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Gentlemen meet gaming's newest and hottest cover girl!
This time of year is great, you get a slew of developers fighting for your money and throwing awesome games at you left and right. With such upcoming blockbusters such as Splinter Cell, Metroid Prime, and the infamous GTA Vice City some games kind of get lost in the mix. BloodRayne is one of those games, tossed aside as a cheap rip-off of Blade meets Max Payne this game offers so much more. Mixing great combat with straight "balls to the wall" action you are certain to go away satisfied. The only problem this game suffers from is it's inability to capture gamers attention, well unless you are a 16 year-old goth boy who has a thing for vamp chicks. Enough babbling on with it!
I can not stress how much I hate ports, you get a game that could look fabulous and the developers opt to use the PS2 version and port up, why can't we port down?? Games like this should be taking full advantage of the XBox and Cube hardware yet cease to even push it's capabilities. The only additive we get is better lighting and much smoother frame rate, I want reflections, bump mapping, the works. In it's defense BloodRayne is far from ugly, the environments serve their purpose and the character models look great. My one question is why do developers make chicks boobs jiggle like Jell-O in these games, it is certainly laughable. Overall a fine looking game that could have looked even better on the advanced consoles, once again we settle for less.
This is one area that I felt this game totally excelled at, the music is straight out of The Matrix when the action livens up. The up-tempo techno music truly sets the mood when you are ripping someone's arms off in slow motion. The voice overs are fabulous, once again a developer takes the time to hire decent voice actors. The most unusual thing occurred while playing this game, the main character muttered the word "fuck" and more than once. I was in shock when I heard this, it was like I had never heard the word before. I am happy that they did not overuse it for sheer "wow" factor, but in the end it truly adds to the overall adult sense this game gives.
Sure everyone knows that BloodRayne is half-human, half-vampire, all woman, but do you know why? Well I won't divulge everything but let me say that this game has a solid storyline, enough that it keeps you interested while not detaining the action. You start off learning the ways of the vampire and eventually become an assassin for the US Government to eliminate Nazi generals. All the while you are kicking ass and uncovering a nasty secret the Germans have in store. Great dialogue and intelligent conversation add to the general nature this game perceives.
Now you must ask does this game play like Max Payne or Blade? Well it can, that is the best part, this game gives you the option of playing FPS control style where one analog moves and the other aims, or you can opt to go third-person style where one analog does all the work. Giving players this option makes jumping into the game so much easier. Your basic attacks consist of melee and firearms. For the XBox version the left trigger controls Rayne's blades and the right handles the firepower. You can toggle between weapons styles with the black and white buttons. Overall very easy to pick up and extremely hard to put down, the formula every game should strive for!
The sad part is this game will be overlooked by just about everyone because of it's lack of anything extraordinary. This game delivers on all accounts but does not excel in any one of them. At least nothing revolutionary which is why it will be sent to the bargain bin very early in it's life. A game that deserves much more play time than it delivers (sadly it ended after 5 short hours). Adding multi-player might have helped but honestly I want more story, this game has potential and I hope to see BloodRayne 2 next year!