Blood II: The Chosen

Moby ID: 1150
Note: We may earn an affiliate commission on purchases made via eBay or Amazon links (prices updated 4/21 10:20 PM )
Add-on (official) Included in

Description official descriptions

By the year 2028, over a hundred years have passed since the events described in Blood. CABAL, the cult dedicated to the worship of the Dark God Tchernobog, has turned into a huge corporation that calls itself "CabalCo", controlling much of what is happening in the dark, futuristic city. The undead gunslinger Caleb awakens from his slumber and continues his relentless pursuit of revenge. The company CEO, an ambitious man named Gideon, will stop at nothing in order to attain the kind of power CABAL was wielding before. But in order to fulfill his plans, he must get rid of Caleb first.

Like its predecessor, Blood II is a first-person shooter with a horror theme. The game uses the LithTech engine. There is a vast variety of weapons as well as a greater number of different enemies than the previous game. The levels themselves are rather diverse as well: In the first chapter alone, the protagonist travels from an ornate museum to a huge science facility, alleys of an ominous city street, and a futuristic flying machine. The game features a dark techno soundtrack. The player may choose to play as Caleb's companions that appeared in the first game; however, cutscenes are displayed only if the player selects Caleb.

Groups +

Screenshots

Promos

Credits (Windows version)

114 People (106 developers, 8 thanks) · View all

Game Concept and Design
Lead Designer
Project Manager
Lead Engineer
Lead Level Designer
Lead Artist
Lead LithTech Engineer
Game Design
Storyline
Concept Art
3D Art Engineer
Blood II Engineering
Level Design
3D Art
2D Art
Scripted Scenes
Music Composition
[ full credits ]

Reviews

Critics

Average score: 74% (based on 31 ratings)

Players

Average score: 3.3 out of 5 (based on 76 ratings with 5 reviews)

So boring and retarded it's not even worth bashing

The Good
I've been a fan of the Blood series since I played the shareware in 2003. Countless fun hours were spent setting people on fire with the flaregun, blowing them up with dynamite, and stabbing them with the voodoo doll. The Plasma Pak and Cryptic Passage expansions continued the carnage. Sure, it was nothing revolutionary, but the Blood games were simple addictive shooters. And when the chips are down, that's all you need.

Things started going crapwards for Monolith in 1998 with the abysmal Get Medieval, followed by the mediocre Shogo: Mobile Armor Division. I was skeptical but hopeful about Blood 2. 3D adaptations of 2D games don't have the most inspiring track record ever, but this is Blood we were talking about! What is there to get wrong? Just give me a 3D rendition of Blood's simplistic action and I'd be happy. Surely they couldn't screw that up? Sadly, they have. The murky toilet waters of Suck are once again lapping at Monolith's feet, and it seems the last man didn't flush.

The story is set about 100 years after the original Blood. Once again you play as the undead cowboy Caleb who has wandered the earth alone for the last century, and who once again finds his immortal soul threatened. You see, the evil cult he battled in the original Blood still exists and is now a big pimpin' organisation with billions of dollars, hundreds of assassins, and intents upon world domination. And their leader, Gideon, wants Caleb dead at all costs.

At a conceptual level the Blood 2 is the same as its prequel. You fight both human cultists and monsters (only this time, the monsters exist through genetic engineering rather than the supernatural). The game adopts the mission-based structure of Quake 2, but this usually works out to "exterminate all opposition and find the exit". Of course, there's lots of gore and gibbitude, and insofar as weapons are concerned all the old favorites are back (the flare gun, the voodoo doll), coupled with high-tech offerings like M11 assault rifles and Uzis. All weapons have secondary fire modes with allows for some variation in your attacks.

The action, although hardly thrilling, is fast-paced and the game dispenses with the annoying puzzles that sometimes plagued Blood. The new weapons and enemies are okay and the game is certainly as gory as its predecessor (in fact: probably more so because it's not being played for laughs. Blood 2 is far more serious than Blood).

The Bad
Blood 2 has lots of problems that can all be summed up as "the developers didn't give a crap".

