In a time of turmoil and decay, a dark organization with a sinister agenda casts its shadow over the world. But as their plot unfolds, an even greater evil pushes its twisted being at the very bindings of reality... Filled with hate and vengeance, Caleb has returned to face the Cabal and its minions once again - and this time he's not alone. Can he hold the Chosen together long enough to reclaim the Cabal and the heart of his one true love? Or will his actions destroy them all?
Age requirements: ESRB Rating: MATURE with Animated Violence, Animated Blood and Gore.
Minimum system requirements: Windows XP or Windows Vista, 1.8 GHz Processor, 512MB RAM (1 GB recommended), 3D graphics card compatible with DirectX 7 (compatible with DirectX 9 recommended), 2GB HDD, Mouse, Keyboard.
Posted on 2011-02-07 07:14:00 by DavidMcmurdo:
The original Blood is my favourite game of all time but despite that, I just can't pretend that this sequel is anything other than utter dross in every conceivable way. I actually played Blood II and the Nightmare expansion through from start to finish hoping and praying that it would get good at some point. It never did. In this essay (and it is an essay), I will explain why Bloodread more II is so terrible in absolutely every respect.
Lets start with the plot. A lot of fans hated the fact that it takes place in a science-fiction type setting as opposed to the gothic horror scene of the original game. I actually think this could have worked really well. You've got Caleb, an undead cowboy essentially, having to deal with the threats of a futuristic world (Blood II is set one hundred years after the original). All kinds of interesting themes could have come from this. The manual sets a serious tone and suggests that all manner of deep issues will be resolved. But no. Blood II is done purely for laughs and at no point attempts to take itself seriously. Oh sure, there were plenty of laughs in the original game and Caleb is famous for his one-liners. But there was also a gravity there; all of the ludicrous action took place against a really dark revenge story. Where the original Blood had wit, Blood II has puerile humour. Caleb is like a caricature of what he was previously and the rest of the Chosen are just cliches. Oh and get this: since the first game, one of them has had a sex change LOL!!!1111oneone. Yeah... that's funny, right? No, it's just stupid and senseless and completely at odds with the tone of the original game. That would be alright if Blood II stood strong on its own, but it doesn't. I still don't understand the events of Blood II, especially towards the end.
But who cares about the plot, right? I mean, this is a shooter after all. Well, I for one care, but it doesn't matter because the gameplay is awful too. I'm one of the few people who have ever actually finished this game and the reason is because of its difficulty. Now, challenge is a good thing, in my opinion. The problem is that Blood II's difficulty comes from there being no balance at all in the game. I really find it hard to believe that anyone actually tested this game before releasing it because no-one in their right mind could play through this game and think it worked well. The first boss (well, what I consider the first boss anyway) is this giant... thing sitting in a cathedral and he's the hardest enemy in the entire game by a thousand miles. Beating him is basically down to pure luck: he might kill you in a single hit or he might not. And that's regardless of difficulty. Distribution of ammo and weapons is an absolute joke and was done apparently at random. Actually, this whole game feels like it was made at random and it's painfully obvious that it was rushed towards the end.
In terms of level design... actually I can barely remember the levels because they were mostly comprised of generic industrial environments. They're more interesting early on and you get to infiltrate this lab and go on an airship but eventually the designers were like, "ah... just make a few more levels in that apartment and sewer style. That'll do."
There are a lot of weapons in Blood II with alternative fire modes but you'll probably only end up using about four of them and even then, only because you lack ammo. Like everything else in the game, they're largely ill thought out and useless. You get a canister of bug spray for example, which is a contender for the most pointless weapon ever seen in a videogame. It's like they thought, "lol, won't it be funny if we put bug spray as a weapon" and did it, with no attempt to make it balanced or useful in any way whatsoever.
The enemies are alright I suppose but after a while the game just starts throwing them at you without rhyme or reason. Some of them are weirdly susceptible to certain guns. So much so that I can only conclude that it was some weird mistake in design. The more the game goes on, the less your enemies react when being shot. This leads to situations where you're just standing there firing lead into each other to see who dies first. There can be no thought or strategy to your approach in Blood II because if you can see your enemies, then they can see, and shoot, you.
The Lithtech engine here is just horrible. Limbs and debris will routinely float in mid-air and everything just looks like crap. The chances are that Blood II will crash a lot for you for no apparent reason whatsoever but that's no GoG's fault: the game was like that since the day of its release.
After killing the final boss (why am I fighting this thing? God knows), the credits begin rolling as The Chosen walk along the wasteland in silence. No resolution to anything that has been brought up, no sign that the world or characters have changed at all... just nothing. If you played through this game just to see what transpires like I did then I feel bad for you, because a hollow silence is all that awaits and I think that sums the whole thing up.
So, Blood II is awful, but maybe they got wiser for the expansion? Wrong. It just futher hammers the nail into the coffin of the Blood franchise by having The Chosen go on dumb missions like destroying photos from a prom night. No, I'm not joking. The one good thing about The Nightmare expansion is the fact that we get to see what the original Blood would have been like if it had been made using the Lithtech engine. Which is to say, awful. But at least we get a reminder of better days.
The Nightmare expansion also includes some new weapons like this box from which chains shoot to rip enemies to pieces (yeah, it's basically the Lament Configuration from Hellraiser). But why the hell would you even want to use such an unnecessarily complicated weapon when you could just shoot someone? Again, there is no balance, or any sense at all to the weapons and amount of ammo you're given. They just shoved every element of the game in there without a moments thought. And once again, only a bewildering conclusion and silent credit scroll waits as a reward for your troubles.
So there, my friends, is how Blood II ensured that there would never be another game in the series. In terms of plot, it is such an incoherent mess that if by some miracle another Blood game was to be made, it would have to be a reboot. I would call this a "Highlander 2" but the difference is I actually think Highlander 2 started off with the best intentions and the Highlander franchise was able to get back on its feet. Blood II, on the other hand, is a rushed and lazy mess, devoid of any merit whatsoever and no way in hell is anyone going to be making a Blood III. Funnily enough though, I remember this game getting decent scores in magazines back in the day. Better scores than the original did. Proof, if it were needed, that the opinion of mainstream publications was never worth anything.
Thinking about it now, everything about Blood II is so wrong, that I'm tempted to believe that there was a deliberate effort to kill the series. But no... the sad reality is it was just a rushed attempt to cash in on the name of the excellent original.
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Posted on 2010-04-29 23:08:20 by Kais37:
This game does not exactly have the best reputation. Its level design can be a bit wonky, the weapons are plentiful to the point where the majority of them will never be used and the enemies tend to behave strangely. However, this game is still IMMENSELY fun, I remember getting a kick out of how ridiculous it was. Its tongue in cheek violence in a genre I like to refer to as bulletread more porn. Even though the ending is a complete let down I still have the urge to pick it up for the sheer fun this game overs. Its not perfect, but monolith knows how to make mindless entertainment.
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Posted on 2010-04-29 13:35:05 by Sogi-Ya:
i love this game! it's flawed, got some pretty stupid parts, and I'm not entirely sure it can be beaten without using cheat codes ..... but damn is it fun!
why is it the flawed gems that i want to play endlessly?
This ain't half-life or heavy rain, don't expect intellectual depth from a game that has you eating the still beating hearts or your enemies as health packs, and shameread more on you if you needed me to enlighten you to that fact!
GUNS AKIMBO! now go shoot the moon with a rail gun!
(On technical merit this game rates a 2 or 3, but for game play it rates a 5, thus 4 as a happy medium.)
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