Review by Raven0uS

"A slightly above average game."

Well, I've beaten Blood Omen 2 and explored it quite a bit, and here is my review of this slightly above average adventure game.

Gameplay - Blood Omen 2 plays fairly well in the 3rd person perspective. The camera works well, and there is never really any trouble with it.

Blood Omen 2 has a good fighting system. The usual fight in BO2 consists of learning an enemie's combo, blocking the repeated attacks, and then countering with your own 3 hit combo or putting them in a choke hold and executing a finishing move. enemies also have an unblockable attack that you will need to use your dodging abilities to avoid. As you block blows, your ''Rage meter'' builds up, and once you fill it up to a certain point you can execute certain ''Dark Gifts'' (skills) during a battle. Once you have finished a foe or a helpless townsperson you can suck their blood, and this will fill up a portion of your life and also add a little to your ''Lore meter'' (Once this bar fills, your life bar will increase in size. It is like the experience you get in some RPGs.)

You learn skills as you progress through the game. The way you gain most of these skills is by defeating a boss. You start out with the skills ''Fury'' and ''Mist''.

My main gripe with the gameplay is that it is very repetitive, and that the puzzles are pretty uninspired and dull. Almost all of the puzzles involve either moving boxes or pulling switches. Even when you use ''Dark Gifts'' to solve puzzles, it always involves getting ''possessed'' townsfolk to pull switches. Do these things over and over during a game that is 20-25 hours long, and this can get pretty boring.

Audio/Video - The Audio and Video aren't very good compared to alot of offerings that are already available on the Xbox. The voice acting is pretty good, and the ambiance and sound effects are well done, but more often than not, the speech during cutscenes is hard to hear.

The graphics are pretty average as well. Alot of the characters look boxy, and there are some blurry textures. In some places the graphics shine, like one room where there is a thin layer of water on the floor and a realtime reflection showing the rest of the room, but there are very few places where the graphics really impressed me.

The animations are bad. All of the characters move in a robotic way, and people who are accostumed to the fluid animation of Halo will probably be annoyed by this.

Replayability - Once you beat the game there is nothing left to do but beat it again. There are no unlockable secrets to my knowledge, and there are no higher difficulties to conquer after you have beaten the game. It is a pretty long quest the first time through, but after that the game finished.

To buy or to rent? - I would say rent this game before you buy. Unless you are a bigtime fan of the Kain series and want to collect the game, there is no real reason to buy it. It is an average game with a novelty (being a vampire), and you could see all it has to offer in a rental.

Reviewer's Rating:   3.5 - Good

Originally Posted: 03/23/02, Updated 03/23/02

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