The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Game Point
Vampire queen

Rayne is back, but this time, with a vengeance. Well, yes, you've guessed right. The sequel to Bloodrayne is finally here, and this one is even more violent than the last one. Rayne's last adventure was in 1935, when she joined forces with the secret Brimstone Society, and killed hundreds of Nazis and mutants with her arm blades and arsenal of guns.

Her father, Kagan, an influential Nazi collaborator, was apparently killed in a bomb blast at the close of the war as well as at the end of the game. Since Rayne felt cheated of killing Kagan herself, she sought revenge by slaughtering his offspring, her half-brothers and sisters. Zip forward by 70 years, and the remaining survivors have banded together to form The Cult of Kagan. They have discovered a mysterious power, The Shroud. If the plan succeeds, they'll be able to destroy the human race.

If you've played the original, you'll know what to expect. However, a lot more is in store. Rayne can now perform acrobatic feats, and jump from wall to wall. You can also slide along rails ' Tony Hawk style ' and shoot at enemies or behead them. The famous Rayne harpoon returns, but this time you can do a whole lot more with it. You can impale and toss enemies into background objects like rhino horns or spikes.

The audio component adds to the mood. The sound effects ' of clashing weapons ' help you to catch the magic of fierce combat, though they sometimes seem to border on exaggeration. Rayne has a wealth of one-liners that she likes to come up with after each combat.

The gameplay is remarkably simplistic, in the sense that you could just hit the buttons hard and win. But that doesn't mean it's not entertaining. Rayne has a lot of moves at her disposal. One of the most important ones is called 'feed'. This is where Rayne pounces on her enemies and digs her fangs into their necks. This is useful for replenishing health and acquiring blood for duels using guns that are powered by blood. Some of the other moves have Rayne sticking out her blades and beheading her enemies.

In addition, she also has a collection of special abilities, courtesy her vampire heritage. These include slowing down bullet-time and increasing her damage potential. Besides killing, you'll also be solving puzzles, some of which are real fun. The jumping puzzles are a little annoying because the controls on the PC version aren't quite as precise as their console counterparts. Overall, Bloodrayne 2 is great fun if you like the idea of playing a vampire queen.

Minimum system requirements: Windows (TM) XP, Windows ME, Windows 2000, Windows 98, Windows 98se (Windows 95 and Windows NT are not supported) 1.5GHz or faster processor from Intel or AMD 128MB system RAM 2.5 GB free hard disk space 64MB Direct 3D compatible video card (Card must support Pixel Shading) DirectX compatible sound card.

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