The BloodRayne series has somewhat gone
into limbo since the previous games and with a new movie just released
on DVD from Sony called BloodRayne: The Third Reich, developers
Wayforward have released an exclusive XBox Live game called
BloodRayne: Betrayal that further expands this franchise and is a
combination of Castlevania meets Vampires!
In the game, players control Rayne, a
beautiful yet savage Dhampir. For the uninitiated, a Dhampir is a child
of a human and vampire... hence the name Dhampir, a powerful spawn of
their creation that contains supernatural powers. The introduction of
the game nicely explains her history to the gamer and the journey that
she must partake on. I also enjoyed the stylised, almost cartoon
inspired animation employed in the title that is visually quite violent
as she slashes her way through demonic forces.
This is where players are given control of
Rayne in this 2D platformer that contains plenty of action as you
attempt to defeat your enemies and reach your intended destination.
Unlike Castlevania, the game is considerably more bloody and violent and
just check out the screen shots. Where the game does shine is through
For a 2D platformer, the combat engine is
actually quite impressive as Rayne has a variety of deadly manoeuvres up
her sleeve, mostly melee with her twin blades but she can perform some
almost acrobat moves on her enemies. Our kick ass Dhampir also has a gun
to blow her enemies away, however the most handy trick for Rayne is the
ability of her biting one of her foes and then using them as a bomb to
disperse other enemies.
By poisoning your foes with your bite, they
become a living bomb and as they walk away from you, you have the
ability of triggering an explosion which can sometimes take out a
considerable amount of enemies. Apart from your human form, Dhampirs
also have the ability to transform into a winged creature which does
change the dynamics of the game and flight adds a new element to the
overall gameplay and strategy. Enemies do get harder as you progress and
some boss battles are quite tricky. Throw in a few puzzles here and
there and this is not your average 2D platformer.
However there are a few issues with the
gameplay and this is more with its control system. At times, the
controls feel a little stiff or unresponsive controls which as a
platformer can sometimes mean the difference between life and death.
However once you have figured out that at times, certain animations
cannot be stopped the back flipping that Rayne performs is sometimes
tricky, you can judge things a hell of a lot better. Although there is
no multiplayer, there are plenty of trophies to be found and online
leaderboards to boast your prowess.
Graphically, this is a beautiful looking
game with some stunning stylised animation, not to mention amazing
special effects for a 2D game. Add in an immersive soundtrack (inspired
by Heavy Metal) and all the noises of demons and evil doers getting
killed and this game looks and sounds impressive on the XBox 360.
In the end, BloodRayne: Betrayal is a fun XBox Live Game that I would
recommend that you download for some 2D action fun. The controls may not
be perfect but I can forgive that because of how much over the top fun
this title is. Graphically, it's a good looking game and the soundtrack
is quite hardcore in a sense that just makes the game that tad better.
For a 2D action platform game, this title rocks and with 15 stages, it's
money well spent!