Great potential, yet lacks polish and most importantly not for everyone.

User Rating: 8 | BloodRayne: Betrayal PS3
Before we begin, Bloodrayne: Betrayal, unlike previous installments, is a 2D sidescroller action/platformer. That being said, the game tries to give the same feeling of the old school games through a modern artstyle.

Story:

Sadly, the story of the game does not follow the previous titles, and in fact the story itself is shallow, weakly represented, and extremely short. Needles to say, this is not where the game shines.

Graphics:

Though the artwork of the characters and specifically Rayne is weak, the artstyle of the game is simply gorgeous. The hand-drawn models and environments run very smoothly, and the animations on the screen add to the flash of the whole image.

The coloring and shading of every character gives a nice cartoon-ish feeling to the aesthetics of the game. The blood splatter of the enemies, the slashing of the arm blades, and the various death animations simply enhance the fast paced action of the game, and every time you kill an enemy you'll feel a gratifying satisfaction out of it.

Gameplay:

This is the strongest point of the game. The controls are solid, the combos are not easy to execute, the acrobatics are a challenge by themselves, the combat is difficult, and the platforming is simply put insane.

To go over the controls, there's jump, bite, dash, attack, shoot, switch guns, transform, and movement, each you can assign to whichever button you want. Sounds simple, yet when taken into the fact that you will be using each constantly, it's not so. Each of these actions will be used a lot, and you will have to find the perfect balance between them; biting seems to work the best at the beginning yet starts to lose its effectiveness fast, etc. Sadly though, at late chapters you will gain a new ability, which seems to turn the whole game into something else entirely. Slowly though that ability becomes more limited and you go back to a more brutal game than what it was before.

The acrobatics are a part of the combat, and a bigger part of the platofrming section. There are many of them, some of which are easy to pull off, and some which are more difficult. Those familiar with the Megaman X series will recognize the dash abilities, and to some extent they're identical. You dash before you jump so you can cover more aerial distance, or you dash after you jump to keep a horizontal path in midair. Backflips are harder to execute and need perfect timing, this will become essential when trying to reach high platforms, which are almost everywhere. Finally there's the head-hop; an attack that you perform once above an enemy to both damage the enemy and provide you with more time in mid-air.

The combat is difficult and hectic, more times than not you will not be fully aware of your enemies; they're many, they have ranged attacks and they're aggressive. The boss battles specially are not easy and will require you to try many many times before you succeed, most of which you will be punching the wall next to you because of.

Finally, platforming. As platformers are my favorite genre I did not expect anything original out of this game, and I did not expect any real challenge. I was wrong. The platforming starts easy and simple, and so I expected the rest of the game would be. Few chapters before the end, the whole game takes a twist and manages to become an extremely difficult and patience testing game. Trying to juice out every last bit of the acrobatics, the developers of this game made a merciless trial in one of the late chapters that will take the player tens and tens of tries to finally get it done, and barely. So if you want to try this game out and want to finish it, be prepared for hours of frustration and anger towards your poor TV and controller because of this. The timing of each movement has to be perfect, and I emphasize perfect. Performing the combos and acrobatics properly instead of pressing a different buttons is just as important; you will be using more than one move and some of them share similar buttons.


All in all, this game is a brutal challenge that tries to appeal to the more skilled and experienced players. If you want a simple and fun game that you can finish in an hour or two, then look the other way. If you want a challenge for your timing skills, then this is the perfect game for you.