By Raymond Johnson (www.raysnet.com).
- BloodRayne - BloodRayne 2 -
I Just Downloaded BloodRayne.
I downloaded Bloodrayne today for the PC from GOG.com. I've played it in the past on the Xbox but I'd thought I'd give the PC version a try after all these years. Plus I've been feeling nostalgic for the game and I don't have my Xbox anymore. I'm fully aware that Bloodrayne 2 is far better than the first one but I wish to play them in the correct order.
I remember trying to play the PC demo about ten years ago and my PC specs weren't up to scratch, yet now I can fully play this game on my little laptop with no problems.
It's available to download via GOG, Steam, and other sites and is brilliant value for money. For $5.99, which I paid via PayPal, I received the game itself, the manual, 7 wallpapers, 7 avatar pictures, 32 concept art pics and the entire music soundtrack. It even has the soundtrack CD cover art if you wanted to burn it to CD and create a label.
The game has been patched to get it to run on newer versions of Windows. The only drawback is that it took about ten minutes for the game to install itself, also it's not possible to get the resolution of the screen to fully fit a modern widescreen monitor. I also suggest when playing it for the first time to use the default settings then adjust them later as I found the game crashed when I tried to play it at full resolution.
While traversing along the telephone wires, out of reach of the zombified human monsters, I made my way on top of a building and heard yelling and screaming below. I expected there was someone I needed to rescue but it was one of the said monsters fighting with a giant spider. He did actually succeed in killing it too. Rayne can't feed from spiders but she can feed from the zombie humans so it works out better all round. Human zombie kills spider, I kill zombie putting him out of his misery, I then kill the spider nest.
I did actually almost die on this level due to the spider's nest being surrounded by water which is harmful to vampires. Rayne is a dhampir and can take a certain amount of getting wet but even she can succumb to water's weakening effects. Luckily there were lots of human monsters around for sustenance.
Rain On Rayne.
Even though this game is a fair age now there are still lots of amazing background effects, such as hopping frogs in the swamp, moths flying around lights, etc. Sometimes it'll even start raining. Luckily the rain doesn't effect Rayne in the slightest. Water hurts her and will diminish her energy levels giving her the need to feed, even standing within a small puddle will do this, but falling rain from the sky has no effect upon her.
Incidentally in the picture below I was waiting because there were two giant spiders fighting with one of the human zombies so I waited for them to finish. The zombie won, then I bit him within the bliss of an orgasmic feeding frenzy as Rayne moaned with pleasure.
Textures, Lighting And Bumps.
There's some good texturing within this game, especially with Rayne's outfit. On some occasions the backgrounds may look a little dull compared to newer games but the close up detail of the characters is excellent. Also bare in mind I'm playing the game on a pretty standard laptop with its built in graphic chip set, it's not as though I'm playing on a high spec PC with expensive graphics card.
Rayne has a lot of texture bumps on her outfit while the monsters themselves look gooey, even moist, close up. The paleness of Rayne's skin is effected as light reflects from her body. The glow of artificial light in night areas of the game gives an eerie yet warm effect.
It seems the more monsters I find the easier the game becomes because it means Rayne can feed and recharge her energy levels. The spider monsters are annoying but the human shaped ones are very simple. Just swing your harpoon, grabbing the creature and pulling it back, ready for feeding. There's something very satisfying about sinking your fangs into a monster and it's clear Rayne enjoys it. Those particular monsters where once human however but as Mynce said, you're doing them a favour as the alternative is for them to succumb to the disease causing their brains to turn to liquid.
There is a sexual undertone to this game because it looks like she's making out with the monsters she's biting, while moaning with pleasure, and wearing a sexy outfit. Mynce also wears a very revealing outfit and it's a pity she's not in the game for longer.
At times this game get very bloody indeed especially when Nazi after Nazi runs toward Rayne giving her no choice but to bite to defend herself. It's as though some of the Nazis have a death wish and will charge at her even when they've seen their fellow soldier been bitten in front of their very eyes. Some of the solders are a little more intelligent and will block Rayne's attack meaning she has to bite from behind but there aren't many of those about.
Depending on the view between the camera and Rayne's attack you can often see the blood spurt from the Nazi solders' necks as they are being bitten. They writhe in pain screaming out "Get it off, get it off," while Rayne slurps with pleasure.
It appears that while walking through a pile of blood and body parts Rayne has left a lot of bloody footprints behind her. She didn't kill the Nazi guard it was one of the other soldiers who threw a grenade whilst Rayne was feeding.
To be honest those particular levels are proving to be particularly annoying due to having to revisit the same locations and it's incredibly easy to get lost. There is a direction location but no map so often I feel that I've arrived at my intended destination only to discover a wall in the way.
I've finally met up with one of the more popular bad characters within the game, Dr Bathory Mengele, AKA The Butcheress. She's the kind of character that enjoys her work immensely and identifies with Rayne stating that they are very alike. Incidentally if you think she looks sexy take a look at the character photograph within the game manual.
