Such a fun game and it lags in story

User Rating: 7.5 | BloodRayne PS2
Not for the faint of heart, BloodRayne 2 surprised me with both its gratuitous violence and its several highly worthwhile gameplay ideas. A poster-child for why we need the M rating, this title fully embraces its adult content through frequent dismemberments, excessive gore, and a heroine who quite literally gets off on the pain and death of her victims. Many aspects of the game have been vastly improved since the original, most significantly the lustrous graphical veneer over everything and the notable flexibility of the combat system. Still, this sequel continues to fall short of gaming brilliance when everything starts to feel the same after a while, and advancing through the levels becomes equal parts chore and enjoyment.

In case there was any doubt in your mind, Rayne is supposed to be a new sex symbol – at least if this game has anything to say about it. And while Rayne's varied outfits are indeed alluring in that tight leather, dominatrix sort of way, the all-pervading sexuality of the game ends up being a little too much. Instead of erotic, her sadism seems slightly ridiculous. Nonetheless, the main character does look really good and is certainly unique in a way. Even though overall animation is occasionally a little rough, her movements are usually smooth, and combat is often genuinely entertaining to watch as she lithely cuts down her foes.

In fact, combat in general is handled quite well, including numerous unlockable moves and special abilities that give you all sorts of options in a serious scuffle. Unfortunately, wave after wave of the same fairly uninteresting enemies really dulls the experience after the first several hours, and you're left longing for the end of a stage so the story will progress forward. The substantial length of the game is therefore a questionable addition, as you have to really like the fighting to want to push through to the end.

Some cringe-inducing one liners and the occasionally poor hit and collision detection don't detract significantly from the dark and gothic atmosphere of the whole game. While this sequel does succeed in proving Rayne is more than a pretty face, a few more tweaks are needed before her playtime prowess matches her dark mystique.