BloodRayne 2 Xbox Review

May 30, 2010 by  
Filed under Reviews & Features, Xbox, Xbox

A good sequel should improve upon the one that came before it, but “should” is indeed the keyword here as it’s not always the case in this less then ideal world. Whilst this is clearly the better game in the bloodline of the series, some stuff that should have been tinkered with has been left ignored, and this under nourishment is a shame given that the BloodRayne series has plenty of potential

It would be wrong to think from our opening paragraph that we dislike BloodRayne 2, as that definitely just isn’t the case. We’re not alone in our distaste of some of the games elements, although no qualms about it; this is an undeniable improvement over the original game.

New stuff includes some excellent physics that really accentuate Rayne’s combat abilities, a kick can send a foe tumbling into a bookcase, which results in the spilling of books for example, and such a neat touch really adds something to the nicely animated action.

Following up on environments, we’d love to say that BloodRayne 2’s were beautifully detailed and imaginative, in truth the level design is insipid and horribly generic. In stage after stage of poor design, the platform sections are the only standout moments, these fluid pieces have you clambering up pipes and swinging on overhead bars. Jumping around certainly beats running through a tide of tedium, but on the whole the environments exist as nothing more than an enclosure for your combat.

Slicing and dicing enemies up is still very much at the forefront of this sequel, and thankfully Rayne is a competent wielder of a duo of rather sharp looking blades that are easily capable of slicing limbs off your deserving enemies and their bodies in half . A simple kick also does its service well, and mixing up the melee attacks is fun to do and enjoyable to watch.

Rayne is also equipped with a harpoon, which can be used to toss enemies and solve puzzles. The latter often feels forced, and it’s always obvious when the tool is necessary in a puzzle situation. In spite of the overly simplistic progression from puzzles, it’s a fun thing to use when you are tossing enemies off high places or into unforgiving objects found in the environments.

The same can’t be said of Rayne’s twin guns (or Carpathian Dragons to give them their proper and unnecessary name), which are a little underwhelming upon receiving them. It’s a nice idea that the guns are fuelled by the blood of your enemies, but we’d rather bring the much more interesting melee combat into action or even use distance to our advantage with the harpoon, as both these elements are better implemented.

Rayne is a leather clad readhead, and she just so happens to be half vampire as well, so draining the enemies of their blood is still the way to top your health up, although sadly this remains a rather sizeable design flaw. A single button press close to an enemy makes Rayne snake her long legs around their torso and then proceed to suck their veins dry, making combat situations a little too easy. Sometimes you’ll find enemies with big sticks, and chomping on their necks is out of the question until you free their hands of said weapon, although again that isn’t a particularly difficult thing to make happen.

BloodRayne 2 may be enjoyable, but a reworking is still compulsory for the series to achieve better things and be up to the challenge of competing for our affection over other games in this most crowded of genres.