Things that go bounce in the night

It’s been a bad month for video game Nazis.

Choosing to play through Bloodrayne made thematic sense; it’s a natural follow-up to both Bayonetta and Return to Castle Wolfenstein.  Like Bayonetta, it panders pretty heavily to base male instinct, and like RTCW you kill a buncha Nazis.

Oh, and there are some mutants too, and some weird references to Atlantis that seem to get forgotten almost as soon as they’re made, and, well, the story is kind of all over the place really.

Both end in a Big Damn Castle In Germany, too.  That’s something.

If you’d asked me my opinion of Bloodrayne at any point up until about two hours in, I would have simply said “terrible”, because it really DOES take a long time to develop any redeeming characteristics.

I mean any OTHER redeeming characteristics.

I did struggle with the idea of making that joke or not, but in the end I decided that taking the moral high ground was unfamiliar territory at the best of times, so I should just go with the easy gag and the suggestive screenshot to pad out this post’s length.

But seriously, folks.

As I was saying, a couple of hours into the game, the plot shifts from just killing Louisiana swamp mutants and miscellaneous Argentinian Nazis and becomes, well, a bit creepier and a bit bigger-scale.  Curiously enough, the action takes a nice jump in intensity at right about the same point, and the combined effect is that it starts actually being fun to play… and then it actually ends at a decent point, before it’s had a chance to overstay its welcome.  It probably took me 8 or 9 hours to play through, though the in-game clock reported 6 and a half hours – there were a couple of levels that I had to attempt several times before figuring out the secrets.

It also gets points for being easy to run in modern resolutions (1920×1200, in my case) with a simple .ini tweak, which is pretty impressive for a game from 2002, and having decent gamepad support, though the default button mappings needed some tweaking to be comfortable.

In all, I’m not going to try to defend it as a particularly GOOD game, but I am going to revise my early opinion of it and say that it’s a game that’s certainly worth the GoG price of six dollars.

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