January 7, 2003

BloodRayne is a game based around a character named Rayne who is half vampire. She has a full vampire father and a full human mother. The outcome was a Rayne, born with all the powers of a vampire but none of the weaknesses, well almost none. Rayne was taken in by an underground group which called themselves the Brimstone Society. Agent BloodRayne protects humanity from things that ordinary people should not have to deal with. The game takes place between the World Wars and takes you thru 2 missions that are five years apart, but are connected by one man. This man collects occult artifacts; which he believes will bring Nazi Germany into a new age of domination. As BloodRayne, you must face his Nazi army to prevent them from releasing creatures of immense terror onto the world in their quest for these ancient artifacts.

I first played the demo for BloodRayne in the December issue of Official Xbox Magazine. I felt that the game had a lot of potential so I picked it up for Christmas. The first thing that came to my attention on this game was the controls. You have your choice of 3rd Person, 1st person, or 1st person w/ strafe. You also have all the previous options for Left Handed people in which the two joysticks on the Xbox controller are reversed. I started out w/ 3rd person controls because that is what your view is like, but it was too damned hard so I ended up w/ Halo style controls on 1st person w/ strafe. The controls are not hard at all to learn which makes jumping in and hacking up some Nazi’s all the more fun since there is no learning curve. There is a slight curve on learning how she moves in the game since she is supposed to be all acrobatic and stuff, but nothing too difficult.

The graphics were alright. I wasn’t blown away, but I wasn’t disappointed either. They were adequate, but somewhat choppy in regard to some of the enemies, like the Daemites (aka the floating heads). I wouldn’t say that the lack of stunning graphics impaired the game in any way as it makes up for it in other areas quite easily. There were times where you could maneuver against a wall and the camera would be stuck behind the wall or you could see thru to the other side etc etc. Could they have put a tiny bit more into the graphics and had the game improved? Probably, but I am glad to see that they focused more on fun factor/gameplay than graphics.

Ahhh gameplay. You ever play a game and wonder why the game developer didn’t put a little more into the game so that you could break barrels and basically destroy everything in the game? You don’t ask that question about BloodRayne because you CAN. I spend half my time breaking crates or barrels checking to make sure I have every last gun or just to make sure I broke everything just cuz it could be done. This is probably one of my favorite things about this game. Call me nuts, but guys just like to break things and this game lets you break it all and it is absolutely wonderful. Not to mention the fact that you are expected to break glass and climb thru windows and walls. So from my perspective, it’s already a great game… Then you add in the fact that she sucks the blood of the enemies to replenish her life (thru the use of a Scorpion style spear and chain to drag the enemies towards you if need be), she can carry like 10 guns, she slashes around her long blades and cuts off limbs and heads, and she learns new combos in normal mode as well as her blood rage mode. Blood rage is like a “super killing” mode where time slows down and she performs some rowdy extra cool slashing combos. Don’t forget about the 3 additional “vision modes” that lead you where to go, show you thermal views of the area, and a “Matrix” style mode so you can dodge bullets.

As far as sound is concerned, I still feel very weary about giving an excellent or a very poor rating to a game unless I really notice it at this point. The reason I feel this way is that I am just using the sound from my TV. My TV is a nice 27″ Sony WEGA, but I would be in a much better position to comment on sound if I was using a 5.1 Dolby Digital system. Just suffice to know that I didn’t notice any terrible things about the sound, but I didn’t notice anything spectacular about it yet either.

When you first start out the game, you tear thru the Nazi’s like a hot knife thru butter, but don’t get cocky. This game gets a lot harder in certain places. There are times where you will die trying to figure out where to go next. There are times where a boss will absolutely destroy you. Just make sure you take advantage of the save points. I am currently stuck deep in the mine trying to get my vampire ass to the source of the Daemites so I can kill the three 3 headed freak monsters that are sitting up there. Unfortunately, I have tried 9 times already and I keep getting killed before I can even get up there…I am actually glad that there is some sort of challenge to this game. I hate games that you whiz thru and toss in the closet. If I am going to plunk down my $50 for a game, I better play it for a long freaking time and it better be freaking fun.

My final take on the game goes like this…If you are short on cash or weary about games that may or may not be totally kick ass, then by all means go rent it. If you like killing Nazi’s, sucking their blood, and breaking stuff, then please do yourself a favor and go buy this game. I know for a fact that it has dropped in price on the EB site to $29.99 so there is no reason you shouldn’t have it already. I am not sure exactly how long the game is, but I have been playing for at least 4 hours and since I reload a game when I die, that doesn’t include the countless areas I have had to play over and over because I got my ass kicked.

P.S. Hot vampire chicks rule.

Score: 5/5

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