Bloodrayne
Game Info
Platform(s)
PS2, GC, Xbox
Publisher
Majesco
Developer
Terminal Reality
Genre
Action/Shooter
Official Website
ESRB Rating
Blood and Gore, Strong Language, Violence
 
Grade
The Good

• Lots of fast and furious action
• Large areas with some nice detail
• Music sets a nice tone

The Bad

• Jump mechanics need work
• Animations during cutscenes are unrealistic
• Various glitches/flaws

 
Grade
B-

1933 - Rayne, a half vampire, half human agent for the Brimstone Society goes on a mission to Louisiana, where she has her first run-in with Jurgen Wulf. Five years later, she is sent to a Nazi-held castle in Argentina to assassinate the officers. Once there, she discovers that the Nazi's have dug up something in their hunt for a relic which they hope to use to to resurrect the demon Beliar.

Bloodrayne is broken up into mission-oriented sections in which the player uses guns, Rayne's arm-mounted blades and vampiric abilities to reach their goals. Throughout the game, the player gains new abilities, like being able to see enemies' auras, slow down time and even see long distances. Using Rayne's blades will cause her Blood Lust meter to fill and once it tops out, a Blood Rage can be activated that turns Rayne into a whirling dervish of blades, often leaving enemies chopped into pieces in no time. When Rayne takes damage, players need to have her jump onto enemies and suck the blood from them to replenish her own. At this time, she can even turn the enemy to use them as a bullet shield from other enemies. She can also use a variety of weapons (including handguns, rifles, and automatic weapons), most often two at a time and even aim at two different enemies at the same time. Mix in her high-jumping ability and a chained harpoon, and any player can coat the castle walls in Nazi blood.

Visually, Bloodrayne sports nice large areas that are filled with life. Even though the Louisiana level looks kind of drab, once you get to Argentina and then later onto Germany, you'll get to see some nice levels covered in detailed textures and some nice lighting effects. There are a number of places where you'll appreciate the spot lighting that adds to the ambiance. On top of this is that there are often a large number of enemies on screen, all fairly well detailed and with a nice variety to keep the player from feeling like they're killing the same guy over and over. While the character models look a little blocky, the details really seal the concept that you're dealing with Nazi soldiers. Even the guns are well detailed and look fairly historically accurate. Minor environmental details, like furniture, wooden crates and even parked vehicles add to the scenery. One of the nicer visual touches is how Rayne's special abilities are displayed in-game. In a Blood Rage, the screen gets a red glow to it and everything seems to be slowed down except Rayne herself. Her vision skills have similar effects that add to the game.

While there aren't a lot of story sequences, the few scenes that do pop up have fairly decent voice acting. It's not on par with Soul Reaver 2 or Metal Gear Solid 2, but it's a far cry better than most games in this genre. Vocal bits from Rayne and the Nazi soldiers during combat add to the overall package, which is aided by some fine sound effects and a dark, gothic ambient soundtrack that lends to the grim ambiance of the game.

While I enjoyed playing through the game and working through each level to see what was next, I couldn't help but miss a long list of problems that crop up. While Rayne's high jump was nice, being able to aim it for the platforming sections was a pain. Also, if you tapped the jump button twice, you could dive-kick into doors and some walls, but getting this move to work usually took some effort. There was some serious issues with polygon clipping (numerous times Rayne or an enemy would walk through a door or fall partially into a wall) and even some noticeable collision detection errors. Don't be surprised if you chop the legs off an enemy only to have him still come at you before he dies. And a few times, textures would pop-up as I entered a room.

It has to be said that Bloodrayne is hyper-violent. This game is not for the weak of stomach as you will be spilling gallons of blood and performing some serious human butchery. Also, you'll hear all sorts of foul language during the game. On top of that, most of the female characters are fairly busty and have a special Dead or Alive "bounce" during certain scenes.

If you can look past Bloodrayne's various flaws, none of which are so bad they make the game unplayable, there's a full-blown action game here. Fans of guns-and-blades gameplay should check into this title as it will surely sate you desire to hurt people. Make sure to play past the fairly boring and even tedious Louisiana level, as the following stages are much more intense and action-packed.

- - Kinderfeld

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