BloodRayne 2: ReVamped

Year: 2021
Platform: PlayStation 4
Genre: Action
Review Date: 1/27/21
Rating: ***

After Ziggurat acquired the rights to "BloodRayne," they decided to remaster the existing games before starting on a new title. "BloodRayne 2" is a significant improvement over the first game in every regard, and yet it's less fun to play. My impressions are pretty much the same as when I played the original. The combat is aggressively difficult, which forces you to enable God Mode from the cheat menu at the very beginning of the game. Even when you're invincible, combat is a tedious slog because enemies tend to block every strike and knock you to the ground. The Carpathian Dragon guns are effectively useless for the most part, except that the flame upgrade can take out certain enemies with one shot. The controls aren't as wonky as the original, but the chase camera is still awkward which forces you to constantly reorient your view. Even with Aura Vision, objectives aren't always clear, and you never know whether you need to kill a certain number of enemies to move ahead, or if the endless stream of bad guys need to be used to solve an environmental puzzle, or if you can just run past everyone to the next area. It's very telling that even though I know I've played this game all the way through before, I have absolutely NO memories of it, other than Rayne's fancy party dress.

That said, for its age it still looks great and Laura Bailey gives a fantastic performance. Rayne's quips are always entertaining, even though they get repeated A LOT. The music is good and Rayne slices and dices foes apart with a hilarious amount of gratuitous gore that no one would dare attempt these days. The over-the-top sex and violence is a refreshing throwback to a more renegade era of game development and makes me long for Rayne to make a blood-drenched comeback.