Critic Reviews add missing review
Average score: 68% (based on 55 ratings)
Average score: 3.4 out of 5 (based on 85 ratings with 4 reviews)
There are two things that stand out about Rayne, mostly because they tend to jiggle when she moves. If she’s standing still, you might also notice her fetishistic outfit and your attention may be drawn towards the long blades strapped to her arms (or the multitude of guns that appear when needed). If she’s smiling, you’ll notice fangs. Or rather, you’ll feel fangs as she launches herself at your neck.
Rayne, a half-vampire (Dhampir), is recruited by the Brimstone Society to fight evil based on some killer moves she executes in the game’s opening cinematic. As a half-vampire, she’s a best of both worlds scenario, combining vampiric strength, speed, and senses with resistance to things that would kill a regular vampire outright, like water. She’s not immortal, suffering damage from attacks true vampires could shrug off, but she can replenish her health by drinking blood. While she’s not a clichéd “last, best hope,” she’s definitely the type of thing you’d want to throw at the Nazi war machine.
Ah yes, Nazis. If our grandparents knew what we know now, one wonders if they would have so bravely faced the Third Reich. Hitler, it seems, was close to resurrecting various demons, creating superweapons, raising the dead, and obtaining the Lost Ark of the Covenant. BloodRayne covers all of the above after a dismal opening set in 1930s Louisiana.
BloodRayne, a game that feels like it’s interviewing for a job it really doesn’t want, certainly doesn’t care about first impressions. This third-person, action adventure game shuffles the player off to a flooded Louisiana bayou, teaming Rayne up with Mynce, a more experienced Dhampir, who shows Rayne the ropes. Here, among the various tutorial elements, are irritating jumping puzzles forcing the player to avoid life-draining water by leaping from roof to roof or using telephone lines as tightropes. In this bleak landscape, Rayne fights off mutated humans and fleshy spiders—the results of a voodoo ritual gone wrong.
After the end of the Louisiana levels, the first of BloodRayne’s three acts, the game picks up five years later with Rayne infiltrating a Nazi compound in Argentina. The game really does pick up. Rayne is now a supernatural assassin, tracking down Nazi officers and killing them while mutilating any opposition in her way.
Rayne is a killing machine. Players can make a good deal of progress simply by pressing one button which causes Rayne to leap onto an enemy and drain their blood. In case of heavier resistance, Rayne is also armed with the aforementioned arm blades, which scythe through the air cutting off arms and slicing off heads. Like Mortal Kombat’s Scorpion, Rayne can harpoon enemies at a distance and bring them in for the kill (this is very useful against Nazi jetpack troops). Rayne also uses guns she finds along the way (and the game has one of the smartest auto-targeting systems I’ve seen), including antitank rockets and grenades. Last but not least, when Rayne’s blood meter (charged during combat) is full, she can unleash devastating high-speed attacks making minced meat of all but the toughest opponents.
In terms of vampire skills, BloodRayne can leap like a Jedi, fall almost any distance, and move much faster than most opponents. Her strongest abilities deal with the way she perceives the world. There’s a standard view, a vampiric night vision mode which reveals enemy biosigns and the location of mission objectives, and a slow motion mode—BloodRayne’s version of the ubiquitous “Bullet Time”—which is almost dreamlike. As Rayne moves through the game she gains other abilities, resulting in game play that gets better as it goes along.
Fighting endless Nazi hordes might sound repetitious, but BloodRayne finds a balance between basic puzzle solving and combat. Sure there are many Nazi grunts, but they are easily dispatched. Soon enough, Rayne encounters Nazis trained to fight vampires and the Nazi officers Rayne targets often lead to challenging boss battles. One brute trapped me in an engine room and could destroy most of the level trying to get me. Other noteworthy villains include a Klan-themed Nazi armed with a Gatling gun and a descendant of the vampire queen Erzebet Batory. Every “boss” has a unique fighting style with weaknesses the player must discover and exploit. Of course there are plenty of supernatural villains, too.
Level design is top notch. While Louisiana is visually bleak, it is well laid out and has an undeniable atmosphere. The Nazi compound in Argentina feels like a massive fortress and includes diverse areas which don’t recycle the same design themes. With a game that climaxes in an ancient castle pulled from Nocturne, BloodRayne has many surprises for the player in terms of missions, opponents, and plot. This is enhanced by a save system which would normally frustrate me. While you can’t save anywhere, the game is broken down into over forty levels with save points at the levels’ end. Thankfully, most save points are available before boss battles rather than after. There were very few levels which I needed to try and retry and their completion (usually) was quite rewarding.