Blood 2 was released side by side with Shogo: Mobile Armor Division. Comparing both games, it's pretty obvious which horse Monolith was backing. Shogo has squad combat, giant robots, an advanced lighting and physics engine, and an interactive story. Blood 2 has, uh, fancy blood splatters. When a studio is developing two games simultaneously it usually puts its money and effort behind one, while treating the other game as a backup if the first one fails. In this situation, Blood 2 was the backup, and contains all the associated cheapness and corner-cutting.

I suspect this game was made either to fulfill a contract or extract a few more dollars out of a license. Blood 2 is bad, but not in a spectacular car-crash kind of way. It's bad in a boring, instantly forgettable way. Blood 2 is so punishingly generic and rote there's not much to write about it. It's depressing because Monolith is a studio capable of much better. You can tell they weren't even trying when they made this.

It's like the game was made in a perverse spirit of "let's take away all of Blood's cool stuff". Blood had endless corny one-liners and pop culture references, Blood 2 has almost no humor at all. Blood had lots of environmental interaction, Blood 2 strips it back to Doom levels. Blood let you play in levels as diverse as a mausoleum and a circus, Blood 2 restricts you to factories, laboratories, and empty apartments. Blood had a cool wild west theme, Blood 2 is a generic futuristic shooter.

The one selling point Blood 2 has feels like it was shoved into the game so there would be something, anything, to write about in the game's promo material. You get to play as multiple characters with different stats. Caleb has resurrected three of his co-lieutenants and at different times you get to play as them, although this ends up feeling pretty redundant. They have different stats, but at the end of the day Ishmael, Ophelia and Gabriella are simply clones of your default character, and there's no quantifiable difference between any of them. Not to mention this knight/cleric/wizard/barbarian thing has been done to death in thousands of RPGs and a good number of FPSs (Hexen is a good place to start). This is hardly an exciting, must-buy feature.

Unlike Blood, Blood 2 uses a true 3D engine. While this may sound like a radical step forward, the game is so simple to begin with that the extra dimension adds nothing to the game. Having fancy lighting and explosions and z-axis aiming is nice, but the level design is so simplistic it might as well still be using the Build engine. The game's 3Dness is nothing more than a gimmick. I'm reminded of carpenter friend who for years used an ordinary hand-router, only to finally pay $300 for an electric router he didn't actually need because he felt he needed to keep with the times.

The game uses the LithTech engine, which to put it bluntly is a piece of crap. Blood 2 looks much worse than Quake 2 and Unreal, and is far less stable than either of those games. Expect access violations, messed up palettes, clipping errors, and other things. I lost count of the number of times I saw an enemy waving his arms through a wall. Visually the game is acceptable, but there's far too much gray (you could call Blood 2 a spiritual prequel to F.E.A.R.) and the models are extremely blocky. As far as audio goes, the game doesn't boast a dynamic sound track a'la Shogo but rather pre-recorded sound. The voice acting is crap, with Gabriel's in particular being downright awful.

The content and design is given woefully short shrift. And about the levels...well, I hope you like mazes. Blood 2 is lousy with them. The game has so many key hunts that the developers make humorous reference to it during the levels (one of your objectives is "shoot some stuff and find the key" or something). It's true that Blood also had a lot of key hunts, but that game was interesting. It had good level design. Blood 2 is pure dullsville, and having to undergo lots of repetitive key-hunting in a boring game is the gaming equivalent of Chinese water torture.

The difficulty is just as bad as Shogo's on-foot levels. On the easiest level your enemies are mentally retarded lobotomy patients who quite often kill themselves, and as the difficulty goes up the enemies don't become any smarter but rather gain superhuman reflexes and accuracy, which isn't a whole bag of fun. On high difficulty it becomes literally impossible to play the game with low health since the enemies will take you out the instant you walk around a corner.

The game shipped with a reasonably complete multiplayer mode, and no doubt Monolith hoped it would join the list of games that lacked single player appeal but become multiplayer hits (Quake comes to mind here). Unfortunately multiplayer games proved laggy and unstable, and the server set up for the game was soon taken down through lack of activity.

They couldn't even get the gibbing right! When you stab someone with a knife or blow them up with a missile, the result is exactly the same: their limbs go flying off at weird angles and their torso disintegrates. And you can kick severed heads around like before, but not even this is as fun as in the original.

The Bottom Line
Blood 2 is totally worthless as a sequel and a game. It was junk when it came out and today you need to play it like you need an axewound to your skull. This isn't a game you should avoid. This is a game you should simply ignore.

