Published on September 12th, 2011 | by Coyle Permetter, Editor
BloodRayne: Betrayal Review
Release Date: September 7, 2011
Platform: Xbox 360, PlayStation 3
MSRP: USD $15.00
Developer: WayForward Technologies
The components that make a game enjoyable don’t necessarily mean high budget. Actually, the fact that a developer focuses primarily on gameplay, the overall fluidity, and fun factor can be a huge surprise. BloodRayne: Betrayal is a side-scrolling smash-em-up game that relies on heavy platforming elements as well as fighting mechanics to deliver a very unique experience. This gives lineage to days when showing off the best graphics weren’t the priority of developers.
WayForward has a history of producing eye-appealing 2D games, and their latest release does nothing to disappoint. From the moment I loaded up BloodRayne: Betrayal I was instantly drawn in to its stylistic and beautiful approach to a 2D scroller. The beautifully-drawn backgrounds are implemented extremely well and add to the overall Gothic theme that give this game a very dark and fast paced feeling.
The violent animations also tie in great, as the decapitations leave a trail of dark red blood that instills the player with that “I’m a badass” vibe as you cut your way through everything that moves.
What is the story? I absolutely have no idea. The little story that is revealed is done so through text. While this isn’t necessarily relevant to the overall experience of the game, it does leave something to be desired, as voice-overs are somewhat expected these days. I’ve never played a BloodRayne title before, but I never felt like I was lost. There wasn’t too much dialogue, or story revealed overall. Gameplay is extremely important, but if I feel no attachment to the characters I’m playing with, or the story that they’re going through, it makes my efforts to finish the game seem trivial.
The gameplay is truly where this title shines. Paying homage to classic platformers, this sidescroller is somewhat unforgiving and downright impossible at times. It requires precise jumps, flips and understanding of the combat mechanics to pass certain points to progress. The controls and combat combinations were extremely well thought out, as they are fluid in tandem with the platforming mechanics, almost to the point where they become one in the same.
One inclusion to the gameplay was the ability to feed on your enemies to regain health gives this game such a unique feel. I love the fact that you are actually healing yourself the way a vampire would, instead of miscellaneous health packs materializing out of the corpses of your slain enemies.
As you progress throughout the game’s 15 levels, the enemies get progressively more challenging. The combat scenarios presented require the player to masterfully mix the combat and platforming mechanics to traverse the somewhat difficult encounter in order to survive. This coupled with the environmental hazards added, which were in the form of portable UV lights and moving saws, add an interesting change of pace at certain points in the game.
The soundtrack features a hard rock/heavy metalish mix that is somewhat forgettable; however it does nothing to hurt the mood, nor the gameplay. The sound effects were surprisingly enjoyable, as it is so satisfying to hear the sound of your twin blades wreak havoc on the flesh of your enemies.
At the price of 15 bucks, BloodRayne: Betrayal is a steal. It offers an immensely high replay value that will keep you coming back to get your vampire killing fix. BloodRayne: Betrayal pays homage to it’s many old-school, platforming, feel-super-accomplished-when-you-finally-killed-that-#$!#ing-boss-predecessors. It is a uniquely challenging yet equally rewarding experience that you can easily lose yourself in right from the first time you load it up. In days where games are easily completed , it is very refreshing to run across a game that challenges you right from the start.
The quickly progressing stages, evolving environmental platforming, as well increasing difficult enemies keep BloodRayne: Betrayal extremely fresh. I never felt like this was a hack and slash, nor did it feel like platforming obstacles were added to merely eat up game content. The complete lack of story however, makes this game much more of an arcade game from the ’90s and does little to that “extra mile” to completely blow my mind. The gameplay is extremely fun and rewarding; unfortunately the lack of story and depth keeps this from being an elite game.
+ Beautiful artwork and graphics
+ Challenging yet rewarding gameplay
+ Platforming and combat mechanics very fluid
+ High replay value
– Lack of story and depth
– Text bubble dialogue
– Extremely difficult for new-generation gamers