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But overall the whole game is really too derivative. Rayne can use guns (hardly original), but most of the time she's just hacking bodies to pieces with knives, and I found that this got very repetitive and tedious. I enjoyed Return to Castle Wolfenstein for its variety and strategy (plenty of sniping from a distance and avoiding detection) and Tomb Raider for its exploration aspects and puzzles, but BloodRayne is just slash, slash, slash from start to finish.
BloodRayne is entertaining, but once you've been wowed by BloodRayne herself, the game's story line isn't creative enough to capture true adventurers, and its combat isn't inspired enough to satiate die-hard shooters. It's a solid hybrid—but not much more than that.
With a ho-hum premise of tired cliches and unremarkable gameplay built on buggy, leaden game programming, it's hard to recommend Bloodrayne on any point whatsoever. There are certainly a few fun ideas and the fratboy-fantasy eroticism may appeal to some extremely bored gamers, but even Bloodrayne's greatest accomplishments are effortlessly bested by several other contemporary games. It's disappointing to see Aspyr - a company which has brought us several of the greatest Mac games ever made - publishing a game which falls so far short of their usual standards. With many more games on the horizon for Aspyr in 2003, let's hope Bloodrayne proves to be the exception, not the rule.
You know, it's a sad state of affairs when a plot like that described above can be called overdone. If it was done in parody, this game could work. If Blood Rayne wasn't taking itself so seriously—or at least gave some indication it's in on the joke that it is—it could have been quite fun. As it stands, it seems like nothing more than a poor attempt to launch the next Lara Croft or Cate Archer.
Bloodrayne's problems go deeper than its fit and finish. The game play is thoroughly derivative of every third-person shooter that's come along in recent years. If you've played Tomb Raider, or any of a hundred other similar games, you've pretty much done everything you can do in Bloodrayne -- straight down to a slow-motion mode (called Blood Rage) similar to that of Max Payne and Jedi Knight II.
The game designers' careful attention to jiggling breasts and the moaning sounds of Rayne feeding on her victims is lascivious, gratuitous, and insulting. This game has an ESRB rating of M, for Mature. Unfortunately, the board hasn't yet come up with an I rating, for Immature. This game deserves it.