I don’t think I can express how much the Louisiana levels hurt this game. It’s almost along the lines of Daikatana’s swamp levels, acting as a spoiler. These levels set a bad tone, indicating that the game is full of jumping puzzles—which it isn’t. One skill in this section: tightrope walking along telephone lines, barely surfaces during the rest of the game. It’s amazingly unfocused—human spider zombie thingies created by voodoo? Bah. Poorly voiced Cajuns begging for help? Double bah. Massive amounts of health stealing water? That’s just dumb.
Rayne’s default attack is a mixture of blade attacks and kicking. Repeatedly pressing attack performs a pseudo-combination move, incorporating both types of attacks, but kicking is so ineffective it ends up being a waste of time. Since one button performs all the melee attacks, it’s really just an exercise in button pressing (not mashing, since you really can’t mash a shoulder button).
I found large portions of the game to be playable only in the game’s slow motion mode. Slow motion allows for strategy while real time play relies on twitch reflexes. When you are up against a boss or a flock of feral vampires, slow motion often provides a much needed balance. Of course this artificially extends the game’s length while making playing less edge-of-the-seat.
The Bottom Line
BloodRayne was a strange experience for me. I absolutely hated the beginning, grew very interested during the middle portion, and was let down by the game’s end. Rayne, herself, is part of the problem. Nocturne featured a similar character, Svetlana Lupescu, but used her more effectively. There is no insight into Rayne’s character or origin, other than the fact that she follows some moral compass.
Rayne feels like she was designed by a committee for fourteen year old boys. I cringed every time she flicked off a monster. Also cringe worthy is the fact that right bastard and incompetent director Uwe Boll is wrapping up a film based on this game set faithfully in eighteenth century Romania and costarring Meat Loaf.
GameCube · by Terrence Bosky (5375) · 2005
The first thing that pounces upon you when playing Bloodrayne is that it looks GOOD. There are a bunch of options available in order to enhance the graphic quality like environmental bump mapping, complex water reflections, or dynamic shadows (of course, this means you need to have a 100% DirectX 8 compatible card), there are a lot of different enemies, most of whom are very well designed, there are HUGE scenarios depicted with lots of small details, and —sorry, but I HAVE to say this— the main character, Rayne, is H O T.
The girl is by far the best bunch of triangles and pixels of all the game, featuring in her body more polygons than the whole scenario with inhabitants included, which translates in smooth forms, all covered in shiny black leather. Her dressing looks awesome (although more appropriate for a rave than a nazi hunting), and she has a strong and sarcastic personality. It's pretty amusing to hear her comebacks whenever an enemy taunts at her.
In its concept, the game has a number of similarities with NOCTURNE (a previous Terminal Reality game, survival/horror). For example, remember how in one of the missions we had a Dhampir girl (this is, a half-vampire) for a partner, who had two huge blades attached to her arms? Well we got to spot a fetiche for someone at Terminal Reality, since Rayne is also a Damphir girl, and she also has two huge blades attached to her arms. As also did the main characters in Nocturne, Rayne works for a secret organization dedicated to fight supernatural evil all over the earth. However, the style of the game is different, and Bloodrayne is a third-person fighter/shooter, like MAX PAYNE, BLOOD OMEN 2, or ONI.
A few times we are given clues regarding Rayne's search for information about her father, who is hinted to be a dangerous vampire. The game seems to have been thinked of as the first chapter of a saga, and Rayne looking for her father seems to be the main background-plot.
Despite a few minor twists, story-wise the game is pretty cliched, and it's nothing to write home about. The plot is just the glue to hold toghether all the carnage that goes on throughout the levels, and the many (MANY) gratuitous cutscenes full of innuendo and cleavage shots.
This "first chapter" is set sometime in the 1930's, where Rayne must stop the nazis from becoming a strong force, for which they are collecting a bunch of magic devices that have the power to resurrect an ancient demon called Beliar. The journey will take her from some swamps in Morton, Lousiana, to an underground nazi base located somewhere in the Pampas of Argentina, to an ancient castle in Germany. Each location is a "game stage", divided in a bunch of sub-levels with minor sub-bosses, and ruled by one BIG boss at the end.
Being a 100% action game, Bloodrayne shines by offering different fighting options.