Windows · by Maw (832) · 2007

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. ***

Windows · by Katakis | カタキス (43091) · 2003

Blood II is one hell of a disappointing sequel, but it's still fun enough at times to earn a pass.

The Good

  • Good graphics and animation (for the time)
  • Tons and tons of gore
  • Some fun weapons
  • Caleb is still a badass
  • A few good jokes and eastereggs
  • Some well done levels
  • Has a fast pace most of the time


The Bad

  • Almost completely abandons the Horror aspect
  • Generic world design and many generic enemies
  • Unskippable cutscenes
  • Some really awful levels that kill the momentum
  • Some enemies are more annoying to fight than fun
  • Completely uninspired, especially when compared to Blood 1


The Bottom Line
There is no questioning it, 1997's Blood is an underrated gem that just so happens to be one of my all time favourite FPS games, no ifs, ands, or buts. I'll even controversially go on record by saying that I enjoy it more than its more well known contemporaries such as Duke Nukem 3D, Quake and its its sequel. Don't get me wrong, those games are great - I just get more kicks from Blood.

Why? Well, for one - it satisfies my love of the horror genre, it had an incredibly atmospheric and nightmarish world that paid homage to horror classics from every medium while also creating its own twisted little circle of hell drenched in the eponymous bodily fluid. Secondly, Caleb is an Undead Cowboy who came back from the dead to kill a god. And he succeeded, all while making deliciously morbid quips along the way in a creepy but cool drawl. And the game, simply put, was just plain fun, challenging, and fast.

While it wasn't as well known as other games of its era, it was well received and grew a cult following large enough to warrant a sequel - which Monolith was quick to put together. Now, pay attention to the fact that I used the word "Quick" there. Admittedly this was a time when games took less time to make, and sometimes a quick sequel could work out. Sadly, Blood II: The Chosen is not one of the success stories. It feels as though more work went into its new engine rather than the game proper, and it is missing so much of what made the original Blood so charming in its own sick little way.

The game is courteous enough at least to keep Caleb more or less the same as he was in the previous game, and his morbid commentary and his sadistic growls and laughter still delight and there are some standout quotes, one of my personal favourites would have to be "It's Howdy-Doody time kiddies and the bad man has come to play!" upon entering your foes stronghold armed to the teeth. There are also still some delightfully weird instances, like a museum whose curator reminds you to keep your children leashed and muzzled or an old man who calls you to chastise you for using technology to kill a god when back in the day, they did it with their bare fists and liked it.

But such moments are few and far between, and then there is the simple fact that the world created for Blood II is incredibly mediocre and unmemorable. The world you explored in the original was so bizarre, twisted, and memorably fucked beyond all reason and it was one of the elements that helped the game stand out. In Blood II - you won't find any torture carnivals where you can play skee-ball with severed heads, train stations filled with Lovecraftian horrors, or even anything more than a passing mention of dark gods.

The game opts to use a more modern, semi-futuristic setting rather than the demonic wild west/turn of the century setting of the original, and while one could argue that such a setting is almost immediately less interesting - it could have been pulled off if Monolith had used their imaginations, which clearly had been vivid at one point judging by the original game. The game also opts for more realistic level design, creating a more cohesive world - which again, could have been done right. In fact if it had been as hellish and cool as the original games world, giving it such cohesion could have immediately made the game far more interesting - but instead we have to deal with typical red light districts, museums, and bluh sewer levels with valve puzzles.

At the very least, the core mechanics aren't that bad. The game isn't as challenging or well thought out as the original, but it moves at a decidedly brisk pace, has a veritable cache of weapons at your disposal, and its hemoglobin count is still through the roof. The lack of a true horror setting certainly does make it less violent than the original, but enemies still gush blood and you can still kick around their severed heads and plenty of weapons are at your disposal. It is also of note that you can play as one of the four Chosen, and they get their own cache of unique weapons later on in the game - and this is worth noting if not solely for the inclusion of one of the games few horror film homages, and arguably the most awesome thing in the game: The sentinel from the Phantasm movies. If you aren't familiar with the Sentinel or what it does, just go to YouTube and search for "Phantasm Sentinel" or "Phantasm Sphere scene" and you'll find it. Now, imagine getting to use one of those cranially intrusive suckers on your foes. It's as awesome as it sounds.

