Blood II: The Chosen (Windows)

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Written by  :  Katakis | カタキス (39520)
Written on  :  Aug 23, 2003

9 out of 12 people found this review helpful

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Bloody. Absolutely Bloody

The Good

As you would know, this is the sequel to Blood, where the object of the game was for Caleb to face the Cabal and stop Tchernobog and his minions taking over the world. First of all before I go on about the game, I have to warn you: If you played the original FPS and you couldn't stand the violence, don't expect Blood 2: The Chosen to be less violent. In fact, you ask anyone if FPSes are getting more violent all the time, and they'll probably agree with you.

About the storyline, my memory is a little bit hazy so I'll tell you what I know. It's 2028, 100 years after the original events that took place in Blood, and the Cabal, the cult dedicated to worshipping the Dark God Tchernobog, plans to destroy Caleb and the other Chosen (Gabriella, Ishmael, Ophelia), who they call "The Great Betrayers". Furthermore, they are preparing to restore Tchernobog back to normal. The Cabal's leader, Gideon, is in charge of Cabalco, an organization that took control of the world's economic markets. He will do nothing but stop Caleb and the others.

In Blood, you only play Caleb as he goes from location to location to destroy the Dark God. In Blood 2, not only can you play Caleb, but you can play Gabriella, Ishmael, or Ophelia. The game is divided into four chapters, with eight levels each, and each level is packed with enemies that such as cultists, fanatics, zealots, shikaris, bone leeches, soul drudges, drudge lords, drudge priests, and more. The choking hand even makes a comeback, but they will say something other than "I'll swallow your soul". Gideon will also show his face throughout the game, taunting you with his threats. Enemies can transport from another dimension, more often than not in packs. To help you, you have access to 17 different weapons that include (but not limited to): The sawed-off shotgun, the .50 BMG Sniper Rifle, Howitzer, the Napalm launcher, and flare gun. You also have destructive weapons like the Flaregun, the Napalm Launcher, the voodoo doll, plus the proximity bomb and time bomb. Most of these weapons have an alternate firing mode and by pressing the X key on the keyboard, you can use these weapons to your advantage. You can only hold up to ten weapons at a time, so to carry new ones, you have to drop one. Some weapons are great, and others are crap. Each chapter ends with you fighting a boss, which are much bigger than you and your enemies, and once you've defeated each boss, the other three Chosen will appear before you one-by-one, and tell you what lies ahead. Behemoth, the boss you'll come face-to-face, requires quite a pounding from one of the weapons you pick up. I had no choice but to lose him as I explored other areas.

The levels also include exotic locations. Chapter One, for example, has you exploring transit systems, train stations, sewers, cathedrals, laboratories, and museums. Chapter Two lets you explore more subways and sewage treatment plants, and Chapter Three is where you're finally get close to the Cabal's headquarters. When you enter a new level, there is information about the level that appears on the loading screen, but most of them are advertisements from Cabalco itself. Each level also has an objective, which you can read by hitting the TAB key or whatever key you've assigned. Some areas in a level are dark and require a flashlight or night-vision goggles.

Also during your travels will you come across innocent people, who do their best not to make eye contact with you, and if they do, they will just swear at you. One of these people is a black chick wearing a green vest and black jeans, who does nothing but put her hands up and say "No No NoNoNo". I found her very annoying, that I felt like putting a bullet through her and leaving her for dead. Even the scientists and security guards in Half-Life are much more polite than this. Blood 2 uses Monolith's LithTech engine, a true 3D engine that provides great 3D modeling and the IMA sound system, described as "VERY cool dynamic music that sounds different every time you listen to it". Excuse me, I played Blood 2 more than twice, and to me, the music sounded the same every time I played it. Using the LithTech engine means that the sound and graphics have been improved a lot more than Blood, with 3D graphics and 3D stereo sound. You can also play the game at various resolutions.

Finally, did I mention that Blood 2 is more violent than the original? Monolith has increased the gore level in the game. I accidentally found myself shooting a dead enemy causing him to transform into a pool of blood.To demonstrate how violent the game really is, Monolith actually included a cheat which you can enter at the game's console to add even more gore to the game.

The Bad

Even on my Pentium 4, 1.8 Ghz, each level in Blood 2 takes a long time to load.

When I saved games then restore them at a later time, I immediately heard the dying sounds of the enemies.

Some levels are too dark to see anything that I am used to turning up my monitor's brightness and contrast settings, and pressing F11, like you do in most FPSes, just didn't work. I eventually found out how to adjust the game' gamma the hard way.

The Bottom Line

If you like the original game, then you love this game. If you want this game but haven't seen it, then try looking on eBay. ***