The sequel to 2003’s third-person action-adventure starring a sexy garlic-hating heroine revels in the on-screen ultra-violence that had me guffawing merrily throughout. If you’re as sick as me (Not possible – Ed), you’re going to love the ability to finish off enemy vampires and foes in a variety of ways. BloodRayne 2 conjures up more than 60 combos for hacking off limbs, and you can cleave bodies clean in half and lop off. It’s the sort of bloody acrobatics that screams “hey, look at me! I’m controversial”.
Whereas the last game had the half-human, half-vampire Rayne fighting Nazis in 1935, BloodRayne 2 jumps forward to our time, when descendants of her father Kagan are plotting to enslave humankind, reducing them to nothing but engorged blood banks. Granted, it’s the kind of Blade/Buffy goth claptrap that gamers apparently like, but the cut-scenes are well done and the plot serves the gameplay, introducing new powers and weaponry as you progress.
Rayne has to feed on victims to top-up her bloody health meter, which as before, involves a rather saucy embrace that’s blatantly Sapphic when performed with another female. Levels mainly involve beating the red cells out of various gormless AI goons by using your twin swords, kicks, a handy harpoon for dragging people off ledges or into hazards such as rotating fan blades, and the new upgradeable Carpathian Dragon dual-guns that are reloaded with the liquid red stuff.
Cool new acrobatic let Rayne swing on poles and slide down rails. Most satisfying, however, are the ‘carnage kills’ which involve extreme punishment for victims, including the body slice-and-smash through the window described at the start – and each gives a larger boost to Rayne’s infamous Bloodlust meter. If you’re unfamiliar with the first game, this gives you access to special vampire powers such as Aura Vision (sees hidden enemies/puzzles), Dilated Perception (bullet-time) and Blood Rage (faster, more lethal attacks).
BThe main problems in BloodRayne 2 are involve the repetitive fights, level design that is hardly imaginative, thick AI and an annoying lack of checkpoints – a gimmick that is common to console land and which speaks to this game being a port. Despite these limitations, BloodRayne 2 is still enjoyable and more polished than the first game.
System Requirements: Pentium III 700 MHz, 256 MB RAM, 64 MB Video, WinXP