LifeisXbox’s Bloodrayne 2: ReVamped review | Let’s address the elephant in the room. This has been one of the most (if not the most) frustrating games for me to review for the site. BloodRayne 2 ReVamped has been a battle to review due to many factors that I will discuss below, but it all boils down to a simple question. Did we need another version of BloodRayne 2 when we already had the Terminal Cut edition?
Developed by Big Boat Interactive and Published by Ziggurat Interactive Inc, BloodRayne 2 ReVamped tells the story of Rayne, battling a new breed of Vampires hellbent on blocking out the sun after Kagan (Rayne’s creator) has come out of hiding. On the surface, BloodRayne 2 ReVamped doesn’t look like it has too many changes coming over from the Terminal Cut, but we have new visual enhancements on top of some graphical upgrades along with extra audio options. This comes at the cost of removing the cheat system despite still being left on the menu, and if you are after a full remake, this isn’t one of those releases.
“Did we need another version of BloodRayne 2 when we already had the Terminal Cut?”
ℹ️ Reviewed on Xbox Series X | Review code provided by PR/publisher, this review is the personal opinion from the writer.
What we liked!
- The Story | Back in the day of the original PS2 release, BloodRayne, along with BloodRayne 2 had a great story to tell. Back then, nobody cared if there was a story involved in games, and when there was it was usually a well-told narrative that developers were passionate about which then translated well into gameplay. With BloodRayne 2 has solid grounding for a sequel and made logical sense and even holds up to today’s standards. Videogames as a whole have taken on a new direction, where most games released today are like Hollywood Blockbusters and try to offer more than your usual run-of-the-mill 4-5 hour campaign of shooting and looting.
- The style | Back when leather-clad individuals were a thing (mainly inspired by The Matrix) the whole Vampire-Esque sexy leather-clad ladies of the night were always referred to as beautiful and stylish. The original developers Terminal Reality did a great job at translating this style over to the game of BloodRayne 2. Rayne has a few outfits that express her figure and the settings are also well thought out. Earlier levels include huge churches like cathedrals, mansions, and clock towers for you to climb, all fitting in with the gothic style that goes hand in hand with Vampires. Given the new graphical improvements they do look great & the reflections are a nice touch even if they are not ray traced.
- The Abilities | The D-Pad is assigned to activate Rayne’s special abilities. There is Rage which makes her blades glow red, and this increases Rayne’s damage and also stops her from taking damage for a short time. We also have a slow mode where you can fine-tune your attacks or dodge enemies and their bullets. Rayne also has access to guns that are fused with blood. Firing these shots will reduce your ammo count but can still be used after you are on empty. Instead, they drain your health slowly but can be a lifesaver at the last moment or if you need to dispatch an enemy from the distance.
- Healing | A quick note on healing, pressing Y near an enemy will cause Rayne to jump on them and suck their blood thus refilling your own. It’s a great way and a great spin on the usual medkit way of healing and this method of healing I feel has aged well. You don’t see many games at all these days get creative like this and every time I had to heal I was reminded of how cool this way is.
- The Music | After discussing how well the environments and story relate to the gameplay, I must admit I was expecting something a little more different to fit the tone of the game. With BloodRayne 2 ReVamped however, we get a more upbeat techno soundtrack as opposed to the more choir-based gothic tones from an orchestra. This I felt would have set the mood and tone of the game a lot better than the music in-game. Sound effects are good, however, with the guns and slashes sounding great with each impact. Voice acting also holds up well despite its age.
- The Difficulty | Whilst every person is somewhat different, I have never felt so useless when playing a videogame before. The difficulty is outright horrendous. Replaying sections over and over again because you get ganged up on out of nowhere, a boss decides to go crazy on you, the list is endless. Essentially BloodRayne 2 ReVamped is a wave-based enemy showdown. Despatch the never-ending amount of enemies to progress. There were some occasions where I just had to run because it was too much. A difficulty option is desperately needed in a future update or at the very least bring back cheats.
What we disliked
- The Controls | The biggest issue I have with BloodRayne 2 ReVamped is its identity crisis with the type of game it wants to be. I’ve never been one to master every move in a game but as an avid Tekken and Street Fighter fan, I was surprised to see a list of moves to give even the most advanced fighting games a run for their money. There is no need to have so many different attacks and to rely so heavily on one type of attack for the in-game puzzles is just downright frustrating. I spent a good hour on the dance floor of a club trying to throw people into speakers because that’s what I had to do. The mechanic works 20% of the time I would say. There was no way to control how hard I threw someone or how far. It was random. I know this isn’t the fault of the new developers and publishers, but I would have seriously have thought about reducing Rayne’s moves and bringing it into a more modern-day audience.
- Environmental Puzzles | The second most frustrating thing about BloodRayne 2 ReVamped is its overuse of environmental puzzles. This 90% of the time requires you to throw people into certain objects. For example, a fireplace to stop it burning, a trash compactor for it to overload and explode, and even water pumps to stop them from working. On each level, I would say there was one of these and I always hit a wall. It’s also not always immediately obvious and looking at your objectives doesn’t shed any light on this. A waypoint system or tutorial for these sections is needed to give this game more quality of life as games have moved on.
- Lack of Waypoints | In BloodRayne 2 ReVamped it is not always clear where you need to go. Objectives on the screen when you check are almost always vague at best. Because of this you will spend a lot of your time wondering around aimlessly trying to find where to go whilse being bombarded by an onslaught of enemies.
- No Cheats | I remember back in the day enjoying the cheat system. It was sad to see this function has been removed by way of none of the codes working anymore. I have read somewhere that maybe 2 of them work but nothing significant. I am not opposed to remakes or remasters but when you remove features from a previous version and then charge for it, it doesn’t seem right to me.
- Checkpoints | The lack of checkpoints in the game is soul-destroying. Imagine being me and struggling through most of the game and then get to a certain point that has been hounding you forever, you finally do it, and then you die. Sorry, you need to do this all over again. I would have much preferred a save at any point system so that you can pick up where you left off. Instead, you are forced to go through every bit of struggle all over again.
- No Series S/X features | As mentioned above in regards to the save system and checkpoints, this could have also been avoided by having Xbox Series X/S features like a quick resume. This would have provided a much better experience for the end-user and also alleviated some of the stress when reviewing the game.
How long to beat the story | 8 Hours
How long to achieve 1000G | 10 Hours+
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Gaming is in my blood. Be it handheld games, Xbox, PC, Switch or Playstation, I am all over it.
I make my own games as part of my profession and love playing co op games with friends in my spare time. Avid dog lover and camper van enthusiast.