A little more bite is needed in Bloodraynes downloadable debut
Bloodrayne has been a franchise more notable for its anti hero, femme fatale lead than it has been for its gameplay. But developer Wayforward Technologies looks to change that around with Raynes' first venture into the downloadable foray with; Bloodrayne Betrayal. However Bloodraynes' debut is a mixed bag of gorgeous visuals, and frustrating gameplay.
The game opens with Rayne leading soldiers of the vampire hunting organization, the Brimstone society, into an underground castle, to take on the forces of the new cult of Kagan, Rayne's father, and antagonist from Bloodrayne 2. The progression of the story comes off as bland and confusing, as characters are introduced to confront and help Rayne, but are never given a back story, and feel tossed into the game, which leads them to feel pointless, and become characters you do not care about. So when the game does go for an emotional pull, such as a betrayal (gasp!), it hurts not only the secondary characters, but Raynes charecter as well, as she bounces back and fourth between cold blooded killer, sexy, blood sucking dhampir, to emotionally grateful, kind, and loving, and then bounces right back to killing. It just diminishes the value of a cool, interesting character, and makes her seem lost and confused.
Behind Raynes' killing methods are her staple double arm blades, her trusty pistol, and of course her ability to suck the blood out of her foes. The games arsenal does not progress more than that as Rayne only acquires one new weapon, and one new ability throughout the course of the game, causing battles to become a little repetitive, as you constantly use the same methods of dispatching. Battles can become intense, as you will face a variety of creepily, well designed enemies, however the controls come into a factor of frustration, as Raynes moves take animation priority, causing hits that you see coming unavoidable as you are still hitting another enemy. Also in the later part of the game, platforming moments become more frequent, and Raynes jumps are far too floaty, and imprecise. This becomes the games most frustrating moments, as one hit kill environments are introduced early into the game, and without precision jump controls, more controller throwing moments are created, than satisfying platforming, especially when Rayne has a knock back effect when she gets hit. So if your jumping over a bottomless pit to reach the other side and an enemy hits you, your dead and there's nothing you can do about it, except roll your head back in frustration.
But once the combat gets going, you feel like a half vampire bad-ass, as you dispatch your enemies, without taking any damage, as the camera zooms in on you and your last enemy, as you decide to suck their bright, colorful blood, and this is where the game shines, in the graphics department. The bright, elaborate colors of the game brings life into the environments, as Rayne sits on a blood fountain, sipping her blood tea. It's well designed and visually pleasing to the eye.
All in all i really wanted to like Bloodrayne Betrayal, but everytime i opened my heart, it would knock me back and cause me to fall into a pool of acid. So if your a fan of the Bloodrayne franchise, or are in the mood for a hack 'n slash, and have a wide array of patience, feel free to pick this up, but otherwise proceed with caution as there more polished games available.