4 of 4 people (100%) found this review helpful 1 person found this review funny
8.4 hrs on record
Posted: January 20
You've downloaded MSI Afterburners and RivaTuner to address the game running so fast it cuts off dialogue (finding out the hard way that .ini rewriting and nvidia setting options won't work in your case).
You've opened up task manager, went to the details of the executable and set affinity to run only on one core so it doesn't freeze randomly.
You've downloaded the patch that allows you to use a gamepad with this, because it's a console port after all.
You've installed the anti-censorship patch so you're taking down Nazis and not the Third-Rate Reich.
You've messed with resolutions and texture options and such to try and get it running well because you had to run it on one core to get it working at all and the 733 Mhz minimum requirement is a lie.
Your reward? An ugly pile of mediocrity and palpable budget cuts.
Bloodrayne starts off strong. And then, after an extended period of boredom, it even ends off strong. But for every smart piece of dialogue, genuinely well done setpiece or interesting idea there's fundamental design flaws, lack of polish and jank that just prevents this from being worth playing.
"Quiet, baby, what would the neighbours think?"
- Bloodrayne after hacking nazis into little screaming giblets
Most games are frontloaded, starting with their best content and gradually petering out. Bloodrayne reverses this trend, starting you in a reasonably alright level, then flatlining into 4 hours of spamming melee attacks in long concrete corridors, with 3 enemy types and more reused generic assets than a Greenlight game, before packing all the best content in the end.
Throughout this, the plot is great. As in stupid. Your thrice-dead mentor leads you on a wild goose chase after a villian in search of a demon's lost body bits. You get KKK-decked occult priests preaching and flirtatious colonel twins toting one arm and ninja stars. When Bloodrayne indulges the absurdity, it's at its best.
There's something inherently funny about genderbending Dr. Mengele and giving him a massive rack.
But this is kept back from one fatal flaw in its incredible b-movie glory: it's not fun.
- your mentor, dying for realsies after pretend-dying twice and just seconds beforehand turning coat
The camera spazzes out so much it's nauseating. It can't cope with the interior areas and will jerk back and forth as it struggles to navigate the environment, which is always. Melee "combos" are nonexistent, there's just a series of attacks that mostly trigger in whatever order they feel like while you fish for a decapitation.
Hit detection is a shot in the dark. It quickly devolves into pseudo-QWOP, throwing your limp fish of a half-vampire into the fray and dancing about while hoping that decapitation RNGesus favours you. Ranged isn't much of an option due to the absurd ammo limits.
Bosses are so damage spongey and ridiculously offensive that they quickly just turn into puzzles into how to cheese them. Perhaps this time you'll spam Rage mode, or abuse their terrible tracking to chip away at them from the back. Perhaps you'll just one-shot them with a rocket launcher. They range from disappointing to infuriating with no inbetween.
You can try gamepad or keyboard, it's not fun on either.
"So my uncle used to own a farm..."
- the side-conversations in this game really are almost worth playing it for
Despite this core inability to be a fun game, I was almost warming up to Bloodrayne. After hours of aggressively boring me into a hole, it suddenly opened up. A litany of airstrike avoiding, mech combat, open-arena platforming that gets vertical and takes advantage of Rayne's ludicrous jump height, I was ready to like it as a flawed gem.
But then the final boss happened and annoyed me so much that I never want to see the game again.
Bloodrayne is a crippled game that reaches for the stars and fails to even get off the floor.
If the idea of a ridiculous grindhouse title appeals to you regardless of the gameplay, feel free to give it a look. But to people who see a pile of rusty razorblades and don't think to stick their hand in because there's some chocolate underneath: