Bloodrayne is the (rather incoherent) tale of a half human, half vampire called Rayne and her battle against the supernatural. The plot is strictly B-movie stuff with Rayne squaring off against evil Nazis and their twisted occult meddling. While unique, it feels like the game was patched together from elements deemed to be “popular”. There’s plenty of action and blood so if that is your kind of thing the rather mundane plot won’t matter so much.
Looking rather dated by now Bloodrayne was actually quite a good looking game back when it was first released. The lead character is interesting and well designed but the same can’t be said for your foes. Here and there you’ll come across a boss that stands out a bit, but the rest of the enemies are somewhat laughable and there isn’t much variation between them either. To make matters worse the levels are also rather boring with bouts of action interspersed with lots of running around looking for doors or items that will allow you to proceed. You can save at the end of each level, but if you buy the farm while playing it’s all the way back to the start for you. This, coupled with the lacklustre plot and boring levels makes it hard to stay motivated until completion. The story just didn’t grip me and the action became repetitive all too soon.
Rayne has some nice moves up her sleeves, but compared to the likes of God of War or Devil May Cry she just doesn’t have what it takes. Dismembering Nazis is fun for the first hour or so, but gratuitous blood and violence can only take a game so far before solid gameplay needs to pick up the slack and here it just doesn’t happen. Rayne can slice and dice enemies with a set of twin blades or give them a taste of their own medicine by using guns that she picks up. Speaking of tasting, she can regain health by leaping on her enemies and sucking their blood which is quite a disturbing sight. Despite all these abilities she’s rather frail and a couple of good shots will see her bite the dust so there is some strategy involved when taking on large groups of enemies. Using her blood rage ability allows you to tear into foes with extra ferociousness and she can even slow down time allowing her to dodge bullets. It all sounds very cool on paper, but in reality things get a bit iffy.
The voice acting is so-so with some cheesy dialog and a few cringe worthy cut-scenes but nothing that’s too unbearable. Sound effects were OK, but have a habit of drowning out Rayne’s ramblings while battling and the music was largely forgettable. Controls are very responsive, sometimes feeling a bit too twitchy and while the combat is frantic it can be a bit disorientating in confined spaces as the camera will freak out and not give you a good view of the action.
All in all Bloodrayne is a mediocre game that was stuffed with pop culture elements and violence in an attempt to sell. Back in the day it was enough to garner some sales and even a sequel, but in this day and age, there are way better things to spend your time and money on.
*Review originally published in 2007.
- OS: Windows 98/2000/XP
- Processor: 733 MHz processor
- Memory: 128MB RAM, 200MB virtual memory
- Graphics: 100% DirectX 8.1 compatible video card, ATI Radeon, GeForce 2 or higher, with Hardware T&L (Transform & Lighting). Excludes GeForce MX and Go series cards.
- DirectX: Version 8.1
- Hard Drive: 2 GB available space
- Sound Card: DirectX compatible sound card