Title: BloodRayne
Developer: Terminal Reality
Publisher: Majesco
Date Published: October 16, 2002
Platforms: Playstation 2, Xbox, Gamecube, PC, Mac
Availability: Available in stores as of this write up
ESRB Rating: M for Mature due to Blood and Gore, Strong Language and Violence

Throughout this review, I am speaking solely on the Playstation 2 version of the game.

Background:

This game has you taking control of Rayne, a half human, half vampire hybrid, called a Dhampir. She was created when her vampire father raped her human mother. Rayne has a vendetta against vampires and took it upon herself to hunt down and destroy her father. Her actions drew the attention of The Brimstone Society, a secret society dedicated to protecting humanity against threats from the occult. They approached and recruited Rayne in 1932. She is known as Agent BloodRayne.

Gameplay:

The controls are reminiscent of Oni with the two joysticks of the dual-shock controller being used for movement. The left and right buttons at the top of the controller used for attacks and weapon selection, and the X, O, triangle and square buttons used for other actions, such as jumping. The left analog stick is used for forward/backward movement as well as strafing. The right analog stick is used for turning and looking up and down. The controls feel a bit loose at first, similar to Nightmare Creatures.

Rayne’s main melee attack is from forearm length blades attached at her wrists. They can pivot and will rotate back to the underside of her arms when not in use. She also uses a variety of kicks and flips to complement her blade attacks during combos. As the game progresses, more damaging moves are unlocked to extend the combos. The L1 button is used for melee attacks and the combos are performed by pressing it repeatedly.

Agent BloodRayne also has ranged attacks. She can pick up the variety of submachine guns, pistols, rifles, grenade launchers, etc. that her enemies drop and is adept at using all forms of firearms. Ranged weapon selection can be cycled though by using the L2 and R2 buttons. The choices are light weapons, heavy weapons, grenades and special. The R1 button is used to fire the selected weaponry. Rayne is capable of wielding a weapon in each hand and is able to track two enemies at once. Another ranged attack she has is the harpoon. It is a knife attached to the end of a chain. It is used to ensnare enemies and draw them towards Rayne, very similar to Scorpion from the Mortal Kombat series, though without the Get over here! acclamation. The square button is used to activate the harpoon when no enemies are near.

Being half vampire, Rayne has a thirst for blood and is able to drain it from her enemies. Pressing the square button when near an enemy will cause Rayne to leap at the foe, wrap her arms and legs around him in an embrace of death, and sink her teeth into her victim’s neck. Draining blood will heal Rayne while killing the enemy. Rayne is vulnerable during this time because it severely limits her mobility. However, she is able to rotate her victim in order to use him as a human shield to intercept incoming bullets. If the square button is held down while using the harpoon, then Rayne will throw her ensnared victim to the ground and leap on his back before biting.

Her vampire strength allows her to leap great distances; I would estimate her vertical leap to be three stories. Pressing the X button causes Rayne to begin her leap. As with many video games, releasing the button early will terminate her ascent. Pressing the X button again while jumping will cause her to start a spinning corkscrew and begin horizontal movement. This corkscrew attack can be used to rebound off of enemies and to break down weak spots in wall and certain doors.

Rayne also can initiate a Blood Rage, or berserker mode. While in this mode, her attacks do significantly more damage with an increased chance of dismemberment. She can only enter this state when her Bloodlust Meter is full. Engaging enemies in hand-to-hand combat will increase the level of bloodlust. The triangle button puts her in the state of Blood Rage.

She also has the eyes of a vampire and thus can use several different vision modes. The first mode is standard vision, everyday, mundane human sight. Pressing UP on the directional pad, or D-pad, will shift to this form of eyesight. The second option available at the beginning of the game is aura vision. This mode acts as a form of infravision; the auras of enemies will shine out indicating how alert they are to your presence and how wounded they are. Also, mission objectives will shine in this mode, even through walls and over great distances. Pressing LEFT on the directional pad will enter this mode. The third vision mode is dilated vision. In this mode, Rayne processes incoming information so rapidly that it appears that time is slowing down to her. It does not increase her movement rate, it simply acts as a slow motion feature. While using this mode, voices will sound deep and slow as similar to playing a record on low RPM. This mode opens up later in the game and is entered by pressing DOWN on the directional pad. The transition among the different eyesights is smooth and well done.

Clichés:

This game is filled with clichés. The main protagonist is a vampire/human hybrid sharing the strengths and weaknesses of a vampire yet tempered with the physiology of a human. She has a hatred for her vampire heritage and wishes them dead. This same theme can be found in Blade and Vampire Hunter D.

She works for a secret society sworn to protect humanity from the threats of an unknown force that most believe to not exist except for in the minds of madmen and storytellers. Similar ideas can be found in Men in Black, Buffy, The Vampire Slayer, Stargate SG-1, etc.

As for bad guys, she fights everyone’s favorite go to nogoodnicks, the Nazis. Once again, they are up to their old tricks of finding artifacts to exploit to promote the Third Reich. The goose stepping Germans of the 1930’s have established The Gegengheist Gruppe, or the GGG. GGG literally translates into ‘anti-ghost group’. The GGG is out to uncover the secrets of Atlantis because they belief Atlantians to be pure Aryans, the master race in their eyes. I don’t really need to list out all the times the Nazis have been the bad guy do I?

Rayne herself is also a cliché. Her supermodel vampire form lithly glides around the screen. Her outfit consists of red and black leather, complete with a corset-like bodice and plenty of straps. Her shoes are stiletto-heeled platforms, but the heels are actual stilettos thus giving some redeeming combat quality to the outfit. Other such teenage boy’s hormone induced wet dream types can be found in Heavy Metal, Black Scorpion, Vampirella, Dawn, Cleopatra 2525 and of course Lara Croft, though her outfit is reasonable for the situation.

Thanks to DejaMorgana for reminding me about Vampirella

Opinion:

Overall, I enjoyed the game. The controls take some getting used to but end up being a good change from the norm. Sure, its mostly mindless slaughtering of Nazis and little demon things with the occasional go find this key to open this door, but those games are good every once in a while. BloodRayne is good for some mindless fun.


This write-up complies with the E2 FAQ: Video Games standards.

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