The level design itself is a bit schizophrenic, regardless of how bland and boring the settings and themes are - there are some pretty good levels, but some are really boring and they have a habit of popping in just when the game builds steam. This can be observed very early on in the game, when things are starting to get interesting - a long sewer level filled with valve puzzles and only two types of enemies (One type is pathetic as hell, moving really slow and wielding melee weapons that can only harm you if you willingly walk into them - the other type being cheap and frustrating with a two hit kill attack that is hard to avoid in the sewers cramped tunnels.) appears to completely bore you to death, save for one fun little easter-egg that pays homage to Aliens. Vs. Predator and reveals that the Predator has a fondness for the Skaarj from Unreal. Glad to see I wasn't the only one who saw the similarities to the Yaujta (That's nerdspeak for "Predator," it being their species' official name.) that the Skaarj had.

At the end of the day, Blood II is an incredible disappointment. I've always wondered why Monolith decided to take such a bland route after the insanity that gave the original its identity. Yet if you can look past its rather ho-hum aesthetics and design, it is still a decent shooter worth looking into if you like the golden age of first person shooters - but nothing more than decent.

Windows · by Kaddy B. (777) · 2013

[ View all 5 player reviews ]

Trivia

Credits

The final credits scroll of the first release contained anti-credits that made fun of people the Monolith staff didn't like. GT Interactive made them remove this in later releases and they are were also cut out by the first patch (which is pretty much required to get the game to run correctly).

German index

On November 30, 1999, Blood II: The Chosen was put on the infamous German index by the BPjS. More information about what this means can be found in the description.

Humour

Blood II: The Chosen contains a lot of generic and cliche'd FPS elements, and the designers are self-consciously aware of this, including jokes such as a mission briefing that tells you to "push some buttons and kill some things" (that's really what it says, word for word), and a huge glowing sign advertising "Silver Key Industries."

Open Source release

As of 2005, Blood II: The Chosen is open source and its full code can be downloaded from the Blood 2 homepage.

References

There is a secret room in one of the levels parodying Unreal. It has a picture of a leaping Skaarj Warrior on the wall and the inscription: "I [heart] Skaarj".

Information also contributed by Maw Mickey Gabel and Xoleras

Analytics

MobyPro Early Access

Upgrade to MobyPro to view research rankings!

Related Games

Chosen 2
Released 2017 on Windows
The Chosen RPG
Released 2016 on Windows
NBA Ballers: Chosen One
Released 2008 on Xbox 360, PlayStation 3
The Chosen: Well of Souls
Released 2006 on Windows
Dream Chronicles: The Chosen Child
Released 2009 on Windows, Macintosh, 2012 on iPad
XCOM 2: War of the Chosen
Released 2017 on Linux, Windows, Macintosh...
Dragon Quest IV: Chapters of the Chosen
Released 2007 on Nintendo DS, 2014 on Android, iPhone
Dragon's Dogma: Notice Board Quests - The Chosen
Released 2012 on Xbox 360, PlayStation 3

Related Sites +

  • Blood 2: The Chosen
    Official game website
  • PlanetBlood
    Featuring downloads, reviews, hosted sites, fan fiction/art... just about everything that has to do with Blood 1 and 2. The perfect site for any Bloodite.
  • The Blood Wiki
    The Blood Wiki, a wiki devoted to the first-person shooter game Blood, its sequel Blood II: The Chosen, and their respective expansion packs. Also available is information on the various mods, fan projects, development details, and the fictional world in which Caleb and the others live in.
  • The Postmortem
    Sort of a monument-like fansite built for Blood and Blood II: The Chosen to keep it's soul alive for the next generation of Bloodites.

Identifiers +

  • MobyGames ID: 1150
  • [ Please login / register to view all identifiers ]

Contribute

Are you familiar with this game? Help document and preserve this entry in video game history! If your contribution is approved, you will earn points and be credited as a contributor.

Contributors to this Entry

Game added by Derrick 'Knight' Steele.

Additional contributors: Kate Jones, Andrew Hartnett, ClydeFrog, Dae, oct, Patrick Bregger, Titan10.

Game added March 26, 2000. Last modified March 6, 2024.