I have to admit; Majesco has not had a pretty run with Playstation 2 titles. Therefore, I was pleasantly surprised when I popped in BloodRayne to find a game that was decent. Vampire games can be at times tedious, but if you can get past some of its flaws, BloodRayne offers some great moments at a furious pace.
Graphically, BloodRayne is average in the PS2 array of things. While environments are supposed to be dark, they lack detail and variance. As you progress through the game, things just seem to be too similar. More than one feeling of deja vu is guaranteed. The character designs are impressive but their animation leaves a lot to be desired. Some of the mutants are outrageously gross yet tantalising. The whole visual package somewhat reminds me of Acclaims Shadowman series. That is not a bad comparison by any means but rather a style that is similar, and a style that works well within the setting of BloodRayne. I can look past average graphics but I have difficulty excusing shoddy camera angles that end up affecting game play. The camera does not allow the player to control it as freely as it should. You are unable to look to either side of BloodRayne and this is troublesome in scenes where multiple enemies are attacking from all sides. Another problem appears in the form of clipping issues. The odd clipping is fine but again the clipping here tends to get in your way from experiencing the game the way the developers envisioned. Clipping and poor camera work is usually indicators of a product that was rushed to retail in order to take advantage of the lucrative holiday season. On the positive side, there are some cool environmental damage effects during boss fights and disposed enemies remain where they have been slain. The aural component is also average. While the voice work is credible, some of the sound effects and soundtrack choices are questionable.
What holds this game together is some moments of solid game play. BloodRayne places this sexy half-vampire, half-human in a complex quest to halt an evil Nazi plot. Some intense action ensues, using a variety of assault methods in addition to the usual button combinations. Rayne primarily uses her trademark arm blades but soon has an incredible arsenal of firepower to complement her sharp edges. There are over 30 weapons to acquire and assist Rayne on her journey to foil the Nazi plot. Not only can Rayne use her hands in combat and the weapons, she also has the ability to harpoon enemies in Mortal Kombat style moves. The variety of attacks makes BloodRayne intriguing to play from beginning to end. Build up enough rage and you can enable the Blood Rage, which is essentially a berserker mode in which Rayne moves faster, inflicts more damage and has a high chance of dismemberment with each hit. The attacks are different than in normal mode and you are treated to a Matrix-style slow down to highlight this mode. The added slow-down is nice the first couple of times but can get tiresome. There are items that are collected throughout the game which allow Rayne to use her special abilities. A number of enhanced vision abilities assist Rayne in tracking down and sneaking up on unsuspecting foes. Once you get used to the simple controls, the game will kick into high speed.
Once you have played through the game once, there is little incentive to go through it again. Some multiplayer action would have been nice to give the game more replay value. Even some sort of online component in the future could make things very interesting. Regardless, BloodRayne is long and will take approximately 20 hours to complete.
BloodRayne shows a lot of potential if Majesco wants to make it a viable franchise. The games developer, Terminal Reality, has a good record of accomplishment when it is given the time and resources needed to do a project right. We are optimistic for what may lie ahead with the Rayne character. In the meantime, a rental should satisfy your curiosity.