- The arm-blades I mentioned above are Rayne's primary weapon, and the game puts a strong emphasis on using close-hand combat as much as possible, since by using her blades on enemies, Rayne fills up a metter called "Bloodlust". Once Bloodlust reaches its full, Rayne can enter in a frenzy state called "Bloodrage", in which the action is subtlely slowed down and Rayne's attacks become MUCH more powerful. Of course, this only lasts a couple of seconds, until the Bloodlust metter reaches zero again, but the metter can be refilled again. Bloodrage is a MAJOR help specially in boss fights.
- Anyway, Rayne has no regards in using fire weapons, and she has this amazing capability —which we are so used to see in videogame heroes— of carrying four pistols, three sub machine guns, one shotgun, one rocket launcher and a dozen hand grenades whithout slowing down a bit (there's a curious cheat, entering SHOWMEMYWEAPONS in the 'cheats' screen, which has the sole purpose of showing that Rayne is actually carrying all her stuff on her body). As also happened in Nocturne, Rayne holds one gun in each hand and she's able to spot two enemies at once. One interesting thing is that you don't get to choose the weapons to use one by one, instead you choose between one of four categories: light weapons, heavy weapons, grenades, and special weapons; and Rayne herself gets to choose which of the guns she currently has in stock do qualify in each category. She even disposes empty weapons and switches to the next best thing herself.
- Finally, as a half-vampire, Rayne can of course feed on most of her enemies, which not only replenishes her health, but also is a good way of quickly disposing a foe. To this end, she can jump on an enemy standing close to her, or she can use a long chain-harpoon to drag them closer. The animations when Rayne feeds are great, specially the shoot-harpoon/drag/kick-down/jump-upon/bite-neck/suck-blood one.
So, if we count together we have THREE different ways of taking down enemies: close-hand combat, bullet-shooting, and blood sucking.
As you may have already guessed —and as it also happened in Nocturne— Bloodrayne has an insane amount of gore. As you move on through the different levels and get to defeat bosses and sub-bosses, Rayne will add more "combo moves" to her melee attacks, so by the last levels each close-hand fight will end up with your enemy torn apart in a dozen pieces and a pool of blood under your feet. Bloodrage attacks are different from normal melee attacks, and also are upgraded, so you can imagine what a blood bath it turns out to be.
Furthemore, depending on the distance, angle, strength, and whatnot, with which you hit a given enemy, different effects are achieved. Among others, you get to slash, take off hats, take off guns, cut off hands, cut off arms, cut off legs, peel-off the skin of the face leaving only the skull, decapitate, cut body in half...
As if it wasn't enough, every stage has two different types of enemies (under each one there are a few variants of individuals); and they are enemies with one another, so more often than not you will get ot watch how the kill one another, or you will bust in the middle of a frenzy battle, adding to the confusion.
Finally, it's not only the enemies who will suffer from Rayne's rage: almost everything in the background reacts to your attacks. And I'm not talking about bullet-holes in walls or smashed crystals, RAYNE BREAKS STUFF! At the end of some specially intense fights, you will find out that the beautifully decorated room it all started in, is WRECKED, chairs in pieces, flags in rags, bookcases torn apart, books shattered, corpses, pieces of corpses, blood stains, empty weapons, and even columns almost demolished! There's a particular three-story room in which you actually get to tear down a whole catwalk system.
Another physical feature I loved about Rayne is her ability to leap. And note that I say "leap" and not "jump", because when you can hop up about two floors and a half, well, that sure qualifies as something MORE than just "jumping" in my book.
It's great when you are in the ground floor and start receiving fire from the floor above, then you hop up and land right beside the guy: "Hi! I couldn't hear you with all that gunfire, you were saying...?" :P
Adding to the gameplay, Rayne has three "special" types of vision: Aura Vision, Extruded View, and Dilated Perception, which can be used freely, once available, with no time limitation whatsoever.
- Aura Vision turns everything to different scales of blue, and allows Rayne to see her enemies shining through walls, much like some kind of X-Ray vision. When in this mode, the "current target" is indicated with a blue glow (whether it is a person, a place, or whatever), which is handy, giving an idea of which direction to go.
- Extruded View gives Rayne the ability to see at great distances and "zoom" on a given target. Obviously, this is meant to be used as a sniper mode.
- And finally, the big star is Dilated Perception, which becomes available right on the start of the Argentina stage. If you ever played MAX PAYNE I can explain it with two words: BULLET TIME. OOooooooooohhhh yes!!
