reviews\ Oct 17, 2002 at 8:00 pm

Bloodrayne - XB - Review

What is one of the most famous myths that has been going around since the dawn of time? Here is a hint: there have been multiple movies, TV shows, and even games featuring them? The answer is blood sucking, immortal vampires! Lately, a new popularity with vampires has arisen: half human-half vampire creatures that go around killing all the malicious vampires, to prevent the world's destruction. Terminal Reality has developed a game where players are thrown into the shoes of a sexy leather-clad lady, with a hobby for killing off vampires and any supernatural beings. Is this game more of a gimmick or is it a great game that revolves around vampire slayings?

The story is as follows: right before the turn of the twentieth century, a woman was walking down the streets of her town, when out of know where a vampire kidnapped her and proceeded to rape her. Nine months later that woman gave birth to a girl, this girl was not human or vampire, she is a Dhampir, a creature that has all the powers of a vampire with out any of their weaknesses. In 1912 this girl was captured in Europe because she was creating a path of destruction wherever she went, since she is on a search to kill her father. When she was caught her only defense was saying that the people she killed were not human but vampires, than before police could question her further she disappeared.

She was taken to a secret organization, the Brimstone Society, where their main goal is the elimination of all supernatural threats to the world. Under the guidance of Mynce, her friend and a fellow Dhampir, she is given proper training. As time passes, she becomes Agent BloodRayne, with a goal to protect the human race from things that are only supposed to exist in people's worst nightmares. Many years pass, and so do two great wars, during this time she has been killing numerous threats when something comes up. Two missions, that were five years apart from each other, have ties to one man. This malicious man is searching for occult artifacts to bring Germany into a new age where they will dominate the world forever. BloodRayne must now face the toughest mission of her life, as she not only has to deal with supernatural creatures but the entire Nazi Army, from releasing this dark sinister power!

Rayne has a variety of moves at her disposal to take care of all the evil in the world. First players must realize that they might only be half vampire, but they still need to feed on living blood, yes that means zombies at times to stay alive. If Rayne is close to a victim pressing X will start the feeding process. If the "evening meal" is far away it will make her pull out her grappling hook to reel them in. Next is the famous, and often used: Rebound Kick. To do this move, players are in the air and hit a wall, and in that instant hit the jump button once more to kick in the wall. She has three special visions at her disposal: Dilated perception, aura sense, and extruded view. Dilated perception gives players the ability to slow down time. The reason it looks like this is that she is looking at everything so fast, that it gives players the perception that time is slowing down. Aura sense becomes extremely useful to the players once they get it. To understand it better think of it like a biological infrared vision, it allows her to see any living thing. The stronger the enemies she faces are the brighter they appear to her. Extruded view gives her super sight to see far distances. The bad thing about this mode is that she can not move while in this mode. Blood Rage is a super move that she has. Every time she kills anyone her bloodlust meter increases, once it is full, a message will appear saying Blood Rage is available. Once you activate it, she becomes super powerful, and extremely fast to where no one can catch her. This is a great maneuver to have when fighting an extremely tough boss.

When fighting, Rayne has a tough choice to make, will she use her fists and twin blades, or will she use the guns? As players progress though the game, the hand-to-hand combat abilities will increase as well. When players being in the game they will only have a two hit combo, but later on they can achieve a five hit combo that will be devastating to the enemies. When she decided to use firearms to quickly disperse of enemies she has a few choices, like what kind of gun shall she use? There are many different weapon types that can be used, and they are put into 4 different categories: light, heavy, explosive, and special. Light guns mode is when she chooses two of the weaker guns from pistols, machineguns, and rifles. Heavy guns mode is when she choose two of the strongest weapons from her inventory. The explosives she has ranges from dynamite to grenades, they are real blast to use upon stronger enemies. There are a few special weapons that players will come across while playing the game, they include: grenade launcher, rocket launcher, sniper rifle, pump action shot gun, double barrel shotgun, and mounted machine guns. All of these weapons and techniques will come in very handy thought-out this mission.

