack at a momentís notice). The graphics engine is excellent, even with the occasional clipping problem, but I canít say the same of the audio, which is evenly spread between good and not-so-good. During the cinematics and CG cinematics is good but during the action some sound effects are way louder than they need to be or donít match with the action on-screen. (Someone yelling, ďMy arm!Ē when youíve just clipped his head off doesnít work. And come to think of it, how does he yell without a head?) The subtle effects still come through though, like Rayneís soft panting as she feeds.

BloodRayne 2 will please fans of the original and bring back those that game the original short shrift because of its problems. Clearly, the developers listened to the complaints and critiques and made a better game, and is a good example of what every sequel should strive for Ė to outdo the original. Itís definitely not without its faults but BloodRayne 2 is a title worth playing.

- Omni
(November 5, 2004)

 

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