Those who didn't play MAX PAYNE (should do it RIGHT AWAY!) perhaps have seen the movie The Matrix, and the way the camera slowed down every now and then during action scenes. Well, Dilated Perception makes Rayne insanely fast for her enemies, which is represented for the player as a slowing down of the world. In this mode you get to do any combos you would like all around and over an enemy or a group of enemies before they can even understand what is hitting them. Of course, Dilated Perception also allows you to perform some other cool stuff, like to actually dodge bullets.
Finally, among A LOT of cutscenes with in-game graphics (as said, STUFFED with innuendo and gratuitous breast footage), there are three pre-rendered cutscenes (intro, middle of the game, and outro) which are probably the best I have seen in any videogame.
Sadly, almost every one of the "good points" has a downside attached.
First, the graphics. They do look good, and they look pretty great once you enable all the fancy stuff, but this comes to a cost, which could be a high cost depending on the technological level of the reader's hardware.
I played Bloodrayne in my PC with a Radeon 9000 card, and it runs SMOOTH, although bump-mapping with hi-res textures is pretty much a no-go (or at least a "s-s-s-stutter - go").
Then I tried the game in my sister's computer, with a TNT2 video card. It bounced back at the desktop, saying a Vertex Processing capable GPU was required. Well look at that, I thought, and I turned off bump-mapping, dynamic shadows, complex water reflections, and everything that made it look "DX8". I even turned off EVERY single quality enhacement option, just in case. I went down to 640x480x16.
"I want Vertex Shaders" was the sole answer.
Now, WHAT in God's Green Earth was requiring Vertex Shaders, I will never know. Once all the quality enhacement options are turned off, the game doesn't look mucb better than 99% of the games that DO RUN with a TNT2 chip. Furthermore, games like Alien vs Predator 2, Max Payne, or GTA 3, can be run on my sister's PC with full detail level (slow as hell, of course).
Maybe Bloodrayne is using Vertex Shaders for character animation, I don't know, you can't tell it neither by quality nor performance, hence in any case it isn't justified.
So, there we go with the same topic again. To the programmers: DO YOU JOB, GUYS! Use fancy features and extreme horsepower when really required, don't just lean on them to avoid optimizing code, goddamnit!
Now, character animation and controlling.
First, there's something wrong about the character animation. I don't know exactly WHAT it is, or how to explain it, but Rayne simply doesn't move right. She looks like sliding more than really walking.
Second, and one of the worst downsides, is the character control. It is pretty limited.
Even though we've got this high number of attacking options, and the fact that we get to perform more and more "combos", the thing is the combos are performed by Rayne herself, with no controlling them by the player, much the same as it happens in BLOOD OMEN 2. I would have preferred something like ONI, where you have two attack buttons and you get to make a lot of combinations in order to perform different attacks. In Rayne, you have only one "punch" key, you hit it repeatedly and the first hit will be slash, the second will be kick, the third will be scissor-slash, and so on... So, if you want to perform a scissor-attack, you NEED to hit the enemy three times, and by that point the guy might as well be already dead meat.
Also, as I said Bloodrayne is a fast-paced 100% action game, but this is a little annoying sometimes. You don't have a "slow down" or "walk" key, so your presence will be always noisy, and 99.9% of the time will alert everyone in the room. There's no way you can sneak from behind an enemy. This is pretty weird, since there is one attack (which looks pretty cool, BTW) that Rayne performs when she's close to an enemy that didn't notice her presence, but you are most likely going to see it in action like 1 or 2 times in the whole game. Even worse, in one of the cutscenes Rayne DOES sneak from behind an enemy, and it would be SO cool to be able to do so... (or to hide in the shadows, like she also does in that cutscene).
The fact that you get to replenish your health by drinking your enemie's blood is great, and the effect is MUCH BETTER done than in the BLOOD OMEN 2, but most of the times it makes the game stupidly easy, since this way most of your enemies are actually walking-medkits, and each one of them can fill your health metter ALMOST FULL. Without much effort, you are likely to go through the first two complete stages and half of the third one in one sitting, before you get to see Rayne dying for the first time. And I'm not exaggerating.
This is strongly affected by one detail about Dilated Perception. Since (unlike MAX PAYNE's bullet time) it has no time limit, you can go through the whole game in this mode, which makes most of the fights TOO easy.
The only REAL challenge in the game are the final two or three sub-stages, and the ending.
