When it Raynes, it pours -- blood. This sequel to 2002's combat-heavy adventure moves the fast-paced action from Nazi Germany to a modern-day setting, where the half-vampire heroine finds herself at odds with those of her own kind. Plying an ancient machination, Rayne's own vampire father is attempting to shroud the sun and make Earth safe for all of his kind, allowing the undead freedom to dispense with humanity and claim the world as their own. Luckily for the rest of us, Rayne aims to put a stop to this shadowy plan.
Like the original BloodRayne, this second adventure is driven by combat, and the heroine's repertoire of powers and abilities has been expanded. The sequel features an enhanced fighting system that allows Rayne to string together new combos and evade attacks in a variety of ways. Some new abilities are earned by defeating enemies, so Rayne herself becomes more powerful as she progresses through the story. Rayne's Dhampir powers are still fueled by the blood of her fallen adversaries, so she must face a steady stream of fiendish opponents as she shoots and slices through this game's ten main missions.
Developed by Terminal Reality (BloodRayne, Nocturne, Blair Witch), BloodRayne 2 is third-person horror-action sequel starring Rayne - a half-human, half-vampire (dhampir), a product of her human mother's rape by her vampire father. In BloodRayne 2, the game's story takes place a full 50 years after the first game's Nazi-themed plotline. It seems that Rayne, the heroine of the first game, is on the hunt for her vampire father and his numerous offspring who are plotting to unleash a vampire apocalypse of sorts on the world using a substance called "The Shroud." The Shroud is a mysterious substance which, when released, renders the sun's lethal rays harmless to vampires and twists nature into a nightmarish perversion. Now only BloodRayne stands between an unsuspecting humanity and a horrifying vampire dawn...
Much of the first BloodRayne centered heavily on combat, and the sequel is no different - you shoot, hack, feed, and slash your way through enemies to get to the next level. To start off, BloodRayne carries two blades with her wherever she goes. Rayne can, in addition to her blades, wield a few different types of guns, but simply running around and shooting isn't really the way to get the full benefit of your armament. BloodRayne has a whole load of new acrobatic movies, allowing her to climb up poles and similar types of objects, and when doing so, she can lean back or out and let loose a barrage of gunfire from a position where it is nearly impossible for her to be taken out. Basically, you have around 30 combos that consist of high, mid, and low slashes. Plus, you'll have the full range of her vampiric vision modes and special abilities, which will let you slow down time and perform devastating attacks. For instance, the Aura Vision allows you to see hidden items or objectives, the Dilated Perception allows you to slow down time, giving you better reflexes when it comes to combat as well as more freedom to dodge attacks and the Blood Rage bumps up your offensive and defensive skills, making you quite a force to be contended with. Later in the game, you will be able to upgrade Blood Rage to Blood Fury, which makes you even more powerful. Rayne also has 12 new fatality moves that help vary her feeding and offer you a means to "finish" a front or back feed in unique and gruesome ways. Also the famous Rayne harpoon returns, but this time you do lot more with it. For instance, the harpoon lets her stab and toss enemies into new "killing puzzles" where they explode/mince/impale in spectacular ways. This comes into play when you're fighting bad guys that won't go down, no matter how many times you slice them.
Despite some graphical and gameplay improvements, I think the game has taken steps backwards in terms of atmosphere. Damn guys, where did the atmosphere go? Yeah, that is part of what disappointed me the most; that the game doesn't feel like a horror game at all. The atmosphere is nowhere near what it was in BloodRayne 1. My other major problem with BloodRayne 2 is the camera control. Although you can spin the camera freely in any direction, it seems to move really fast, too fast*. Not only do you lose a sense of where you're at, but I actually get a little sick playing this game. Maybe I'm getting old, but BloodRayne 2 makes me dizzy!
Overall, it's pretty hard to recommend this game. The combat is greatly improved but it's hard to call BloodRayne 2 innovative in terms of overall gameplay.
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