Review: Bloodrayne Betrayal
I like to think that I’m a patient man. Usually, I can retry the same stages for hours on end, confident that eventually I will overcome whatever obstacle the game is throwing at me. Bloodrayne Betrayal broke me. It made me scream, curse and generally kick up one hell of a fuss. Of course I found myself coming back for more, like the glutton for punishment that I am. Bloodrayne isn’t a game that will ease you in gently, in fact it goes in quite the opposite direction, in the sense that it pounds you senseless from the moment you step out of your coffin.
Of course, The first thing you’re going to notice about Bloodrayne is just how good it looks. The animation really pops off the screen, and everything just looks absolutely gorgeous. Seeing Rayne flipping out every which way really is entertaining, and the ability to know exactly what an enemy is going to do next based on their specific animations helps the combat system avoid most frustrating situations. Why “most”? Well, Bloodrayne Betrayal has the nasty habit of placing projectile throwing foes on your screen, along with a bunch of regular fodder. Dodging random projectiles while also trying to dodge ground attacks really isn’t the best time I’ve ever had in a game, but then Bloodrayne kicked things up a notch. Never in my life have I had to take down enemies while in the air, with a single hit sending me plummeting to my death. I took a count of how many times I retried that section, and it was extremely close to entering in to triple digets.
I like to think the level designer of Bloodrayne followed a plan of “here’s a cool new ability, now let’s see them rely on it for half a stage before we kill them instantly if they try to use it.” It’s a curious thing to be granted a new power, only to find the game punishing you severely for using it. Why not just give me the power for those sections, so that I can avoid a series of embarrassing deaths. On the topic of embarrassing deaths, I fail to see the point in platforming sections in games with supstandard platforming controls. If the very mention of terrible platforming segments is enough to curl your toes, then you are going to hate about half of Bloodrayne. Pin point precision jumping, dashing between moving platforms, the game tries its hardest to make you throw your controller. That air combat section I mentioned earlier? It actually takes place during an awful platforming segment. That’s a recipe for disaster right there.
When Bloodrayne Betrayal does things right, it makes you feel like an all powerful badass. When it’s making you repeat a jumping challenge for the umpteenth time, it makes you feel like throwing your controller through the nearest window. Equal parts wonderful and frustrating, it might just put a smile on your face, but don’t expect that smile to last for more than 30 seconds.
A copy of this game was provided by the publisher for review purposes. For more info on our review policy click here. This review is for the PlayStation 3 version of the game.
What I Like:
- Outstanding art and animation
- Solid music
- Fast and entertaining combat system
What I Dislike:
- Tiny text on speech bubbles
- Awful platforming
- Terrible last level