Oh-My-God, the ending. Here they went all the way through difficulty and came out through the other side. It is almost IMPOSSIBLE to finish the game without applying some cheat, and even in God Mode it is HARD. You get to face TWO final bosses at once, not being able to replenish you health, and the fight is time limited.
The games goes from insanely easy, to moderate, to a final encounter which is two steps from impossible. I hate cheating, but I needed to, as the final bosses were SO annoyingly hard.
One MAJOR downside is that Bloodrayne is SHORT. I completed it in less than a week, and I don't play more than 2-3 hours a day with my PC, and I'm always playing at least 3 games simultaneously. I didn't try yet, but I'm pretty positive that Bloodrayne can be beaten in one night, and this is almost unacceptable nowadays.
ONI took my brother two weeks, 4-5 hours a night to complete. THAT'S a challenge, and bang for the buck, which is pretty important too.
I won't go too deeply into the plot being naive borderline stupid, or the linearity issue, since those are pretty much to be expected in this kind of title, and nevertheless in its own linearity the game offers a few amusing challenges, like when you have to think of a little "strategic" approach to face certain bosses, or the level in which you get to ride a tank which resembles Robocop's ED-209; but the game is indeed linear and the plot is indeed naive borderline stupid.
Finally, In the vein of the game atmosphere I would have liked to see some romantic intercourse between Rayne and Mynce, but I admit this might be asking for too much, I can be a little unreasonable sometimes... you know, like the Pope can be a little catholic sometimes. :P
The Bottom Line
Bloodrayne is fast, furious, gore and sexy. Could you ask for more?
Well actually I could. Gameplay-wise, there's actually quite some room for improvement, and it tells.
Terminal Reality / Majesco clearly presented Bloodrayne as the first of a serie, intending Rayne to become sort of the new Lara Croft. I wouldn't mind to tag along with Rayne through four or five more games, but I REALLY would like to see some gameplay improvement, like the ability to sneak, and some more freedom of movement (specially in close-hand combat). One more "punch" key and the possibility to combine the two of them to perform combos would be great.
Nevertheless the game is FUN, it got me hooked up from beginning to end, and I felt quite satisfied once I beaten it (letting aside the fact that it's too short); which is of course the main target of a game. It's not a "new classic", but I will surely be playing it again soon.
Do I recommend Bloodrayne? Yes I do.
Windows · by Slug Camargo (583) · 2003
MAT: "Welcome to Interactive Review(TM) for XBox version of BloodRayne game. Tonight in studio, just for you folks, yeah, Rayne. We'll mainly be talking about what she thinks of her role, and then if time spans overdue, we'll try to convince her to give us the number of her costume maker."
Rayne: (entering the studio, casual glance at the audience, and a luscious one at a host, Rayne approaches the seats at the center)
Rayne: "So, where do I sit down?"
MAT: "Well, this seat here is... mmm occupied, that one's for the badguys. The one on the left is for you. If you please."
Rayne: (sitting down the not so comfortable chair) "Well I do hope you're paying me handsomely for this, ya know."
MAT: "Yeah yeah, but let us start with pointing at good things now."
Rayne: "What good things?"
MAT: (puzzled) "Well... about the game, of course. For example, tell us what do you think of story for starters."
Rayne: "Well, it's not the story that takes the upper cake in this game, it's the one leading it."
MAT: "And, that would be you, right?"
Rayne: "No, I'm just following it. Badguys always get to lead the story. Hence why it didn't turn out so good."
MAT: "Please, do concentrate on good things here. We'll come to bad ones right after that. Start with anything you do find good in the game."
Rayne: "For example, there's a lot of action. They say I'm as good reason to make a movie out of it. Could catch a role there, as well. Anyway, so action is so filled with... well, gore. But it's all special effects, it's not like I kill anyone there... on purpose. Can't blame me for stopping to get a snack on occasion."
MAT: "Cool, cool, tell us what weapons and armor were you using? What was the feeling to have such a powerful arsenal at your disposal?"
Rayne: "That was a very neat thing indeed, it was like 20+ hand weapons, all fireguns of course, that I could pick up whenever encounter any. Or after killing the enemies such as zombies or nazis I could pick up their weapons as well. And on occasion, I can even crack some weapon crate to get some extras. But I gotta tell you, the bullets are spending way too easily."
MAT: "What, no unlimited ammo a la Solid Snake?"
Rayne: "Alas, no. He asked me the same thing last time I saw him."
MAT: "Saw who? Snake?"