During the excavation of an item, simply known as the skull, creatures were discovered that will attack a human, taking over their nervous system and living as a host within their body. The Butcheress feeds her own men upon these creatures to extensively study their behaviour, and plans are soon put into motion to use these creatures as a weapon.
To be honest this game is becoming a little repetitive with Rayne having to kill Nazi after Nazi before killing one of the main Nazis on her list. In fact I'm stuck on one particular level due to so many "This door won't open," messages as I search the ruins of a fort. I may have to look at a game guide to see where I'm supposed to go. My goal and direction is clear it's just that there keeps being a closed door in Rayne's way.
I know it gets better nearer the end, because I've played it before on the Xbox, but I don't want to cheat and skip levels to get there. There are lots of cheats for this game and it's good to know that I still have that option open to me in case I ever get truly stuck.
After all those repetitive Nazi biting levels comes some real fun in the form of walking tanks. Rayne herself is excited by these and she constantly taunts the other tank drivers on their radios making jokes about bananas and the Easter Bunny. She never repeats a single taunt and talks constantly enjoying every moment.
When the main target arrives, Officer Gosler, he's a bit of a let down as he's a coward spending most of the time trying to avoid Rayne's gun blasts. He also has an energy bar unlike the others so it's easy to judge how long the fight will last.
Once he's dead it's just a matter of working out how to exit the tank, which takes some time to do before realising you just have to walk to the far end of the church and she will jump out herself. There's then some scaffolding to climb and lots of jumps as well as Nazis on jet packs.
The game's getting really exciting now as it nears the end. I only wish there hadn't been so many Nazi soldier biting levels, over and over again, before reaching this bit as that probably put many players off.
It seems Rayne's friend and mentor has changed sides and become a Nazi. Rayne can't believe it and is furious at the betrayal. It's time for them to fight! There's something strange about the battle though. Mynce is clearly far stronger than Rayne yet she keeps stopping mid-battle waiting for Rayne to strike at her, as though she intends to lose.
There's some good thumpy music during this level reminding me of a beating heart which matches the gameplay perfectly. I also love the dialogue mistake where Mynce refers to Rayne as BloodRayne but that's the name of the game not her character name. Maybe it's not a mistake and Mynce was being facetious.
Other than when adjusting the game settings, such as resolution etc, I never noticed any glitches or bugs during this game. It will fully crash if I select the highest resolution but other than that the game's been pretty stable.
Actually I did notice a misspelling of "its" during the game subtitles when it was written as "it's" but that's not important.
A funny glitch did happen just now which is why I'm doing this blog entry. A monster, I think it's known as a Hedrox, attacked Rayne then got itself stuck in an attack pose. Whenever a Nazi solider shot at it there would be an explosion and its limb would come off and it would grow another right before my very eyes. It looked as though it was dancing.
Help From Mynce.
Rayne soon learns that Mynce has been helping her eliminate a lot of the Nazi commanders meaning Rayne's able to strike a lot more names from her list. This is good news as there were quite a number of names still on that list and I had just spent quite some time fighting with two Nazi twins.
Mynce also fills in a lot of the plot holes within the story before Rayne kicks down a gate and chomps into more Nazi necks. There aren't many cut-scenes in this game and they are generally quite short but they get the message of the story across so precisely which more modern games could learn from.
I'm a little embarrassed to say that after three attempts, and using cheats too, I was unable to fully finish this game. I've heard of a crash bug that freezes the game when the last cut-scene occurs but I didn't even get that far. There's only a certain amount of time to kill the final monster and I was unable to do it. I remember the beautiful ending when I played it on the Xbox with Rayne flipping off the monster but I never got to see it on the PC version. Basically I kept running out of ammo when shooting the monster and spare ammo was scarce. Hitting the monster with blades had no effect.
What I enjoyed the most about this game were Rayne's smart-alec comments both during the gameplay and cut-scenes. The interaction between her and Mynce was spot on giving a light hearted feel to what would have otherwise been an action horror. Rayne and Mynce's choice in outfits were a little over the top which added to the campy feel to the game which doesn't take itself too seriously. I also noticed the swastika symbols had been altered even though the bad guys were clearly Nazis due to the occasional poster of Hitler upon the wall.
Incidentally I've met Laura Bailey the voice actress who plays Rayne at an anime convention. She's very sweet and looks nothing like Rayne. She's also far younger than expected with this being a fairly old game now.
I loved the graveyard and church areas at the beginning of the game. The zombies and monster spiders were fun. The plot did go off at a tangent however with too many levels involving Nazis, with pretty much the same task to do on each level.
Over all this was a fun game just a little too repetitive and I wanted to see more of Mynce. In terms of cost though this game is fantastic value for money. It's definitely not as good as its sequel but you can always buy both.