In the late nineties of the last century, the canonical image of the vampire as a respectable nobleman with a pale face, exquisite manners and an expensive mansion gradually began to be replaced by a new, more dynamic interpretation. The films of the Blade series became the quintessence of the new image of bloodsuckers. There, vampires outwardly and in behavior almost did not differ from ordinary people, only they were much, much stronger, more beautiful and cooler.
Perhaps it was the films about a dark-skinned half-vampire in a stylish black cloak (and, most likely, the games of the Castelvania series) that Terminal Reality studio employees were inspired by, working on a series of games about the adventures of a half-vampire (dampir) named Rain …
The game’s plot was set in the 30s of the XX century and was dedicated to a dampir named Rain, working for a mysterious organization called the Brimstone Society. Together with her mentor (and, of course, also a dhampir) Mins, our heroine goes on a dangerous mission and faces deadly mutants and undead. The vampires somehow fight off the bad guys, but in one of the battles Mins dies and Rain has to survive on his own. The first act ends with a boss fight, from which an edge is dropped. This very rib is almost immediately taken by some Nazi wizard (already cool, right?).
Further more. Following on the trail of a secret Nazi organization, Rein travels to Argentina, where she has to fight the SS units. In the process, the protagonist learns that the Nazis are trying to collect the body parts of a long-dead Aryan warrior named Belial, who was actually not a man, but a great demon (well, of course, with such and such a name). Possession of the rib, eye and heart of Belial will make the main evil Nazi even angrier, more important and more dangerous, so he urgently needs to be prevented. He already has the rib, the Rhine gets the eye, and the heart is somewhere in Germany. Our heroine will have to go there to save the world and avenge the deceased mentor.
All this splendor is accompanied by periodic resurrections (and deaths) of Means, showdowns with the ancient vampire clan (the guys do not like either the SS or their half-blood relative, and, apparently, they would just like to sleep in their castle without all this fuss) and epic a battle with two final bosses at once.
In general, the plot, of course, did not shine with novelty, but it fulfilled its main mission – to give Rhine at least some motivation to rush around the world and slash the Nazis. Actually, the basic gameplay of the game consisted of the genocide of the Nazis, vampires, zombies and other bad guys.
In terms of melee entertainment, BloodRayne was far ahead of its time, because beautiful combos and acrobatics were combined here with dismemberment and a sea of pouring blood. And to make it even more fun, Raine had super speed (in the form of slow-mo), super strength and many other super powers. You could replenish HP by drinking the blood of the enemies. Of course, he was present in the game and firearms – but shredding Nazis with double swords is much more interesting than sadly shooting them with a Schmeiser.
- Even back in 2002, professional critics already knew such words as “plot”, “motivation” and “character development”, so the rating of BloodRayne from the leading publications rarely exceeded 7.5 / 10. But ordinary gamers appreciated the spectacular mochilovo, rivers of blood and the “dignity” of the main character (who could compete with Lara Croft herself), so the game sold well. This allowed the developers at Terminal Reality and publishers at Majesco Entertainment to implement the hints of a sequel left at the end of the game.
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BLOODRAYNE 2 (2004)
The second part of the franchise came out just two years after the first. The developers perfectly understood what they owed to such success, so in the sequel the combo became even more spectacular, and the Rain model was even more highly detailed. In addition, gamers finally have the opportunity to dress her up in different, but equally revealing costumes. An important innovation in gameplay, albeit honestly copied from Prince of Persia, was the elements of parkour and acrobatics.
And the marketing campaign was brilliant at all – it was the main character of BloodRayne, and not some Lara Croft, who became the first female video game heroine to appear on the centerfold of Playboy magazine.
- As for the plot, Terminal Reality decided to bring the sequel to the present day. Raine, who has not aged at all, has managed to find traces of her vampire father, who had killed the mother of our heroine in the past 60 years between the games. Driven by revenge, the protagonist first kills a horde of her relatives, and at the very end fights with her own father.
Again, the game was coolly received by critics (average rating – 7/10), but this did not interfere with sales at all. Unfortunately, the success of the sequel did not help Majesco Entertainment to cope with the collapseI’m in the studio with a financial crisis. As a result, the company switched to casual games and games for portable consoles.
Another blow was the sale of the rights to the film adaptation of the BloodRayne universe to the German company Boll KG, owned by the notorious disgusting game films director Uwe Boll. Successively released in 2006, 2007 and 2010 three films were worse than each other and trampled the reputation of the franchise in the mud.
BUY BLOODRAYNE 2
BLOODRAYNE: BETRAYAL (2011)
It is not known whether Majesco decided to cut money on its former glory or seriously hoped for a renaissance of the series. The first version is supported by the fact that Betrayal has gone far from the canons of the first two parts and instead of a three-dimensional third-person action game, it was a two-dimensional metroidvania, in which Castlevania was reminded not only of the gameplay, but also the design of the locations.
And it seems that the game was not so bad – at least its visuals. But weak action scenes (which were the secret of the success of the first two parts) were combined in it with overly complex platforming elements – one awkward movement turned our super-strong vampiress into a bloody mince.
In addition, in the worst traditions of the series, Rein’s only motivation was revenge for betrayal, and for some reason the entire Brimstone Society was put in the role of traitors.
As a result, most of the critics were satisfied (and even then not all), the ratings of the game ranged from 6/10 to 9/10, but among ordinary gamers it was never particularly popular.