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Review – BloodRayne 2

posted on June 1st, 2006 by tony

While fighting the more powerful enemies the combat system degenerates into a slug fest usually won by the person with the most starting health (which is rarely you). Slashing at them with your two retractable arm swords enough to produce copious amounts of digital blood should slow them down enough for you to block, right? Wrong. Most large enemies stand there unfazed by your attacks while wildly swinging and trash-talking (I’ll get to that part later). The grappling chain mechanic is pretty useful, but in-fight objects that can be moved and used as weapons are painfully obvious, which makes using them seem sort of cheap.

The AI is horrendous, with enemies running at you en-masse sometimes into dangerous obstacles or open flames. At one point in the game you fight your way up the twisting stairs of an underground vampire rave (which takes place in an old warehouse — surprise!) and at least eight enemies killed themselves by leaping off the top of the staircase to attack me at the bottom. One minute I’m enjoying the Czech-no (that’s my new word for cheesy Eastern European techno — like it?) and the next I’m being rained on by idiots.

One of the most frustrating parts of the combat is when you have to grapple enemies into set pieces until something happens. It’s just a stupid idea altogether. You come across a garbage truck with the back open, and you’re supposed to figure out that you need to throw enemies into it until it explodes and opens a nearby door. Until you figure this out, enemies will continue to pour out of spawn points and overwhelm you non-stop.

This part of the game was awesome … except it NEVER HAPPENED. Seriously, I don’t know where this screenshot is from. That enemy is never in the game.

On more than one occasion I realized that I must have missed something when I was fighting groups of vampires for fifteen minutes straight. I watched all of the cutscenes; I listened to the dialogue … not one word of information telling me I would have to grapple five bodies into a neon sign in order to destroy a gate at least ten feet away. Insanely annoying.

Now if the game had an intriguing story, playing through despite all of these gripes wouldn’t be so bad. Strike … uh, I don’t know, eight I think we’re on now. The main baddie from the first game, your vamp-dad Kagan, killed your whole family after fathering you. We know this from the first game as it’s the driving force behind your attempt at killing him, which appeared to be successful. Well, he’s back, and so are your siblings who all want his throne when they sense weakness. So the plot is revenge on the same guy you killed in the last game, this time encompassing your entire family you never knew you had.

It seems their new plan is to create a shroud over the city that would allow vampires to walk in the daylight. They succeed, turning the world into a demon playground in some of the more entertaining cutscenes. In order to stop the destruction, which you’ve already seen happen (wouldn’t that mean you failed halfway through the game?) you need to pick off the lower ranking Kagan-ites one by one. Obviously this leads to the final (?) showdown with your dad which is expectedly unexciting.

The voice acting in the game is laughably bad. Not one character is played enjoyably and most are downright insulting to the player. Especially the Asian vampire ladies who talk with full-on stereotypical “me so sah ree” accents. It’s like a horrible Margaret Cho stand up bit … isn’t that all of them though?

Overall, the game is as good as most of the third person action games out today … and that’s really sad. It’s incredibly boring, and I think I only finished it because I was hoping something interesting would happen at the end. If you’ve read to this point you know what happened. Slick marketing campaigns and a buxom heroine aren’t enough to save this one. Worst of all, someone got paid for this piece of crap. It’s obvious a lot of money was thrown at this project, it’s too bad none of it ended up in right places.

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