Few creatures of the night have captured out imagination like vampires. What explains our enduring fascination with vampires? What is it about the vampire myth that explains our interest? Is it a fascination with the immortality of the undead? Or Is it the overtone of sexual lust, power and control? If you know anything about vampires, especially in gaming anime, it is the last question. When it comes to vampires in gaming, sexuality and power play a big part of their character. This is very true for the female vampire, sometimes referred to as a Vampress. And there is no vampress more alluring, and deadly, than the star of this week’s Time Warp Review. Let me, Devildriver1313, invite you to the dark world of Bloodrayne.
Developed by Terminal Reality, Bloodrayne is a hack and slash action that is inspired by the company’s previous title Nocturne. Bloodrayne is set in the year 1933. A secret organization in Germany is collecting occult artifacts which will tip the political power in Adolf Hitler’s favor. What’s worse is that the group is mostly comprised of vampires. This is a problem for the Brimstone Society, who sole purpose is to hunt and eliminate vampires. They seek out Rayne and, after witnessing her skills, recruit her for their cause even though she is half-vampire herself. It wasn’t a hard choice for Rayne to accept the Brimstone Society’s request since she is already on her personal mission of hunting vampire while searching for father.
Bloodrayne featured interesting gameplay for its time. The camera was fixed behind Rayne rather than free roaming but can be maneuvered so you can look around. Her primary weapons are her wristed mounted arm blades which she uses to hack her enemies to pieces. She also has grapping hook to draw a demon close for a strike of her blades. Being a part of a secret organization means that one gets access to guns. Rayne can use a variety of firearms and carries a bunch of them. Her weapons include handguns, shotgun, a sniper fire and a flamethrower. These weapons come with limited ammunition. More ammo is acquired either by defeating enemies or through exploration. If one of Rayne’s weapon runs out of ammo, she will cast it aside and automatically equip a new to keep the fight going. However, this results in the loss of that weapon until it is acquired again from enemy soldiers. To prevent this, the player can enter the pause menu and manually switch guns that are low on ammunition so they can keep the weapon. They can also discard the weapon in favor of something more powerful. Rayne may be a dhampir but, like her vampire brethren, she must feed in order to stay alive. She can feed upon her enemies once they are weakened and recover any lost health. You would think that feeding upon a soldier would leave Rayne open to attack, however; she can fire a gun while perched on the hapless soldier to keep his friends at bay.
Bloodrayne’s graphics are dark and dreary which was suitable for a supernatural themed PS2 title at the time. The environment made the player feel as if they were in a horror movie where something is defiantly lurking in the dark ready to jump out. This is especially true when Rayne is first assigned to deal with a threat in Louisiana. Out in the bayou at night where anything can and will come out at you had you on edge. The character models are really detailed well and have fluid animation but there are a few that looked blocky despite this. Bloodrayne was released October 15, 2002 in North America for the Playstation 2. Europe received its copies a year afterward in 2003 (released for the Gamecube later that same year, and the title was released in Japan in 2004. Bloodrayne received mostly mixed reviews with gaming websites ranking the title differently for each system version. Rayne herself would go to join other video game heroines, such as Tomb Raider’s Lara Croft and Metroid’s Samus Aran, on several ratings lists as she grew in popularity. She was nominated for G4’s 2005 Video Game Vixens under “Sexiest Finish” and “Most Dangerous Curves.” She was named as one of the 50 “greatest female characters in video game history” by Tom’s Games that same year, as well as the 50 “greatest heroines in video game history” by Complex in 2013. Rayne was the first video game character to be featured in Playboy magazine though this did nothing to ruin her reputation. he was placed seventh spot on the list of the “greatest asses” and her breasts were also ranked as the ninth best in video game history by Joystick Division. Lisa Foiles of “The Escapist” ranked Rayne’s famed blade-heeled boots as the second craziest footwear in video games.