The Return of Agent Rayne
BloodRayne emerged in the early 2000’s as a promising new franchise. Two hit titles were released along with a comic book series and a movie. While the games received modest praise, a solid fan base did grow. Unfortunately, the series fizzled away by the start of the Seventh-Gen era while its legacy lives on thanks to the fandom. Flash forward to 2020, Ziggurat Interactive purchased the rights to the series and now we have an HD remaster. BloodRayne: Terminal Cut is a remaster of this forgotten classic that (hopefully) sets the groundwork for a reboot.
The funny story is that I only returned to this series last year when I saw the original on Steam. However, I only played it twice then forgot about it (most of you know what I mean). Now that BloodRayne: Terminal Cut is here, I wanted to go back and play this like I did back in the day. Overall the game has been modernized while also keeping most of what defined it (both the good and bad).
Welcome to the Brimstone Society
Before I get into the story and gameplay, be aware that this is a product of its time. The story has players take on the role of Rayne, a Dhampir (human-vampire hybrid) who has become the newest agent of the Brimstone Society. She is tasked with stopping the Gegengeist Gruppe from acquiring mystic artifacts that could be used to support the Nazi war machines. The gameplay is predominantly a hack ‘n’ slash with third-person shooter elements.
From a narrative perspective, it was not that impressive as it drew too much form other works of pop-culture. Battling the Third Reich was one of the trends that defined gaming during this time while a new era of hack ‘n’ slash had emerged. It makes no effort to hide how much of an influence Devil May Cry and Return to Castle Wolfenstein on the setting. I don’t however see this as draw back since I grew up during this time, and thus see it as a time capsule of what was trending.
This is the same classic game from 2004 but it has undergone some major updates. Terminal Cut features an improved visual design and graphics. Playing as Rayne has improved thanks to better control functions and the PC version actually has support for modern controls (but you may need to set up the key binding based on your preference). The same classic gameplay is present as you go around slashing demons and Nazi’s. Finally one can’t overlook the fact that all of the hidden secrets have been kept (including cheat codes).
Bad Guys, Plus Big Guns
BloodRayne: Terminal Cut does it’s best to fix many of the performance issues but it doesn’t improve the overall game. That is because many of the problems that plagued the original are still present in this remaster. By that I mean some of the poor level designs, gameplay elements that haven’t aged well and the lack of help from the in-game guides. This is not something I’d expect to be fixed in a remaster but it still hinders the games overall experience.
Tricky Little Devil
BloodRayne: Terminal Cut is a reminder of how so many titles that defined an era have become lost to time. Sometimes one yearns for a simpler time when blockbuster AAA games and indie darlings were not the only options. One could only hope that this HD remaster could inspire a remake of this forgotten series.
Disclaimer: I got this game for free (via Steam) since I already owned the original version.
This review is the critique and thoughts of one writer. If you want to see how other critics felt then check it out on OpenCritic.
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