BloodRayne: Betrayal Review

It's been a few years since BloodRayne has made an appearance in a game, and the half-human, half-vampire dhamphyr won't be too familiar to those who knew her before. BloodRayne is no longer hunting down Nazis in a 3D world, and is instead taking on legions of clones who look like they would be at home in a Jane Austen movie in a side-scrolling 2D brawler.

BloodRayne: Betrayal screenshot 1

At first glance, BloodRayne Betrayal looks pretty appealing. It has a hand-drawn graphic novel look to it with a great artistic style, in spite of the hordes of doppelgangers it likes to throw at you, and BloodRayne's twin blades ensure that there's plenty of bright red bloodletting to be had. The gameplay is another matter, though. The game is hard, but not because it's a gamer's game that will push your reflexes to their limit. There is some of that to the game, but you'll be hampered by controls that are so picky that unless you nail each action perfectly you won't have a chance of pulling it off. For example, the backflip move that is critical to leaping obstacles preventing you from continuing on your way requires you to run in one direction, then flip the stick in another while also hitting a button. It's a bit overly complicated for a maneuver that you need to perform time and again, but that aside the real issue is that it's very difficult to pull off successfully. Being stuck for a while behind a wall as you attempt to do a backflip over and over again is not my idea of fun. Even worse, for BloodRayne to restore her health she must bite the neck of a near-dead enemy and suck up some blood. Getting her to do so is more of a random act than a reliable move, and she seems capable of pulling it off about as often as you find yourself winning the lottery.

There may be a few gamers out there who find the game's ridiculously high difficulty level as something of a challenge, and view the game's frustrating controls as some sort of badge of courage. Most gamers will quickly grow tired of it and move on to something else, freeing up the hard disk space without a second thought. That's too bad, because BloodRayne deserves better than that.

Final Rating: 48%. It looks great but that's about it.


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