The comic-book-turned-movie is turning video game. Can Activision and HammerHead do for PlayStation owners what Snipes and company did for moviegoers?
Blade, the Wesley Snipes vampire-trashing-vehicle-turned-dark-horse box-office smash was (at least at the time leading up to its release) assumed to be another also-ran in a string of disappointing comic-to-movie adaptations. You know the typical rule of adaptations and translations from one media to another - ever so rarely are good books able to translate to good movies, just as the movies, in turn, often find the jump to the video game scene difficult. Blade has beat the odds once by going from comic books to movie screens without any major gaffes on either end. Now it's been tasked to established publisher, Activision, and developer, HammerHead, to do it again on the video game front - to take a successful comic-book-series-turned-hit-movie and, in turn, make it a great game.
Blade, for the PlayStation, follows neither the movie nor comic book plot but instead chooses to weave an original tale that'll be revealed as you progress through the game. This isn't to say Blade won't be faithful to its roots, however. The planned storyline will attempt to weave several elements of both the comic series and movie together with new characters and plot twists to create an experience that should feel both new and familiar. For those of you not yet familiar with Blade's brand of violent shenanigans, a quick recap may be in order. Blade is a half-man, half-vampire hero who, through his villainous lineage, becomes the atypical good guy. Blade will have to make good use of his strength to accomplish the many tasks he's burdened with at the game's outset. He must first rescue his compatriot, Whistler, from the Vampire Overlords - a rather nasty coalition of vampires and other undead ne'er-do-wells. But Blade's quest for urban justice doesn't end there. Thanks to his monstrous blood, Blade is one of the few men capable of tackling the threat posed by the Eternal Darkness, which has the terrible potential to eradicate all of humanity. Blade must navigate 21 levels in order to bring forth a climactic battle between good and evil and (hopefully) save the day.
Blade is best described as a third-person action-adventure title whose gameplay is derived and mutated from the Tomb Raider and Nightmare Creatures series. In layman's terms, that means you'll be looking at Blade's backside a lot. In an effort to increase the feeling you're playing the same Blade as the one portrayed by Wesley Snipes, HammerHead made a concerted effort to integrate moves performed by Snipes into the game. The game's many levels should give you ample time to hone your vampire-slaying skills too. Locations vary from a sewer to more satanic environs like the secretive lair of the Vampire Overlords. Along the way, Blade will make use of his trademark sword as well as a variety of projectiles as he battles with more than 30 different baddies that wait to confront and terrify you as you progress through the game.
As with most third-person 3D action-adventure titles, Blade will inevitably find itself confronted by the chronic problems the genre faces in the area of control and in camera-perspective issues. By taking a cue from Zelda, another famous 3D adventure game, HammerHead hopes to kill two birds with one stone by integrating a lock-on system, similar in design to that found in Miyamoto's treasure, which should help you focus on targets and defeat them with greater ease.
If Blade can overcome the stigma of being attached to a popular movie license and actually provide a solid gaming experience, then PlayStation gamers and Blade fans should be in for a real treat. Plenty of levels, weapons, moves, and enemies serve as some proof that HammerHead has assembled all the necessities for a satisfying beat-'em-up experience. Can Blade continue to beat the odds? We'll find out when this one ships in November.
- Release Date: Nov 20, 2000 (US)
- ESRB: TTitles rated T (Teen) have content that may be suitable for ages 13 and older.
- Release Date: Nov 23, 2000 (US)
- ESRB: MTitles rated M (Mature) have content that may be suitable for persons ages 17 and older.