BloodRayne: Betrayal Review

Everyone’s favourite Dhampir is back, but she’s not in the best of shape. BloodRayne: Betrayal marks the return for the nine year-old franchise in the form of a completely 2D side-scrolling platformer/hack-and-slash. This new direction for the series is an interesting departure from the third-person action format of the original two games, but just because it’s interesting doesn’t mean it’s a good game. Fans of the series have waited a long time for a new BloodRayne game. Can Betrayal quench their thirst for Blood…rayne?

The game’s best attribute is it’s crisp, comic book art style. The variety of environments you visit are all unique and bring on a mood that suits the game perfectly. I spent most of my time playing this game admiring the art style, but thanks to some shadowing effects it can be difficult at times to tell where a platform starts and where it ends. Other than that minor problem, though, there aren’t many issues with the art style and it proves to be the best aspect of the game. Unfortunately, its light is dimmed by the large array of other problems.

The story might as well be non-existent as the rare story scenes are acted out through comic-like speech bubbles. Most of the time you’re too busy to even notice someone is talking. It’s a basic trajectory of “Get to the castle. Beat the bad guy,” but the story is unimportant and won’t affect you if you just want to ignore it. The story is so unimportant, in fact, that it spoils a part for you right in the title of the game and it doesn’t even matter.

Like Super Meat Boy and Donkey Kong Country: Returns, BloodRayne: Betrayal has extremely difficult platforming sections. Unlike the aforementioned titles, though, the controls aren’t particularly good. You’re given absolutely nothing to look forward to, and it’s just not any fun. The weird shadowing effect can cause some problems as well. It never occurred during the more intense platforming sections, but it did make me stop and think about how to get across when I could have just kept running. There are several platforming sequences in the game that reminded me of Donkey Kong Country, but instead of just holding a button to run faster you have to dash or leap. I found leaping to be weird and imprecise and the dashing works, but it’s annoying when you have to keep jumping up to dash to pick up some semblance of speed.

The lackluster combat may look cool, but it’s nothing more than repetitive and boring. The onslaught of enemy waves can also be extremely overwhelming and if there’s a lot going on across the screen, it’s not hard to lose track of Rayne. There’s also no temporary invincibility when you get hit, so potentially, you can be killed just by being hit once and then falling into something or having more enemies hit you just as you’re getting back up. A lot of people might argue that this would make the game too easy, but having this feature for easy or medium difficulty would relieve a lot of frustration this game brings on. Unfortunately, there aren’t difficulties to choose from, so if you’re having difficulties getting past a part, you better buckle up and keep punching the wall.

Although the majority of the game is frusting, there is a part in the game that was actually quite fun to play. You are helped by a white raven and on one of those occasions you are given the opportunity to play as said raven. You have to fly around, avoiding obstacles and shooting enemies with a sonic scream blast. To fly you have to keep pressing a button as if you were flapping your wings. It was a refreshing change of pace for the game, but unfortunately there is only one instance in the game where you get to take control of the raven.

BloodRayne: Betrayal is a manifestation of frustration with a few twinkling lights of hope. What starts off as a game that seems like it could be good quickly turns into a title that demands perfection and almost nothing less. Those who love a game that will push you to the edge of your limit might love Betrayal, but anyone who likes a game that feels like it’s playing fair, has tight controls, and fun combat is sure to dislike it. Even those who love a game that feels like it comes from the bowels of hell should know that there are better games out there that exemplify both difficulty and good gameplay.


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Author: GamerNode Staff View all posts by

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