Title: Bloodrayne Betrayal: Fresh Bites
Release Date: September 9. 2021
Reviewed On: PC
Bloodrayne Betrayal is one of those titles that never caught my attention back when it was initially released. I feel like some of this was due to the overhyped nature of the series and the terrible movies. However, with the re-release of Bloodrayne Betrayal Fresh Bites, I felt like it was time to finally give this game a chance.
In Bloodrayne Betrayal Fresh Bites, Rayne has finally caught up with her father, Kagan, the lord of vampires. Her mission is to stop whatever dastardly plan he has up his sleeve by infiltrating his castle with help from the brimstone society. Along the way, Rayne will have to defeat vampires, demons, and other monstrosities to stop her father and escape the castle alive.
Most of this story isn’t really told to you in your time spent in the castle. Everything begins with Rayne and the brimstone society storming the castle gates, with some dialogue thrown in as you fight. However, I ignore most of it in favor of the action during these sections. This is the main problem I have with the narrative the game tries but ultimately fails to tell.
There is very little to get you invested in anything outside of killing the next batch of enemies. Most dialogue is voiced speech bubbles that float around as you dispatch monsters, making it hard to focus on. To add to this, you don’t spend very much time with characters, so some emotional moments fall flat.
Bloodrayne Betrayal focuses all of its efforts on combat, which is where this title truly shines. The system itself is simple, having four main actions attack, jump, shoot, and suck. Each of them weaving into each other allows players to change up their combos while avoiding damage. Complimenting the combat are light environmental puzzles that usually involve blowing something up with an enemy, though.
Sadly, the enemy variety is limited, which causes the missions to become repetitive after killing the same few creatures and vampires. Instead, there’s a gradual addition and mixing of enemy encounters that allow players to develop a strategy no matter what is thrown at them. Further, it didn’t take me long to figure out the only combo you need to beat the castle.
Sucking blood grants you health, kills your prey and makes you invincible for the duration of the animation. It doesn’t matter at what health level your victim is at. Once you sink your teeth into them, they are out of the fight. I constantly found ways to stun my opponent so I could begin the process, then move on to the next unwitting fool.
This simple decision turns a fun and challenging title into one that I just wanted to get through to say that I beat it and look at the beautiful art. Every set piece and adversary are lovingly animated and are a joy to admire. Each design is distinct from the other, even when the design is just a vampire.
Although, compared to the enemy designs, Rayne sticks out in a bad way. She almost looks like she was animated in an old-school flash animation. I know this is mostly due to her hair moving independently of her, but when facing off against foes, she looks like she doesn’t belong in the same universe.
The slightly different art direction for Rayne could be a way to express how she is different from the rest of the inhabitants of the castle. As a metaphor, she belongs neither in the human world nor the one of her vampire brethren. Still, to everyone with eyes, it looks out of place, and I wish she would have at least been given the same art direction as the rest of the world around her.
Bloodrayne Betrayal Fresh Bites is a title that deserved this re-release to get it in front of new players. Combat is initially fun and easy to grasp, and the gorgeous art is enough to get anyone into the door. However, once you are there, the slightly inconsistent art style of the protagonist and easy trivialization of the combat; makes this title hard for me to recommend outside of players looking to give themselves a challenge intentionally.
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