A dark and bloody romp through the Third Reich

User Rating: 8.5 | BloodRayne PC
BloodRayne is an great game in the tradition of predecessors like Oni, Blade of Darkness, and Vampire: The Masquerade--Redemption. In fact, even saddled with the irritating “can’t-save-where-you-want” curse common to most ports, BloodRayne can’t help but shine as one of the best action games I can remember. Though the game starts out slowly (with the exception of the stunning intro), if you persist through the relatively brief Louisiana levels and on to Argentina, you’ll be rewarded with a gaming experience that is the richest, darkest, and most genuinely creepy since System Shock 2. BloodRayne is blessed with an exceptional graphics engine for its time, which when coupled with the coolest slow-motion effects ever (ala Max Payne), makes for a visual feast when it comes time to take on multitudes of Nazis and the undead. Likewise, the audio environment and sound effects are superb and effective in creating real dread as you wander the many dark corridors and caverns in search of prey. I had the usual concerns about console-to-PC compatibility/playability issues but I’m happy to say that I didn’t see a single bug or even hiccup in the game, aside from a mysterious difficulty with the audio in cut scenes getting clipped sometimes. The control interface in BloodRayne is excellent and all keyboard controls are customizable in an intuitive manner (which is really saying something in view of the complexity of moves and attacks available to Rayne); something that can often make or break a game of this genre.

If there is one caveat--and this certainly isn’t a criticism, just something to take note of--BloodRayne is without question the most graphically violent game I’ve ever seen and it makes no apology for utilizing every square inch of its “Mature” rating. So if you’re offended by realistically rendered and often gratuitous violence in your games you’d do well to look elsewhere, but if you like you enjoy a dark, sinister, and bloody tale told on your own PC this Halloween, look no further--BloodRayne delivers the goods and more.