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There are two ways to look at Bloodrayne. I could resent Bloodrayne for trying to sell by the lowest common denominator, simply hyping up sex and violence in an attempt to push copies. While this would be an arguable point, how Bloodrayne markets itself comes out to a matter of opinion, and would bias the review needlessly. The easier argument is the bottom line with Bloodrayne. Being whether or not you may enjoy games using sex to sell, Bloodrayne's a bad title either way. Poor controls, sparse environments, one dimensional combat, a botched story, and lack of platforming in an 'action/platformer' game all make Bloodrayne just an overall sub par game.
I love it for the depth and character development!
The controls of Bloodrayne did not port well, in fact, they may not have ported at all. Using a keyboard and mouse to play Bloodrayne seems similar to playing tennis with ping pong paddles or soccer with a hacky sack, not a good choice. The game's difficulty gets a great boost by the game handling so poorly. Jumping is inaccurate, as Rayne jumps the same distance with or without a running start. This feature makes it impossible to do a long jump or a short hop, as, no matter what, you're doing the exact same jump. Then there is the whole 'fighting' part of the controls. Using guns involves no work, as Rayne auto locks onto the nearest target, and then proceeds to miss. Of course, the player can't even cycle through targets, meaning that even if they want to shoot the big baddie in the back, they can't. Using Rayne's swords is not assisted by the mouse, either. I'm not sure if she happens to be a slow stabber, or if my mouse was failing to work, but I found Rayne not only stabbing slow for an action game, but also pausing in combat to take a rest, despite my wailing on the mouse. It's like a reverse Matrix! She's in slow mo, and no one else is!
It's big spider boss thingy. I would try and shoot it, but that small one keeps me from locking on.
So, in between watching Rayne pause to have a Bud while I attempted to beat the game, I was able to enjoy the story. The premise of Bloodrayne must have sounded like a good pitch when the developers thought it up, because the base layout actually sounds pretty fun, if not a bit over the top. As a vampire, the player works for a secret organization bent on stopping outbreaks of the occult and/or stopping Nazis from getting artifacts of a similar nature. This leads the player on a global trek to destroy an insane brand of swamp creature in Louisiana, and later hunting down Nazis across the world. Well, sounds fun, right? A little Return to Castle Wolfenstein, a little zombie film, all good. Well, this would have worked out except for a few features. One, the story is haphazardly told with poor transitions. The swamp phase ended and I was hunting Nazis without any real explanation of what the fuck just happened. There was an attempt at a tie in, but at the time all I could see was the developers deciding that Nazis so totally rocked swamp spiders. The characters not only lack depth, they say really stupid shit. The Nazi voiceovers hurt my skull, the 'actors' commissioned to do them obviously had no idea how to do a German accent. Our heroine may be worse. I have no problem with a feminine lead; I loved NOLF, which also means I have no problem with a humorous feminine lead. However, if Rayne means to be either humorous, or to the times, she fails at both. Rayne, being a big girl, likes to say 'Fuck this' and 'Fuck that' a lot, reminding her enemies how much she distains their shooting at her. Nicer point, Rayne does not fit the times at all, as her bizarre dominatrix clothing and modern attitude tell me that these guys both did not care and had no ideas what 1938 was like. Finally, Rayne also likes to say one liners that fall slightly flatter than Dr. Atkins on his 73rd birthday. "Why don't you crawl back in the hole you came from?" WHY DON'T YOU! The story left me disappointed only because I thought it had a chance, Nazis + occult usually spells fun.
In my nightmares, I keep running down hall after hall, and they are all the same...
While poor controls may hurt a game, and story can be an irrelevant point,
gameplay has to be solid and diverse. Bloodrayne delivers neither aspect. First,
for a game in the 'action/platformer' category, Bloodrayne lacks near all platforming.
One level has Rayne jumping from rooftop to rooftop in hot pursuit of a swamp
spider, but the average level has very little jumping, acrobatics, or puzzle
solving involved, which as I recall, are the main aspects of platformer. The
hardest puzzle the player will ever have to solve is 'Where's the car battery
at?' This getting solved when the game tells the player exactly where to go.
Bloodrayne has a lot of action, but this fails in the second part of gameplay known as
'diversity'. Rayne regenerates health only by sucking blood out of enemies,
a very vampire thing. Thought the idea sounds good in suggestion, in gameplay
it gets really tedious. Plus, this feature adds another problem. Once you do
get on an enemy, they can't shake you off. Some can be hard to get on, but
once the player is on, the enemy might as well be dead. This feature makes
dropping enemies a lot faster, which lowers the difficulty a fair share. In
actual combat Rayne does do combos, but not in sense of 'hit sequence of buttons
to perform'. Instead the more Rayne kills, the more combos she unlocks. How
does the player use them? Well, by mashing the left mouse button as usual.
The game decides for the player when they get to use a combo, which gets really
boring. Honestly, mashing just one key over and over again really takes the
flavor out of combat. Plus, as mentioned earlier, thanks to a wonderful lock
on feature, guns aren't too useful, plus since Rayne only picks up guns, not
ammo, I never found myself using guns a lot. Not like I needed to as, the very
easy combat in the game went like this...
Stab him! Now him! No, suck him!
The game does not stop at making the combat one dimensional; it also succeeds at making the environments the combat happens in one dimensional too. The entire first act of the game takes place in the swamps of New Orleans. This would not be a bad thing if each level did not look identical. All the poor houses have the same textures, and all the levels are set up exactly the same. Enter level on power lines, go across section of land not submerged in swamp, get back on power cables, leave. Hell, even the Southern mansion in the game looks mostly like the poor houses, with the exception of approximately three decorated rooms. While the Act II Nazi levels may make the combat slightly less annoying, the levels actually get even drabber. Amazing, really. All the hallways are just concrete tubes, and there is nothing to hint that this building has people working in it, beyond a gun rack a desk every 3 rooms. This just goes on for level after level, until my eyes can not take it any more.
Nazi: "Eh, lady, get off me!" (Bronx Accent)
Luckily for me, the game has plenty of glitches to keep help drawn me back in when the going gets boring. Every once and a while when you decapitate an enemy, the head will go flying, except that another head remains on the person that you just decapitated! Further, the game chops for no explainable reason. Despite my computer having well over 2 times all the requirements to run the game, and having all the special effects (shadows, water) turned off, the game still chopped as if my rig did not have enough power, needless to say I was not impressed.
Overall, while Bloodrayne happens to be already at bargain bin prices, but still isn't worth picking up. It never will be.
needles of black tar heroin to make this game good?: 15