Review by Wit

"Sexy main character, sexier gameplay"

A very sweet action game, in every connotation of the genre. Some people might contribute such a high score to the fact that the main character is a.) female b.) extremely attractive and c.) shows off more than a bit of skin, but that just ain't the case here. I'd have given this score if the main character had been modeled after Richard Simons (although I'm immensely relieved that isn't the case). And, interestingly enough, the cheat code for gratuitous dismemberment makes the game more realistic. Okay, to break it down.

Graphics: 9/10
You know how everybody raves about Shinobi's new scarf? Well, meet the precursor it it; Rayne's hair ribbons. They float and stream and twist with every movement fluidly. And there's alot of movement. You will typically find yourself outnumbered 6 to 1, which means lots of dodging and weaving and flipping to not only survive but bring down the baddies. Which brings me to my next point.
Gods above this game is bloody. But its not just the generic viscera and shapeless bodies that have been common since Doom. No, enemies leave blood trails, a successful hit leaves realistic sprays across the walls, bullets will mark up the surroundings. But the real art comes in the second act, when you get the ability to slow down time. It lets you see the fluidity of every movement, expressions of horror as someone looses a hand which goes bouncing off a pillar, and the expressions of shock on a soldier's face as you miss beheading him and merely knock his helmet off.

Sound: 8/10
Well, the sound track is rather forgetable, true, so I almost gave this a score of 7, or even 6. But the redeeming factor is the quality and quantity of the voices. Everyone talks. Nazis scream both at you and about you, they yell ''Clear'' right before they toss a grenade, scream ''Get her off!'' when you latch onto them to feed or ''I'm too young to die'' when you suddenly remove an arm at the elbow. But they also just chatter to eachother when they aren't aware of you. I stood outside of a door for 5 minutes listening to one tell another the joke about the cross-eyed bull. Also, the banter between Rayne and some of the bosses is great. There were time I actually wanted to hold back the killing stroke just to gab some more.

Controls: 9/10
First off, this girl is fast, and the speed of the character makes it even more important that the controls be good. I typically don't like the Thomas-the-tank-engine/Resident Evil control scheme, but it works well in this game. A little tough to begin, but the pacing of the game makes sure you're an expert before you leave the first act (of course, it could be said that you won't leave the first act unless you adapt to the controls). Again, I would have given this a lower score if not for the dilated time effect you get in the second act. The dilated time lets you control the movements in a slow, graceful manner, allowing you to control the angle and movement precisely.

Story: 6/10
Not terribly developed. More fictional history about those darn Nazis, with some pseudo-religious legends thrown in for good measure. Even your hit list of targets are rather impersonal, recognizable from everyone else more because they're wearing red trench coats than for any personality. Still, what there is ain't that bad. Besides, after you beat this game the first time, you aren't gonna be playing it for the plot....

Replay: 7/10
Stress relief. Thats why you're playing this. The mild story allows you to pick up the game and play from any point. Just loose yourself in the mayhem for a while. I love strategy games and RPGs and games like Baldur's Gate and whatnot, but sometimes you just wanna mow through a group of enemies like a buzzsaw without thinking too much. Still, it is unfortunate that the game is so short (10 hours on my first time through, barely 7 on the second). But then, this is the shortfall of all action games.

Overall: 9/10
The only changes I'd like to see where a better sound track and have the game be longer. Everything else is awesome. The imagery is excelent. Rayne feeding is both arousing, disturbing, and frightening. And I will never forget the time I walked into the men's room to find one of my targets taking a leak with his back to me.
You ever seen what an anti-tank missile does to a urinal?

Reviewer's Rating:   4.5 - Outstanding

Originally Posted: 01/21/03, Updated 01/21/03

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