Controlling Rayne is dead on with the Xbox controller. There are different types of control schemes you can use for the first or third person mode, the main difference is the way you make Rayne move, but the controls listed below are the default controls. The left analog stick allows people to go forward, back, strafe left and right. Right analog stick moves camera up, down, turning left or right. The D-pad brings up different visions, up is normal, down is dilated, right is extruded view, and left is aura sense. Left trigger brings out Rayne's deadly blades. Right trigger is used to shoot whatever gun she is currently holding. Black button scrolls weapons forward, while the white one scrolls backwards. Press the Y button and players will activate "Blood Rage." B button makes Rayne turn 180 degrees. Press the X button to feed if you are close to an enemy, if not it will bring out her harpoon to drag them close for her feeding. Press the A button to jump to higher ground.

BloodRayne is rated M for mature for blood and gore, strong language, and violence.

Gameplay: 8.4
The game's controls are done very nicely, it helps the players instead of hinders them, like certain action games. What makes the game truly unique is the different ways it can be played. Players have the option of playing the game in a first-person mode, or a third-person mode. Personally I like the third-person view because it gave more of a sense of action, and a better view of the entire game field during battle.
Players will have no trouble adapting to the superhuman speed, strength, and agility of young Agent Rayne. The controls are really responsive, and very smooth while playing, and players will have no problem dispatching the hordes of enemies that are trying to massacre you. The game has a fairly linear plotline, players will find themselves doing one small operations, and before they know it they are about to face a fearsome force, it they don't stop it. All the killing that players will be doing is some what enjoyable, since Rayne has many different moves at her disposal.

Graphics: 8.3
The graphics are impressive, but there has been better games developed for the Xbox. Player models are really detailed, and the different environments players battle in are simply astonishing! Many levels are very eerie looking, and bring the players that much more into the game. For example one level is in a Cemetery, there are many tombstones all around, some look like the effects of time have taken place, others are cracked, and it just has a really realistic approach to them. Some times the levels are designed in such a way that it might scare them when they approach something they need to "deal with."

The main character is modeled really well, and has a nice set of clothing to go along with it. She will be wearing a provocative leather outfit, couple with a nice set of twin blade on each of her wrists. If you see this woman out on the street she is someone who is not to be trifled with. The texture use on the model is well done and realistic looking. Her animations are really smooth, and look extremely lifelike.

The thing that is nice about the game is that there are tons of different destroyable objects. Just about anything the player sees from the zombies she must kill to the pot that is sitting on a table can be hacked or shot at. This is a nice touch and brings the game that much closer to feeling realistic.

Sound: 7.8
The game's sound track really sets the mood for the entire game. During certain missions it will have an creepy tone, and players know that something bad is defiantly about to occur. On the flip side, the voice acting is cheesy at times. I am not sure what the obsession with the cheesy one-liners in all of the recently released action games lately. Half the time they are not even needed, and they become annoying and repetitious. Only so many times will you want to hear certain phrases mentioned before you start wondering if one of her weaknesses is a limited vocabulary.

Difficulty: Medium
When players first start the game they will be given the option to play a training mission so that they will become familiar with all of the myriads of commands at their disposal, and how to use them efficiently. The game becomes challenging at times, but not to the point where the AI seems cheap or unfair.

Concept: 7.8
The concept has a been there, done that attitude in a way. It combines many different concepts and wraps it into one package. It has a bullet time, like Max Payne, the character is half vampire half human, like Blade, and you will be facing the malevolent Nazis in their plight to take over the world. There is no need to worry, because this game puts all of these ideas, and executes them to where it is extremely fun to play!

Overall: 8.1
BloodRayne is a really fun game to play. The controls are really smooth, the pace of the game is nice, and all of her moves are fun to watch. Even though it borrows elements from other established games, they all fit nicely into her world. The game falls short because it doesn't have anything to offer players going through the game once more. Once players beat the game that is all they will want to play of it. For those hours that they do play it they will enjoy all of its gruesome action.


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