Rayne: "Yeah, it's a small world. He did help me to pull off some rather gutsy moves up there on the screen."
MAT: "Yeah, your moves and abilities are rather impressive. Please, tell us more about it."
Rayne: "Well, high jumps, spinning in the air, being able to fall down to virtually any solid ground, yeah it sure comes in handy. But not as handy as my abilities, abilities such as slow-motion Max taught me was really helpful."
MAT: "Being as... creature of the night, could you even be harmed in the game?"
Rayne: "Regarding that my opponents were all kinda supernatural, quite easily. But I got sorta infinite source for replenishing my health. And I tell you, when I'm injured, I don't pick only good looking victims. Everything nearby is a potential prey."
MAT: "Huh, that's... well, I hope you don't kill too many innocents in the game then."
Rayne: "There are no innocents there, and that helps me focusing of course, since I don't have to take care of anything but myself out there on the field."
MAT: "So tell us, what did you think of level design? Did you enjoy all that swamp traveling?"
Rayne: "What kind of a question is that. Of course not, had to jump all the time as water is very hazardous to my health. But later when I started my hunt of nazi officers, there was less water and lots of skills to include. Action to the max, and being only half-human really helps building up my vitality."
MAT: "I must say I noticed some really neat cinematics there, were you there when they pre-rendered you or..."
Rayne: "Yes, I had to tell them to pay attention to my true form... you know, the butt, the breasts, the legs, and stuff."
MAT: "Boy, I sure am glad you were there to keep it up to the quality. And just for the last question since we're runnign out of time... who does your clothes?"
Rayne: "You like it?"
MAT: "I like it's so... fitting. Any chance you'll replace it with something else in a sequel? Perhaps changing it throughout different levels."
Rayne: "Well, stay tuned, you never know. But if they're willing to pay some more... I may just be willing to take some more off."
MAT: "Judging by the audience and how they're grabbing their wallets, I think this just might be a booster up for the next game. I mean, if Lara could do it, so can you Rayne."
Rayne: (giving him a bad look) "You compare me with some cheap excuse of a tomb raider? You should see me raiding tombs."
MAT: "I... uhh... err, I didn't mean that way. Well, I... that's all folks."
MAT: "We're now somewhere in a deep dark german castle, searching for Wulf, the supreme commander of whatever is representing badguys in this game." (some more walking further) "Ah, there he is. Luckily, he has no idea his soldiers will do almost anything for free pack of cigarettes, so navigation in was easily done."
Wulf: "Who, what in the name are you doing here?"
MAT: "Err... me? You know me?"
Wulf: "Jawohl. Rayne told me you will be visiting me. Something about bad elements of this game."
MAT: "Well, I'm sorry, I didn't mean it that way..."
Wulf: "That's alright. I am the bad element here. Not proud of it, but someone's gotta do the role, and to tell you the truth, they pay me almost as much as her... though I most probably won't appear in the sequel."
MAT: "Just to ask a few questions that loyal fans told me to if you don't mind."
Wulf: "Nein, nein. Everything for the fans. Just ask, mein freund. But be quick, as I am due to launch full scale attack any moment now."
MAT: "Okay, yes, just to find my papers... where are the... rats... crap... ah, here they are. Okay, first one we have a fan from Transylvania asking what size of bra are you wearing."
MAT: "!? Ooops, sorry. This one was for Rayne. Here goes. A fan from Austria asking why is there no noticeable background music throughout the game. Or even as a main theme?"
Wulf: "Well, I come from a country with great composers, so that too was a shock after I saw the tracks that will be used in the game. And I can only hope it will be better in the sequel. This one wasn't even enough to boost up the atmosphere."
MAT: "Alright, next question. Carlotta, a fan from Germany."
Wulf: "I like her already. Nice to see some home folks playing this game."
MAT: "Yeah, I get you. But you may not like the question here. She asks why do you have to be so tough to defeat. Says all the other boss battles are somewhat passable, but final boss battle is really hard to play unless you cheat. Why so?"
Wulf: "It was about time badguys get the upper edge on something. And if you look closely, soldiers really do not present any kind of serious threat for Rayne. Likewise, she doesn't present any kind of threat to me. However, due to scenario, I had to stall and eventually let her win."
Fritz: (who just came in) "Herr Wolf, we are told to launch an attack. Shall we wait?"
Wulf: "It's Wulf, not Wolf, how many times do I have to tell you? I will come very shortly, do not attack until I come."
