Review by M A C

"Bad to the Bone"

The Legacy of Kain series has always been the most well-known vampire game ever to grace a console. BloodRayne is a good action adventure game that primarily uses its game play to make its mark in the vampire genre. While there is a story to BloodRayne it is in no way comparable to the standards set by the Legacy of Kain series. On the other hand there is plenty of intense action, bloodsucking, and the use of foul language; this game definitely lives up to its mature rating.

You begin as Agent Rayne who is part of the Brimstone Society in the year of 1933. Rayne is half woman and half vampire she has all the strengths of a vampire but not the weakness of one. The Brimstone Society is an organization that helps mankind deal with supernatural disasters such as a disease that causes zombie mutations in humans and fighting off supernatural supreme beings. Agent Rayne is teamed up with her friend named Mynce who will train and guide her through her first mission. After being shown the ropes by Mynce both set out to investigate the cause of this zombie mutation disease whose origins begin in the swamps of Louisiana.

This game is action packed! There is slicing, dicing, shooting, and bloodsucking. Rayne has blades on her arms that will be used to cut your foes limb from limb. She starts out with a measly few hit combo with these blades but it will be upgraded over the course of the game where she will be able to do a five hit combo. That is not only flashy and very acrobatic but literally tears your foe apart! In most cases limb from limb and sometimes head from body depending on which hit is the final blow.

Another cool aspect to this game is the weapons and auto targeting system. There is a ton of weapons in this game that range anywhere from small pistols to grenade launchers that come in abundance! You will almost never run out of ammo in this game unless of course you are super trigger-happy but even then there is always at least one bad guy that you will kill who was holding a weapon. The auto target system is extremely accurate. Rayne can use up to two guns at the same time and both can be fired simultaneously in different directions. This makes life so much easier especially when about ten bad guys are chasing at you from six different directions!

Rayne also has the ability to suck the blood out of the enemy. First off this move recovers your health, so if you are running low on health make sure you take a bite out of someone before proceeding on. You can also use your victim as a shield from enemy gunfire while you are sucking their blood. It doesn’t matter which way you are facing when you begin to suck the enemy’s blood because you can always rotate your enemy’s back right into the source of gunfire. There is also the option of firing a gun while you are sucking blood but the targeting is not as accurate as just running around firing a gun because you have to manually target the person.

As Rayne progresses through the game she not only gets upgrades to her blades but she also receives some cool vampire skills. The first one she starts off with is a vampire sight that allows the player to see where enemies are even if they are on the other side of a wall. It also can be used to help the player find the next location if they get lost. Rayne also has access to the vampire rage skill that speeds her up and slows down the enemy. This is extremely good because it allows you to shred your enemy into pieces, very much like a fatality in Mortal Kombat. Later on she will receive a “bullet time” vampire skill that allows her to slow time down, identical to the bullet time in Max Payne if you have played that game. All these skills are earned after defeating certain enemies or by killing a boss of a level.

BloodRayne is a beautiful game. There are plenty of beautiful locations but what really stands out is the attention to detail! The artists did an excellent job of making the game look realistic. The environments are extremely smooth with plenty of colors and textures. You first start out in the swamps of Louisiana which is full of trees, grass, downed power lines, several houses, swamps, and a good sized church. All throughout this game you will find many things that can compliment the environment one minute but can be broken the next. For example, books against a wall can be knocked off the shelves, the pews in the church can be broken, windows can be broken, flags can be shredded, there are many other things but I’ll let you see it for yourself.

Rayne’s character model is done with a fairly high polygon count and with the added detail it just makes her look that more realistic. From the leather chaps to the metal circles in her hair, Rayne just looks like one woman you don’t want to mess with! Her movements are very smooth and fluid with very little slowdown even when there are ten enemies on the screen attacking. The enemies are also very nicely done. The enemy’s arms flail when Rayne is sucking their blood, a spider's legs can be ripped off even after their dead, even the hats of the enemy can be knocked off. The zombies truly look grotesque and their movements and actions are very realistic. The artists really put the time and effort into this game and it just goes to show!

The music could have been better. It has a few ambient tracks to keep the horror factor but for the most part there is only a little amount of music but what is there is decent. My only gripe is the fact the sound effects are extremely loud and the music is very low. Which means if there is music in the background you more than likely will not be able to hear it if you are firing a gun or sucking someone’s blood.

The voice of Rayne is perfect the only problem is that when she speaks, it sounds more like she is reading a line as opposed to “becoming the character”. The enemy’s voiceovers are top notch and it matches the situation perfectly. For instance you are sucking the blood of an enemy, the enemy will flail and constantly scream out “GET HER OFF!!” Or if quite a few enemies are rushing you you’ll hear the leader say “GET HER!” There is plenty of dialogue throughout this game that will keep you entertained for hours.

The controls may seem a little awkward at first but after fifteen minutes of play you will get use to it. That is because your main attacking buttons are the shoulder buttons and you cannot change this button setup. The game does allow you to customize your control settings. Which means you can choose to control Rayne in the standard first person mode, this allows you to use the main control stick to move forward and the c-stick to turn. They also have included your traditional third person mode that allows you to use the main control stick to move forward, backward, turn left, and right. There is great amount of customizing in control it’s just to bad you cannot change your buttons.

This game is extremely short! It took me a total of six hours to beat it. There are no secrets that get unlocked once you beat this game. There are however plenty of cheat codes that can be used in this game incase you did want to make a second run through. BloodRayne is a good game, I recommend that if you are short on cash just do a weekend rent and that should be more than enough time to complete it. I don’t recommend buying this game because it’s extremely short, cost about twenty dollars, no replay value whatsoever, and the sequel is currently in the making.

Reviewer's Rating:   4.0 - Great

Originally Posted: 04/22/04

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