Terminal Reality
Majesco
Action
1
10.12.04

BloodRayne 2


As if ridding the world from megalomaniacal Nazi vampires wasn't enough to redeem one's soul, Rayne is back at it again to help make the world better place. This time she is taking care of a little unfinished family business. Apparently Rayne's Father Kagen, who met his untimely demise in the first BloodRayne game, was quite the ladies man. As Rayne, you feel obligated to stop Kagen's evil offspring in their plot to deploy a layer of blood in the sky called the "shroud", which will allow them to go out all the time, and let them run amuck. While I know you are probably already bringing up thoughts about bad B movies, BloodRayne 2 does have it's saving graces.

Gameplay

The gameplay aspect of BloodRayne 2 is actually quite impressive, at least visually.

In addition to the two massive blades that were Rayne's mainstay in the original BloodRayne, she has been equipped with a few new items. As if slicing your opponents to little bits wasn't enough of a thrill for you, Rayne also has the use of two blood power guns called the Carpathian Dragons. On the downside, because they are powered on blood, you have to constantly recharge a blood pool in order to use them, or take damage with each successive use. In addition to the ability to suck blood and regain life, Rayne can now shove the Dragons into a corpse and suck them dry. Once done feeding or resupplying, Rayne can perform an execution move that kind of reeks of Mortal Kombat Fatality, but is gratifying nonetheless. Also she has the use of a grappling hook, that will allow her to latch onto enemies and throw them around at will, not to mention solve a puzzle or two along the way. You also have the use of several vampire abilities that can be used at the cost of a second bar underneath the health meter, one that will automatically refill as you kill enemies. All of Raynes' moves are incredibly gory and while eye-catching at first, they tend to get a little repetitive due to a lack of variety.

The physics engine is actually quite impressive and allows for all sort of neat level specific kills. Making use of her hook, Rayne can drop heavy objects on enemies, spear them onto spikes, set them ablaze, or just have fun smashing them into solid objects. She also has the ability to grind rails, and swing on horizontal pipes (usually to ascend to higher stories), each with their own special stances to kill enemies. On the downside, there were still a few problems with collision in the game, which can sometimes lead to you getting stuck, and having to restart the level.

The story progresses as you fight your way through level after level, killing Kagen's other children along the way. As you advance through the game you are offered new vampire powers and special combat moves. All of which are neat, but aren't really needed. Once you get to the point where you get blood rage/fury, a special power where by you slow down time and do extra damage, which makes even the most challenging enemy a walk in the park, the game looses what little challenge there was left in combat. If in the off chance you ever get lost in the levels, you can always make use of Rayne's aura vision to find your way. Both of these lead to a very easy to complete game.

Replay Value

Once through this game should quench your thirst for bloodlust. Don't think you would really gain anything from playing through again. Though it might be nice to blow off some steam and just hack through some guys every once in a while.

Graphics

The graphics are somewhat standard for an action game of this type. The full motion videos are much better than the in engine cutscences, and are worth checking out. As far as the models go nothing really outstanding. Rayne is an attractive young vampire, and her scantily clad outfits definitely make sure you know it.

The one cool effect to mention is that as Rayne rips through the bad guys, the floor will begin to get soaked in blood, to the point where you will be unable to see the floor at all. Neat to check out at first, but very easy to overlook as you get used to it.

Sound

The sound is decent. Like the graphics, they aren't really trying to push the genre in a new direction. Something about listening to the screams of helpless victims never gets old, and that is probably the one thing the sound does have going for it. In game music is decent, but not really something you want to listen to over and over. The voice dialog during the cutscences can be rather entertaining, with a few catchy one-liners from Rayne.

Bottom Line:

This game banks on the sex appeal of the female lead character and the popularity of seeing blood poor from your hapless prey. While both can be entertaining, they don't really make a complete game. The story holds up fairly well, and is worth playing through at least once. If you were a fan of the original BloodRayne, then this is more of the same good stuff. But in the end, don't expect more than an all out blood bath from this hack and slash adventure.

Related Links:

Official BloodRayne 2 Website

-Nick Smolney




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