Hands-onBloodRayne GameCube

Majesco shows off the GameCube version of BloodRayne.

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BloodRayne, Terminal Reality and Majesco's third-person action game set on pre-World War II Earth, was up and running on the GameCube at Nintendo's recent Gamer's Summit. The core gameplay is the same as that found in the PS2 and Xbox versions--you will take control of Agent BloodRayne, a half-human, half-vampire secret agent working for a mysterious organization whose mission is to hunt down and destroy supernatural threats. Two of BloodRayne's assignments have seen her cross paths with a rogue Nazi who has been has been searching the world for powerful occult relics that will bring Germany into a new age of domination. To prevent the madman from realizing his goal, BloodRayne will face his Nazi army in the swamps of Louisiana, a temple in Argentina, and a vampire-infested castle in Germany. Along the way, she stumbles onto an even larger plot that threatens to consume the world.

The game's dark tone is echoed by its dark and detailed graphics. BloodRayne is generously modeled with a good amount of polygons. In addition, the character model features moving hair and a host of nicely animated offensive and defensive moves. We were able to explore a German submarine bay we'd seen in builds of the game for other consoles. The level was massive but required only a few stoppages for loading thanks to data being constantly streamed off the game disc. This level also featured areas that could be deformed by scripted explosions that were triggered by in-game actions.

Navigating through the various levels was a breeze thanks to the game's solid control, which lets you control both movement and camera position at the same time. The controls also let players easily switch between BloodRayne's forearm-mounted blades, her guns, and any of her vampiric powers--which range from a Matrix-like slowdown effect to a zoom feature that lets you see great distances. But BloodRayne's best move is her ability to feed on the blood of any human enemies in order to restore her own health. In a nice touch, the move also allows you to move your prey into the line of enemy fire to avoid harm.

While the build we saw is still very early, BloodRayne seems to be shaping up pretty well on the GameCube. The game's graphics fall somewhere in between those of the Xbox and PS2 versions at the moment, as the image quality is very clean but there was still some fogging being used to mask distant objects. The frame rate had yet to be optimized, but the game already had most of the graphical effects found in the other versions.

BloodRayne is currently slated to hit the GameCube this fall.

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