Review of BloodRayne: Betrayal

Few games see the type of comeback that developer WayForward has achieved with BloodRayne: Betrayal.  Starting with a history of two sub-par lastgen video games as well as three film adaptations (two being direct to DVD) directed by the infamous Uwe Boll, Rayne is not exactly a character that jumped to gamer’s minds when asking for a remake.  But nonetheless Rayne has made her way back  with a whole new style and all in blood drenched success.

Betrayal is a downloadable title available for both PSN (part of their PLAY program) and XBLA.  But don’t let the bite sized format fool you, this game may become more memorable than all of BloodRayne’s history.  The gameplay is a style of 2-D hack-n-slash with a combo system being compared to that of Devil May Cry or Bayonetta.  Enemies come in the form of vampires, bugs, frogs, and giant blob demons with the main enemy being your vampire father.  As a dhapir (half vampire, half human) you are leading a group of soldiers to destroy your father in his castle.

Each stage has Rayne enter on screen in a coffin-rocket that is reminiscent of Mega Man teleporting into a level.  As you complete each level you are ranked based on your score, gained through killing enemies in stylish combos, but don’t be surprised if you have a tough time getting past ‘F’ rank.  This game is no walk through the park.  It brings back memories of the games from my youth when the challenge was based on players skill and quick reactions, rather than outsmarting the enemy AI.  At one point in the game you are being chased down by a giant buzz-saw and your only chance for survival is quick dashes and perfectly timed jumps until you reach the exit.

Rayne comes well equipped for the challenges ahead of her.  In your arsenal of moves you can execute low and high attacks, launch enemies into the air, shoot them, suck their blood to regain health or poison them.  The latter move becomes important throughout the game because by poisoning an enemy, Rayne has turned them into a remote bomb that can be detonated by pushing a button.  These enemy bombs can easily clear a screen or destroy walls blocking your path.  One thing Rayne lacks is a blocking move but this seems to be on purpose because she can just as easily dodge attacks by dashing.  Plus, blocking would only hinder the fast paced flow of the game.

Replay value of BloodRayne: Betrayal will probably only be useful for hardcore gamers looking to achieve top ranks and gain all the red skulls hidden within the 15 levels.  If enough red skulls are collected you can choose to upgrade either your health or your ammo capacity, neither of which seemed to really change the difficulty of the game for me.  This does not take away from the enjoyment of what is a beautifully hand-drawn brawler that brings a refreshing new shine to a almost forgotten franchise.

I give BloodRayne: Betrayal a 4.5 / 5

BloodRayne: Betrayal is available to PSN and XBLA for $15 and was provided to SitSam from Majesco for review

Written by Bryan

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