BloodRayne 2 (PC) Review

By Athanasios 20.08.2019

Review for BloodRayne 2 on PC

BloodRayne was fun... in its own, heavily flawed, low-budget, purposely b-movie-esque, silly way, with its sexy half-vampire protagonist, and the hundreds of Nazis she had to slay, cut to pieces, drain, or fill with lead. Now, no one really expected from Terminal Reality to create a revolution with the 2004 sequel, but the original sure had the potential to be something much, much better, despite its simple action recipe. Does BloodRayne 2 deliver? Yes... no... well, it's complicated, and here's why, in Cubed3's look back at it.

This follows Rayne the half-vampire, or dhampir, in a quest to wipe out her evil cousins; a quest that begins with a brief, 70-year-old look at the past, which has her killing her rapist papa. Aided by the anti-vampire, Brimstone society, Rayne will discover that something quite bad is brewing out there in the dark corners of the modern world... but you, the player, should probably keep your expectations very, very, very low.

Terminal Reality attempted to create a more interesting universe this time around, with characters that weren't just a few Nazis like before, and a plot that's was much more than "find final bad guy and kill him." In reality however, and like with the game that came before it, BloodRayne 2 keeps things simple. More specifically, this is once again all about hacking and slashing your way towards the end, leaving rivers of blood behind you, and taking a scarlet sip every now and then.

Screenshot for BloodRayne 2 on PC

Rayne hasn't really gotten an upgrade here. She can slice and dice her foes with trusty blades, shoot them with her - auto-targeting - guns, use a harpoon to "grab" them, do some, vampire magic to increase her strength or slow time down, evade attacks, and, as mentioned earlier, dip her fangs into their necks to restore her health. No she hasn't gotten an upgrade, but the action remains fast (and simple) enough that it doesn't really matter. Fighting feels good in BloodRayne 2.

That isn't to say that some things haven't changed, though. For starters, instead of simply mashing the attack button, combos now require doing exactly what the name implies: combine moves. This effectively makes combat a lot better than in the original, while retaining pretty much the same adrenaline-pumping speed, adding a tactical element to it all, as you must now be careful when to use what and to which type of enemy, as all moves have their advantages and disadvantages.

While on the subject of changes, instead of collecting guns, Rayne now carries a specialised set of pistols that use blood for ammunition (yours if they get empty), with various types of "bullets" available, and her vampire tricks can be upgraded to do much more than what they initially did. The energy required to use those? 'Rage,' which fills up either by finishing off enemies while feeding on them, or by throwing enemies at spikes or fire with her harpoon.

Screenshot for BloodRayne 2 on PC

Trouble is, as enjoyable as all that hacking and slashing is, it's still far, far from perfect. As an example, moving around and changing the viewing angle are two separate things, which isn't a problem on its own of course. Here, however, it hasn't been handled that well, leading to many times pulling off the wrong move, something that can be extremely annoying in certain spots, especially when dealing with the, all new, acrobatic sections.

Rayne will often come upon parts of the level where she'll have to stop and do some minor "platforming;" a perfect occasion to show her graceful animation, but also the best example of how unreliable the controls can be from time to time. Also, besides looking cool, these serve no other purpose whatsoever, as they don't really require any skill, since all it takes is to jump at the correct direction, and, as a result, it all feels more like needless padding.

Screenshot for BloodRayne 2 on PC

Like with BloodRayne, this can be quite the linear and repetitive experience. Surprisingly, though, that isn't really the issue here. This is indeed the better game - unfortunately, the structure of most levels doesn't let that show. The main reason? Tons of spots where Rayne will be forced to either use her harpoon trick to throw, say, four enemies at a machine to overheat it, make it explore, and open a path… or keep on fighting an endless stream of enemies if not.

This ruins the pacing of a game that's the most fun when you simply run around killing stuff, essentially destroying one of the biggest joys from BloodRayne: the speedrunning. Oh, and by the way, this has a bit longer duration than before, but, to be honest, it's a title that would really benefit from being shorter, but more compact; with a variety of things to do, rather than the same few battle scenarios over and over again.

In the end, BloodRayne 2 is still an enjoyable hack 'n' slasher that is, once again very rough around the edges, but it's also a disappointment of a sequel, as it never really builds upon the foundation laid by the first one. It is certainly improved in terms of audio-visuals, especially when it comes to Rayne herself, or the dismemberment and blood spurting that she will cause, but that's just the bare minimum a sequel should do…

Screenshot for BloodRayne 2 on PC

Cubed3 Rating

6/10
Rated 6 out of 10

Good

Like with the original, BloodRayne 2 remains a simplistic, and flawed hack 'n' slasher that's more concerned with looking and feeling cool than being a great videogame. Fans of such titles will definitely manage to have lots of fun for the few evenings it will last, but in all honesty, don't expect much improvement over BloodRayne.

Developer

Terminal Reality

Publisher

Majesco

Genre

Action

Players

1

C3 Score

Rated $score out of 10  6/10

Reader Score

Rated $score out of 10  0 (0 Votes)

European release date Out now   North America release date Out now   Japan release date Out now   Australian release date Out now   

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