MAT: "Okay, here's one more then. A fan from Casablanca asking why does Rayne look so much better polygon-wise than you guys."
Wulf: "Well, it's not the polygon number that makes her good, she's close with the director hence why. Those blasted game developer, never give a second thought for a nemesis. I am perfectly fine with my 1700 polygons, but I am supposed to be bad, so they didn't want me to look good."
MAT: "Yeah, you never know who's close to whom. Thanks Wulf, it was nice talking to you, now go kick her butt, and for me too."
Rayne: (showing at the door) "Traitorous dog!"
MAT: "Who, me? I was just... no. Nooooo!!!"
The Bottom Line
Wulf: "And I get to say the last word, folks. Your host is currently with Rayne... not sure about his condition though. But with weasels like him, you never know how it may turn out. So, if I am to ask, I'd tell you to buy a sequel only if I am in it. No really, this is a fine action game with lost of blood all over it... just check the name. The forces of evil are afoot, and Rayne might've been able to stop us once, but try playing without cheat codes, then it's up to the real challenge. But really, this is one-nigher only, it is addictive as it comes to gameplay, but doesn't offer pretty much anything else. Hope that movie will look better, 'cos I've got a bad feeling about the sequel, with me missing and all that. G'night folks, and sign a petition for the release of BloodWulf."
Xbox · by MAT (238622) · 2012
As if we didn't have enough 3D action beat 'em ups already Terminal Reality (responsible for the pioneering Terminal Velocity) decided to craft yet another title of this ilk, and shove it down our throats via the promise of extra T&A and gore... right...
Aaaanyway. I guess this is the part where I mention the good things about the game, right? Ok... let's see... as mandatory for these types of games you have different viewing modes to aid you, including Dilated Perception, aka "bullet-time" a-la Matrix/Max Payne/Gap ads, which is always a nice addition. Your character can decimate enemies with the aid of a couple of nasty wristblades which chop up your enemies a-la Soldier of Fortune, meaning there's plenty of dismemberment to go around for all to enjoy. Firearms are also available, and they are handled simply via a targetting aid that allows you to zero-in on two different characters at the same time, and thus making John Woo proud. Finally, your character is a half-vampire and thus she gets to sink her teeth on whoever she pleases to replenish her health. This is done surprisingly well, as your character straddles the selected victim (or jumps on him if he's on the floor) and starts sucking away, with the option of turning the victim around and using him as a human shield should other enemies try to take you down while you are having lunch.
Graphic-wise the game has a number of interesting features including very good water effects, and dynamic lightning tricks. The real showstopper however is the curves in the female models used for the game, which also boast an interesting development of physics simulation which allows their boobs to jiggle and sway in every direction as they move... don't you just love technology? The pre-rendered cutscenes as mentioned elsewhere, are a sight to behold, but then again, ever since 3DStudio closed the gap with Maya (or since more small studios became able to afford Maya) this is hardly surprising anymore.
Bloodrayne's your basic "kill everything that moves" game, in which you play your average "army of one" super-character able to take down anything the reich throws at her. Oh yeah, I forgot. You fight Nazis... a real clever touch since as you know there are practically no games out there the enemies are Nazis... right. Let's start again: as an operative for a super-secret paranormal organization, you take the role of Rayne, a half-vampire vampire hunter turned assassin that gets tasked with the termination of certain high-profile Nazi generals that are about to unleash some sort of demonic creature... ah, silly Nazis, always fooling around with the occult! Anyway, Rayne dons the most revealing rave costume she could find circa 1940's and she goes forth to off the krauts with her wristblades while paying attention to showcase her boobs in every animation.
Anyway... did you manage to count all the cliches in that last paragraph? All the stolen ideas? Good. Quite frankly Bloodrayne is such a blatant example of plagiarism that I can't understand how is it that no one has bothered to sue Majesco's and TR's ass off. Half-vampire female vampire hunter working for a secret organization and going at it ninja-style with a couple of funky wristblades? Ok, I can count Blade, Buffy, Blood: The Last Vampire, Vampire Hunter D (in which the half-vamps are called Dunpeal, y'know, no relation to BloodRayne's Dhampir...), etc. etc... Need I say more? How about that while Rayne herself looks good she's nothing but Annah from Planescape: Torment in a raver suit?... geez...
