"A waste of silicon"

Straight from the GameFaqs Game Information Page:
''BloodRayne - Action Adventure - developed by Majesco/Terminal Reality''. So what's the big deal?

I can hear the guys in the conference room talking about their upcoming game:

''Hey, Devil May Cry was sooo cool, let's make a game like that!''
''Yeah, but it needs slomo moves like Max Payne and a gazillion other games!''
''Yeah, but it needs to be damn gory as well! Gore sells!''
''We need a scantily clad female main char! Sex sells!''
''We need Nazis! Nazis sell!''

Sounds crazy? No way.
You play Rayne, a scantily clad vampire chick on a mission to save the earth from a mysterious plague. To do this, you need to fight hordes of zombies, hordes of insect/crab hybrids and hordes of (of all things) mutant nazis. To regain health you can latch on to humaniod enemies and suck them dry (I wouldnt even THINK of TOUCHING a putrescent, moldy excuse for a walking corpse, let alone BITE it!) or reel them in via a nifty harpoon-like weapon. To get rid of the enemies, you can either slice them with some clanky wrist blades or shoot them to bits with an arsenal of weapons. Contrary to Devil May Cry though, you DO have ammo to count, so usually after six or so shots, you'll drop your gun. Sounds good so far? Wait and sit still for some minutes, kid, because the ugly things are coming:

Graphics: 5/10
There are two factors going into it. The techie side and the ''taste'' side. Both have their pros and cons:

Techie pro: With all options on ''max'', the game looks terriffic. Bump mapping makes the skin and cloth textures look much more real, with Raynes tight leathers a sight to behold. The water looks really dirty and life-like, and the shadow work is okay too.
Taste pro: The morbid and gothic flair is ever present, and the graphics show it with a certain ''grittiness''. It's not as strong as the grain filter in the Silent Hill games, but the colorization and lighting gets the work done. I had some shivers on my back for some time afterwards.

Techie con: In the readme, the developers state that the minimum system is a P233 with 128 MB ram and a TNT video card and the max system in excess of 2,5 Ghz and Uber-Hardware. I still have a Duron 900 with 512 MB of ram and a Geforce 3 video card, so I figured that the game should run at a pleasant mix between spiffy optics and decent frame rate. But no, even after heavy tweaking the frame rate did drop to the negative digits. I had the resolution down and all the quality options off and even I had a bad framerate. Not good, especially in a game which lives by its quick and furious action battles.
Taste con: Gothic and fantasy are okay, but I don't want to know what the designers smoked before creating the game. You'll see a slideshow when installing the game that previews some of the enemies. The zombies are just grotesque, with tentacles instead of one arm. The insect things are nothing to worry about, but then it gets downhill. Let's just say that the enemy design is bizarre and may offend. I say it's cheap provocation all the way.

Sound: 5/10
The speech is pretty well done. The sounds are nice too, especially Raynes moaning when she feeds.
The Music is nothing special, actually I can't remember anything of it :)
What damages the sound rating is the fact that sound playback is heavily frame rate dependant. If your frame count is high, you perform an action and hear the sound.
If your frame count is a bit low, you perform the action (like slashing an enemy)... wait... then comes the sound. Not good.

Gameplay: 3/10
Nothing terribly new. Nothing at all. You have mission objectives, run through the levels trying to accomplish stuff like ''kill x and save y'' and get rid of enemies in hilarious quantities. That wouldn't be too bad, since Devil May Cry (for example) had a similar gameplay, but here it is ruined by some factors.

- The Controls are too sloppy. You can tightrope on telephone cables, but it's damn hard to get the right distance and heading for Rayne to ''latch on'' to the cable. There is no ''lock onto enemy'' feature. Had the designers spent a little time checking out other games with the same formula, they had noticed that all of those ''slash'n'jump'' games have one. The could have AT LEAST included a crosshair so that you know WHERE you're slashing at. So melee battles (which you are forced to do most of the time) are bad karma. Ranged combat is bad too, since the auto aiming feature (strange that there is one for the guns but not for the blades) seems to be way off all the time. No fun too. And you can execute slow motion moves, but you don't get any benefits out of it, except some new attack animations.
- The camera adds to this malady as well, since it is too jumpy - literally. You jump, the camera jumps up too, making controlled jumping a gamble.

Sometimes there are some puzzles thrown in for good measure too, but they exhaust themselves on ''find the switch'' or ''take item x to place y''. Well, a nice distraction, but not a purchasing factor.

What remains? Not much. Frantic button mashing, a nice atmosphere and all covered in obscene amounts of body liquids.

To buy or to rent:
I'd say rent. At best. If you have Uber-Hardware, you can probably enjoy it, just for the looks. But if you yearn for gaming bliss, I'd suggest looking elsewhere, perhaps check out Indiana Jones 6.

Final: 4/10
A sad attempt to cook all coolness into one game that leaves nothing more than a large puddle of blood.


Reviewer's Score: 4/10 | Originally Posted: 05/21/03, Updated 05/21/03


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