The developers at Way Forward, veterans of recent 3D remakes and sequels to games like Contra and A Boy and His Blob are turning BloodRayne, a 3D action game series about a sexy lady vampire that launched nine years ago, into a 2D action brawler.
They're emphasising blood over sex appeal. Lots of blood. And just a smidge of that sexiness. In fact, the developers told me, when they showed me the game at E3, that BloodRayne's idle animation is the main sexy thing they put in the game. I had to film it, of course, which I did, so that you can judge it. Just watch the video at the top of this story here.
BloodRayne Betrayal was surprisingly impressive. You move the heroine swiftly through striking stages that all look hand-drawn. There are nearly 4000 frames of animation for our leading lady, I was told. She doesn't have much defence - dashing is her primary means of escape - but she can slice enemies up well and also either suck their blood or blow them up. For those last two actions, she stuns the enemy and then can drain their blood to regain health or poison them, which makes them prone to explosions. Well-executed bites like that will cause one enemy to set off a chain of detonating enemies. WayForward calls that the "chain explosion" and says that's the signature new mechanic they've added.
The game plays fluidly and fast (watch its trailer for proof). If you like side-scrolling hack and slash games, keep this on your radar. It will be out this summer as a downloadable game in August on the PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360.