Review by Misfit119
"Bloodrayne 2 takes all the things good from Bloodrayne and ups the carnage factor immeasurably."
There are very few games that shock the heck out of me with whatever is going on in the game. Very few game developers even attempt to innovate anymore. But occasionally a game manages to retread everything that's been done before, but runs off with it. They manage to throw in some element, that doesn't really make the game innovative, but it sure does make the game a lot of fun to play. This is definitely one of those games.
Bloodrayne 2 follows the adventures of Rayne, the half-vampire heroine, who is out to kill off all of her other Dhampir brethren. Having killed her vampire father, Kagain, in the last game, she is out to wipe his corrupt legacy off the face of the Earth. It does bear noting that these are not the nicest of people, so its not like she's killing your friendly neighbor. All of these vampires and half-bloods she fights are foul, disgusting people who are out for themselves, if not actively preying upon others. You and your ally, Severin, are going to remove their foul stain from this world.
At your disposal are Rayne's two main weapons, her forearm blades and her guns that are fed by the blood of your enemies, as well as Rayne's body itself. By cutting up enemies with her blades or her kicks, you can seriously devastate the enemy hordes. She also has access to a harpoon weapon that she can use much like Scorpion in the Mortal Kombat games. She can pull enemies to her for a beating or, the much more enjoyable choice, you can fling them around the rooms you are in, destroying the environment and using it against them. See a fireplace in the room? Fling them into it. Garbage truck? Throw them into the compacter. It's a lot of fun and it's incredibly gory. In some areas, it's even required, such as when you need to destroy a fan blocking your progress. Just bust it up by hurling enemy after enemy into it.
That's to say nothing of how brutal Rayne is herself. Enemies will be left open for finishing moves after they take enough damage. Now is the time for Rayne to do a variety of brutal finishing moves, from impalement with her blades to slicing heads off. Best of all, they actually serve a purpose in this game, not just spilling blood although that is fun too. Rayne is powered by two meters, her blood meter, which is her health bar, and her carnage bar, which is her special power bar. So if she is low on health, have her mount an enemy and drain their blood, but otherwise you can slaughter it horribly and refill her carnage meter. Even her guns use blood for their ammunition, which requires her to feed them with the blood of her enemies by performing certain finishers.
You will unlock vampiric abilities that are fueled by the aforementioned carnage meter. From her super strength, which lets her do extreme damage and prevent her from getting knocked down, super speed, which lets her go all Matrix style on the enemies and a variety of other, improved versions of these powers. So if you wish to use these powers, it is imperative that you use the most brutal finishes you can muster to slaughter the enemies and keep your carnage bar up.
The game controls very well, even if Rayne does move a bit stiffly. So while she might move around the levels kind of blocky, once the slaughter starts the game plays a lot more fluidly. All of her abilities are mapped to the controller buttons neatly, so there is no reason to go digging through menu's to choose what special ability or type of ammunition you wish to use from your gun. The fighting is the major part of the game, so this is nice and important that the controller setup makes the game feel more accessible.
Graphically, I found Bloodrayne 2 to be very under whelming. Everything is animated fairly well and it all looks okay, but it never really grew on me. The cutscenes all look really nice, but that's about where the graphical power dies out. When you are killing enemies and moving through the environments it all looks pretty bland. There isn't really anything to grab your attention beyond the details paid to Rayne and the bosses. Beyond that, its not the most stunning game out, but its far from bad.
The audio, however, is another story altogether. From the constant banter between Rayne and Severin to the comments made by the enemies, it's all some very good voice acting. The music that was playing in the levels, the sounds of the enemies attacking you and the general sound effects in all of the levels are very good as well. Honestly, the sound in this game is one of the things that most deserves praise.
Overall, Bloodrayne 2 is a clear example of a very derivative game that uses gore to enhance it over the other games. Its hard to deny the fact that it is a very generic mature game that covers its flaws with a generous coat of blood but it does this well enough that it is easily forgivable. Don't come into this game expecting it to revolutionize anything or for anything too innovative, but it is very enjoyable nonetheless. Try not to get too frustrated with the boss battles, but overall it is a fun game that I can highly recommend.
Pros: The controls work well, there is blood and carnage aplenty and the storyline is nice and apocalyptic.
Cons: The game can be tough, there are almost no direct boss fights, most requiring some sort of trick to beat and there is little variety as far as weapons go.
Recommendation: To those who like action games this is a definite buy. However, with all the blood and guts to be spilled, this is NOT a game for kids.
Reviewer's Score: 8/10 | Originally Posted: 02/21/07
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