BloodRayne 2

Format: PS2

4 005209 073134
Age Restrictions: 15+
17 February 2006

BloodRayne is a dhampir, born from the unnatural union of vampire and human. Blessed with the powers of a vampire but cursed with the unquenchable thirst for blood and a weakness to sunlight, Rayne is challenged with her most personal battle yet. Now she's stalking her own flesh and blood through the city under siege. Her malicious siblings have united to create a new era of vampire supremacy. Only Rayne stands between an unsuspecting humanity and a horrifying vampire dawn...

When we last saw BloodRayne in 1935, she joined forces with the shadowy Brimstone Society to destroy a supernatural Nazi bid for dominance. Her father, Kagan, an influential Nazi collaborator, was killed in an accident at the close of the War. Cheated of killing Kagan herself, Rayne has spent the last sixty years ferreting out and destroying his many offspring, her siblings. They have banded together and formed the Cult of Kagan, pledging to carry on his legacy of creating a new era of vampire supremacy where humans are mere cattle for the bloodthirsty predators that hunt them.

BloodRayne's nefarious siblings have created "The Shroud," a mysterious substance which, when released, renders the sun's lethal rays harmless to vampires and twists nature into a nightmarish perversion. Now only BloodRayne stands between an unsuspecting humanity and a horrifying vampire dawn.

So what's fresh here? Well, you now have new acrobatic action on poles and rails as well as an advanced melee combat for deeper, more precise fighting with more than 30 combos including high, mid and low attacks, kick and jump combos, evasive combos and special over-the-top moves. New devastating powers include Blood Fury, Ghost Feed and Blood Storm and the revamped (no pun intended) aura vision serves a more integral role in the game play. New "blood weapons" eliminate the tired ammo hunt and add an extra layer of strategy to gunfights. Harpoon also has new functionality: BloodRayne can pull environmental objects down on attackers and use the harpoon to stab and throw enemies into objects.

First things first. This is one beautiful looking game. It's fast action all the way. However, it's a little too monotonous to hold the interest of most hardened gamers. And that's a real shame, because the developers have packed a heap of fantastic features into this game to make it look and feel the business. Offing bad guys time and again with little variety soon has you reaching for the off button - especially when you are transported way back to an earlier segment when you die.

While harpooning bad guys and throwing them across the room is all fun and games to start with, it some becomes a bit too repetitive. Even the introduction of the blood weapons (where you fill up on your victims blood to increase your ammo) soon ceases to impress. Actually, it's doubtful that you'll make much use of the early blood weapons, as the harpoon seemed to be the most effective killing tool.

I also had issues with the camera. On occasion it won't allow you to view the whole gaming area - which is problematic. And on other occasions, most notably when in confined areas, the camera's vision can be obscured by an object.

At the end of the day this is a nice looking game (although we noticed that the locations had a habit of being reused, which was a little disorienting) which will keep most gamers happy. It's just a shame there wasn't more to do than just kill and kill some more.

Pete Boomer

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