BloodRayne: ReVamped is a reboot of the 2009 video game BloodRayne, which was originally released for PC. Taking place in modern times with just a few references to vampire lore and pre-historic vampires, this action platformer boasts beautiful graphics and an interesting story that remains relatively believable despite its fantastical setting.
BloodRayne: ReVamped is a game that was funded through Kickstarter. The game has received mixed reviews, but it has been praised for its combat and visuals.
I reviewed the re-released version of BloodRayne Betrayal: Fresh Bites a little over a month ago, a 2D revival of what used to be a somewhat well-known but not exactly highly acclaimed series from the early 2000s, BloodRayne. It was one of those games you’d notice in a shop and pick up for three reasons: the gorgeous main character, the edgelord premise (early 2000s, dude), and the cheap price tag, since Majesco (the publisher) wasn’t exactly renowned for high concept and full-priced ideas. It existed, gave rise to games and a Uwe Boll film, and then disappeared. BloodRayne: ReVamped, from retro-inspired publisher Ziggurat Interactive, is now doing us a favor by remastering the original game.
Was BloodRayne a factor in Resident Evil 4? The rest of the world will never know.
BloodRayne: ReVamped is, in the most basic sense, a remaster of the original “classic.” Don’t get me wrong: this is a commendable attempt and a fully painless experience, but what you have here is essentially a somewhat nicer replica of the 2002 original. You get a higher resolution, a little longer draw distance, and 60 frames per second, and that’s about it. I have to applaud Ziggurat for seamlessly converting everything to the Unity engine (looking at you, Grand Theft Auto: The Trilogy), but if you’re seeking for more than this bare minimum of quality-of-life upgrades, go elsewhere.
That’s both a good and a negative thing, particularly after playing the GTA trilogy remasters described before. Nothing has been touched that may have gone wrong, such as new character models, deleted material, or the unlucky introduction of new problems. It’s a legitimate method to relive a “cult classic” (well, someone must consider it one). On the other hand, this game has aged badly in several areas. Because BloodRayne was never a household name or a critical darling in the first place, everything that was a problem in 2002 is still a problem in BloodRayne: ReVamped.
Rayne has a penchant for sucking the blood from everything that moves… includes apocalyptic disease-infected zombies
It’s primarily about the gameplay, which is a strange blend of old-school Tomb Raider platforming and mobility combined with a first-person shooter-styled control system. If you have a death desire, you may restore the controls to a tank-like layout. BloodRayne: ReVamped is all about executing eerily exact platforming in massive environments while fending off hordes of monsters from all sides. Even on the toughest mode, it’s not a difficult game, but you’ll need some time to get used to the clumsy controls.
The combat is a little quirky, but it works. You have a basic melee attack that you’ll use again and over again. Because the collision detection is monstrously exact – considerably more precise than the camera’s sensitivity and your motions – whether or not the attack connects with the adversary is a question of destiny and chance. You have access to a large number of firearms, all of which instantly lock onto adversaries. I appreciate how Rayne, our red-haired heroine, can aim and fire at two separate adversaries at the same time. You also have a grappling hook that lets you to haul foes towards you, as in Mortal Kombat, and have Rayne drink their blood while making strangely erotic noises.
Why is she so sensitive to water? And I’m not talking about holy water; I’m talking about normal water…
Surprisingly, despite these… strange sound effects, I’d argue that BloodRayne: ReVamped’s sound design is its strongest feature. To be clear, 2002 was not exactly a golden age for video game voice acting, so having a game where at least half of the characters don’t sound like they were dubbed by the XXX parody cast is already a triumph. The music isn’t very memorable, but I do like the main menu theme. It’s a hybrid of gothic rock, industrial metal, and nu-metal. Also known as “the most 2002 thing that ever happened in 2002.”
Thank you, JC.
I’m not sure who BloodRayne: ReVamped is for, or who was begging for this specific game to be revived in this particular condition, but I enjoy that it exists. Don’t get me wrong: this game is beyond antiquated, unreliable as hell, and as shallow as a puddle, but owing to its peculiar, “mid-budget game from the 2000s” janky appeal, there’s some fun to be had with it. Do you want to learn (or recall) what mid-budget games were like back when JNCO, Nokia phones, and Limp Bizkit ruled the charts? ReVamped by BloodRayne is a fantastic place to start.
This seems to be the polar opposite of the contentious graphic overhaul of Grand Theft Auto: The Trilogy. There has been very minimal modification, with the most notable changes being a more steady framerate and higher resolution. You’re essentially playing BloodRayne in its original form, which was released roughly two decades ago. For some, this may be beneficial, while for others, it may be detrimental.
It’s a strange blend of a first-person shooter control system (despite the fact that you’re controlling your avatar in third person) and an old-school Tomb Raider platforming sensibility. It’s out of date and sometimes janky, but after a while you’ll grow accustomed to it.
Given BloodRayne’s age, some of the voice acting is really rather excellent. Other NPCs, on the other hand, sound just as cringeworthy as you’d anticipate. The audio is just good enough not to irritate you.
The nicest thing that can be said about this remaster is that it has secured BloodRayne’s place in gaming history for the foreseeable future. It’s never been really fantastic, but it has a strange, janky appeal that screams “mid-budget from the 2000s.”
Final Score: 6.0
BloodRayne: ReVamped is out now on PlayStation 4, Xbox One, PC, and Nintendo Switch.
PS4 was used for this review.
The publisher donated a copy of BloodRayne: ReVamped.
As an example:
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BloodRayne: ReVamped is an action-packed, fast-paced, hack and slash game with a unique vampire twist. The game features a variety of weapons to help you defeat the hordes of enemies that are trying to kill you. Reference: bloodrayne: revamped price.
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