Blood Rayne

Blood Rayne

On the spicy meatball scale, young half-vampire half-human Rayne, star of BloodRayne, clocks in at a respectable “Mamma mia!” Her tightly packaged buttocks and dominatrix-style leather outfit beckon loudly to impressionable young males and her message is simply, “Come hither. And bring some cash.”

Rayne has been designed by sexiness experts and dropped into a game that features all the erotic appeal of Rosie O’Donnell scarfing down Canadian ham at an all-you-can-eat buffet. Straightforward slice-’em-up action combined with basic “find A to unlock B” puzzles fuel her eponymous and multiplatform game. Rayne kills zombies. She slices up spider-thingees. She dismembers Nazis by the battalion. She reminds you, with every step and every slurp of blood from an enemy’s jugular, that sometimes it’s better to date an ugly girl with personality than a beauty queen who’s deep as a dime.

Terminal Reality tosses in some neat touches to bolster gameplay, and these help to redeem the title. After appropriate amounts of slaughter, Rayne can go into berserker mode in which she speeds up and time slows to a crawl, allowing her to tear into a horde of enemies like a white-hot knife through butter. A secondary mode slows the game and its protagonist, so Rayne can track and dodge a hail of gunfire.

BloodRayne neither sucks nor bites, but neither does it strike with the force of a stake through the heart. We wanted blood. Instead, we got ketchup.

Copyright © 2004 Ziff Davis Media Inc. All Rights Reserved. Originally appearing in Xbox Nation.