0 of 3 people found the following review helpful
A lament for what could have been,
This review is from: BloodRayne 2 (PS2) (Video Game)
I've just finished playing this game, and by the end it felt as though it couldn't come soon enough. Bloodrayne 2 promises much, and delivers a certain amount, but in the end it just isn't up to scratch.
Let's start with the positive - the game looks gorgeous. The in-game character modelling is excellent, and you're never in doubt which characters you're looking at or interacting with. This is particularly important since several of the boss enemies are quite similar in appearance. But their individual subtleties do shine through and this is one of the major triumphs of the game.
Secondly, the gameplay design is superb, with the level of thought going into the available moves and way the game is laid out being a strong point. Rayne is just as powerful as you would expect a half-human half-vampire uber-assassin to be, and carries an extensive arsenal. The idea of using the harpoon to solve killing puzzles is a great touch and just one of several really original ideas to be found here.
Unfortunately, it's in the execution of these ideas that the game really suffers. Sure, there are graphical glitches aplenty - but this is pretty standard for the PS2 and could have been ignored if they were the only problem. Likewise, the sets are all pretty similar, and before long you'll be afflicted by repetitive-tunnel-syndrome. Again, though, this isn't any worse than any other game on the market. No, the real issue is the fact that this game just isn't that much fun.
The killing puzzles that could have been a real standout are all too often contrived and ill-thought-out, and most of all too fiddly to be really enjoyable. The game also suffers from having too many bosses, with there generally being at least two or three lesser bosses to fight in every single stage. Any sense of drama or tension about such occasions rapidly diminishes through repetition, even with Rayne's laconic quips to spice things up.
Generally, though, it's just the lack of variety in gameplay that really saps the enthusiasm out of you - once the afore-mentioned killing puzzles have become tedious, the rest of the game is pretty much run-slash-shoot-slash-jump. For hours and hours. It doesn't help, either, that the difficulty level is totally inconsistent, going from easy-as-winking to desperately difficult in the space of a single room. Funnily enough, the game designers have built in an entire cheat mode facility into Bloodrayne 2, which significantly improves the enjoyment of the game. There is a huge amount of satisfaction in turning on all the cheats and becoming the unstoppable killing machine the game is all about. Disappointing, then, that cheating is the only way to feel that power, whereas games such as God of War achieve that just by being better.
Overall, then, Bloodrayne 2 *could* have been a really enjoyable addition to the 3rd-person hack 'n' slash adventure genre, but poor execution of some good ideas renders this horse lame.