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BloodRayne

Review By:  Andrew Joy

Developer:  Terminal Reality
Publisher:  Majesco
# of Players:  1
Genre:  Action
ESRB:  Mature
Online:  No
Accessories:  Memory Card
Date Posted:  2-17-03

If you were one of the gamers who amazingly managed to still buy BloodRayne, even after the pathetic and pseudo-poetic advertisements, than you now have hard proof that game developers hate you. The paper-thin plot that ensues in BloodRayne is thus: Rayne's mother, who was human, was raped by a vampire and the resulting product was Rayne, a "Dhampir." A "dhampir," as you might expect, is a vampire with all of the strengths of vampires, however not as
many of their weaknesses. Sound familiar, good, it has only been one of the most used plots since, say, 1990. Rayne was then hired by the Brimstone Society (yes, scary, I know), a group dedicated to stop the spread of supernatural threats. Placed somewhere between the two World Wars, agent BloodRayne (yes, her clever code name, now) follows a trail that leads her
from Louisiana to Germany. In Louisiana, agent BloodRayne is pitted against "mutates," one of the resulting mutations from a strange disease that has spread over the Creole nation. In Germany, our dhampir heroine must face off against the Gegengheist Gruppe, which "literally translates to" (the game stresses this point extensively) the anti-ghost group. Now members of the GGG have been supernaturally altered and are striving, like so many other equally bad stories, to bring Hitler and Germany to power.


The thin plot in BloodRayne, however unbelievable, is just the tip of the iceberg and you will soon experience bizarrely horrible graphics, bad dialogue, and human physics that not only defy the laws of nature but also don't look human at all. Perhaps going for a strange and gothic necrophilia feel, the game also tends to get over gruesome in parts and with
BloodRayne's excessive moaning. Rayne's aforementioned moans occur whenever she feeds, however it sounds more like she has stumbled on a cache of bedroom tools powerful enough to be confused for a jackhammer. In addition to moaning, BloodRayne also has time to spout out what I assume is witty banter, however between the gunfire and demonic screams, it is (thankfully?) inaudible.

Now two of the characters in this title are the pure embodiment of delusional gamers, proving that the developers of this game have never been within 100 yards of a woman (or even in the same room) let alone having ever seen breasts before. Instead of the natural movement of a female's body, the makers of BloodRayne instead make the breasts of Rayne and Mynce (her mentor in the game's beginning) suddenly move for no reason at all. That's right, instead of breasts, we are witness to what looks more like small rabbits kicking around in burlap sacks as the camera pans around the two's bodies. As the characters talk with one another, their breasts will also suddenly wiggle as if someone were tickling them. And, if their concepts of the female body and its physics were not strange enough, you are also expected to believe that these characters perform their supernatural feats of feeding and fighting in the bizarre lingerie and leather suits that they wear.

BloodRayne, sorry to say, is the unfortunate victim of some very repetitive level design. Often time it is just a matter of finding out how to get into a room before you enter yet another all-too-familiar are and perform the exact same feats as before. The repetitive levels lead to your target who, after you follow the same trail to get to him, offers little satisfaction to actually killing him. In addition to the cut and paste levels, the vampire abilities that Rayne has make the levels all to easy, especially when you can beat it in mere minutes by just biting everyone.

This is not to say, however, that BloodRayne is completely without its merits. In fact the amazing vampire elements within the story present an interesting way of keeping the game free of strange health boosts, like a lavish turkey dinner sitting inside some random jail cell. Instead, if the player's health gets too low, all that you have to do is feed on the nearest goon, replenishing your health as you suck away. Also another element to be noted is the Bloodlust meter which, after being replenished through
hand-to-hand combat, can allow for various attacks to be used, all beginning with the word "Blood" (it's a reoccurring theme, by the way). Aside from the blood-theme moves, Rayne also has a variety of vampire attacks, aside from
biting, that allow her to get an advantage once in awhile, or at least until her Bloodlust meter runs out. One of these moves can help you if you are slightly lost in the game; using your aura sense you can spot where you are supposed to be going, an area that is highlighted in bright blue. Another ability, and perhaps one you will come to rely on more and more, is Rayne's
"Dilated Perception," in which she can slow down time to attack enemies and even dodge their bullets. Rayne can also find a power up that allows her to see into great distances, though you are unable to actually move in this mode. Rayne's normal abilities also seemed enhanced, apart from being super strong and an excellent fighter, you my notice that it seems a well placed jump on a trampoline could send her into orbit.


Rayne, aside from all her vampire abilities, also has a literal arsenal at her fingertips. In the beginning of the game Rayne is automatically armed with two arm blades, those come especially handy with the enemies you can't feed on. Also, slightly before the end of her Louisiana excursion, Mynce will give Rayne a harpoon, which she can use to pull her next victim closer
to her. Apart from those features, Rayne also has the ability to pick-up and use most any weapon she can find. There are different categories of weapons from your light weapons to some heavy artillery, which can blow an enemy's head clean off with a good shot. Also, in the midst of combat, Rayne can jump on the nearest victim to feed and, at the same time, her hapless victim can double as a shield against other enemy fire.

Highs:

  • Vampire effects are varied and simply amazing.
  • Large arsenal of weapons available to her.
  • Bodies, blood, and weapon damage to environments stick around until level's end.
  • There is talk of a movie.  The makers of BloodRayne might find out that breasts don't jiggle just for the fun of it.
  • BloodRayne's ability to aim at multiple targets.

Lows:

  • Plagued by repetitive level design
  • Horrible story with equally horrible graphics at times.
  • A horrible dialogue between characters and, thankfully, droned out witty banter.
  • Vampire powers tend to simplify the game too much.
  • "Nazis, I hate these guys."

Final Verdict:

Freakish "mutates?" Supernaturally altered GGG members? C'mon, a bad story is no excuse for trying to pawn of equally bad graphics. At times this game feels more like an N64 game, a mediocre one at best. Not to mention this is
yet another title that features half-vampires and the Nazi army, I mean there has got to be a better story out there.

Oh well, a game that falls utterly short of even being recommended for a rental. The repetitive levels only further emphasize the poor story and
lack of originality in every aspect. The developers of the game seem to have been secluded on a remote island, barren of any female life, while making this game or at least that's the only way I can explain this project
gone horribly wrong. The only truly good feature in this game is the well-developed vampire abilities of agent BloodRayne, even if they make the game amazingly easy. Try it you either enjoy a good horror title or a vampires or if you have a fetish that need not be mentioned twice in the
same review.

Overall Score: 4.5

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