Of course, all of this thievery would be minimally justified if BloodRayne were a nice game, however the lack of creativity must run extremely deep at TR, as this is one of the most stupidly generic and boring games I've played in ages. One of those "kill everything that walks till you reach the exit" ordeals with no depth at all, fighting is limited to mashing a single attack button that somehow controls the assortment of combos available to Rayne's disposal and if you think than that's just a bit too much for you then don't worry, as the gross unbalance of features means fighting is dead easy as you have the ability to abuse bullet time at your leisure. Dealing with the consequences of being a mediocre gamer is a non-issue thanks to Rayne's ability to completely replenish her health after munching on one or two Nazis, and don't worry if you get lost either, as a nice viewing mode highlights your "objective" and where you need to go or what you need to kill next. This moronic simplicity in gameplay and design is counterweighted with the most obnoxious and blatantly cheap bossfights you can find this side of an SNK fighting game, with bossfights that are extremely hard (the cheap kind of hard) and out of tone with the rest of the game. Just consider the final boss: a gigantic monster with a single, sniper-only, weak point, no health powerups, a time limit and another boss running around just for the fun of it... this after levels of random button mashing where it's virtually impossible to die unless you really, really suck. (For the record however, my favorite bossfight is the one against the Nazi female scientist, not only because her gigantic cleavage rivals Rayne's but also because it's a clone fight in which you just charge at her and press the attack button while the AI does the same until someone else dies... God, did anyone playtest this thing at all??)
Add to that levels that are insipid, uninspired arenas and which could be cleared just by gluing down the forward and attack keys, weapons that are basically all the same and enemies that are... well, Nazis! Are we sick of Nazis yet? Apparently not... and you know that you have a winner in your hands.
From a technical point of view while the game has it's good points (as mentioned above) one cannot ignore the horrible animations, which award BloodRayne with the worst character animations of 2003 and recent memory prize. Really, it's character studio pandemonium here, with a downright pathetic collection of fighting moves that look worse than the most ridiculous moves from Mortal Kombat, where the main character just starts flailing her limbs around and hovering (??) while her blades and heels eviscerate whatever comes near in a completely laughable manner. Worse yet are the walking and jumping animations of Rayne, which make her look like she's running atop a threadmill and is super-imposed over the screen... as for the jump, oh well, it deserves full praise for being the worst jump I've seen in ages... Rayne is a Dhampir, thus she can practically fly when jumping, which I have no problem with. It's the fact that she seems to hover and float upwards instead of jumping that bothers me, and the fact that when she comes down she seems to act as if she had dropped from a parachute... worse yet is the "double" jump, which causes her to STOP in middair, lay back horizontally and then shoot off (rather slowly mind you) in a perfectly horizontal manner (think Dhalsim in Street Fighter)... the fact that not only they included this crap but made it the only way to break some of the obstacles in the game only adds to the insult.
Finally... does anyone really like this kind of crap? I mean, sure I enjoy sexploitation and T&A like everyone of us, but this game caters to the same morons that enjoy games like DOA: Xtreme Beach Volleyball... I mean, I can dig a game that's all gore and sex if it's a good game or at least has something controversial in it, but BloodRayne is just a sad excuse to show dancing boobs and "bad grrls" killing lots of people, you know, the kind of R-rated crap that consoles have been churning out since they finally discovered the 17-24 demographic. Too bad it doesn't include a game in there.
The Bottom Line
So you heard a sequel is coming, a movie is on the works and that it's a decent enough action game right? Wrong. Make no mistake: BloodRayne is lifeless, generic console-crap with extra boobs and blood. Not only does it lack redeeming qualities, but it is such a blatant example of lazy design and plagiarism that it'll make you wish a half-vampire raver bursts through the door and cleaves you down the middle to end the torture that is playing through Rayne. Worse yet: this is exactly the kind of game that people talk about when they say that videogamers are sweaty-palmed, pathetic, sex-starved morons that lock themselves in their basements and jerk off to a pair of digital boobs dancing on the screen.
No, really. This game is the most damaging and retarded product to come out since DOA: Xtreme Beach Volleyball. For retards only.
Windows · by Zovni (10502) · 2005
Contributors to this Entry
Critic reviews added by Wizo, nyccrg, Plok, Cantillon, piltdown_man, Jacob Gens, Caliner, DreinIX, Patrick Bregger, mikewwm8, Big John WV, Cavalary, ☺☺☺☺☺, vedder, Alsy, Emmanuel de Chezelles, Jeanne, CalaisianMindthief, RhYnoECfnW, Alaedrain, Scaryfun, Parf, Martin Smith.