Bloodrayne Betrayal Review
There will be blood, but is it fun?
Majesco are trying to resurrect the Bloodrayne franchise by releasing Bloodrayne Betrayal onto the Xbox Live Arcade this week, and while it’s sure to be a hit with hardcore fans of the series, the rest may want to wait until it goes on sale.
You play as Rayne, a sexy dhampir (1/2 Vampire 1/2 Human) who is recruited by the vampire hunting Brimstone Society for one last mission. It’s not the deepest story ever told and could have used more cool cut scenes of Rayne kicking some ass.
The combat system is pretty simple with arm blades to slice your enemies, and also some cool leg sweeps. She also sports a pistol which does some pretty heavy damage, but ammo is limited for it. The combat suffers from the fact that you have to wait for the animations to complete before she can perform a new attack. This can get frustrating when the screen is full of enemies and you push the wrong button and get shot at while waiting for the next attack. It doesn’t ruin the game, but could have been done better. As you fight and lose health you will need to grab a stunned enemy and suck their blood to replenish. You can also let go before you suck them dry and they become infected and do damage to surrounding enemies.
There are 15 levels with some boss battles thrown in between but the fact that there is only one difficulty setting can make things get pretty hard at times. Having at least Normal and Hard would have made more sense. After each level you earn a rank based on your score, and if you earned a bonus for speed and health, but good luck earning the highest ranking. The fact that you are scored should increase the replay value, but I didn’t really want to bother going through it again, and most casual fans will probably feel the same.
The major issue I found with the game, were its controls. As mentioned the animation lag can really get frustrating but jumping was by far the worst part of the game. To do a double jump you have to run in one direction and then turn around in the other direction to “skid”, and then jump and she does this high back flip to get over the wall or reach a higher ledge. Whatever happened to just hit the jump button once, then once again while in the air. Why they thought making you do this weird combination of actions just to jump over high walls is beyond me. This gets really annoying when you have to jump up 5-6 levels in a row. Just let me press the jump button twice and move on, there is no need for this fancy move.
There are no multiplayer modes available in Bloodrayne Betrayal. They could have added in 2 player co-op and it probably would have been pretty fun, but they didn’t and you are stuck playing alone. I can’t fault them too much for this choice, but it would have been nice.
This is not a game to buy thinking you can get some easy achievements out of it. The majority of them are for performing tasks you would need to replay the levels a few times, and seem to be a lot of extra work that didn’t really extend the life of the game in a fun way. One example is to complete every level with a Dhampir ranking which just seems impossible without replaying each level a few times, which is not something I would find very fun.
If you are a huge Bloodrayne fan then you should definitely check this one out. It’s fun(once) and full of blood, but for the casual fan who may think it looks like a fun vampire platformer, I recommend downloading the trial first to make sure it’s a game for you.