1 Reviews

BloodRayne: Betrayal


Let's assume that the 'betrayal' of the title refers to Bloodrayne's controls. Developers WayForward have produced a platforming slasher keen to be Castlevania, and in this competitive 'me-too' genre, you live and die by precision of control. Sadly, Bloodrayne Betrayal slips in a pool of blood and stabs itself in the gut.

Steering half-vampire Rayne around the pretty hand-drawn worlds is diffi cult. Control inputs feel woolly - she'll regularly ignore your stabs of the A button in favour of standing still to enjoy a bullet to the face - and in a game as willfully difficult as this, you'll find yourself - although frustrated − secretly glad she's dead.


Making matters worse, the game's grave-laden underworld is riddled with jumping puzzles that depend on steering Rayne onto tricky narrow ledges. It's hard to gauge each leap: stop quickly and you'll skid forward, a mechanic that, if timed properly, lets Rayne perform a high flying backflip.

But it's near impossible to tell when you've built up enough speed to execute that flip, and you'll spend a large amount of time jumping limply into the ether. And restarting.

Betrayal's combat is pleasingly bloody, but it's difficult to see how much input your button-mashes are having on the torrent of claret you see on screen. Fights are easily solved by hammering X, stopping only to hold B on the last few enemies to siphon off some of their blood to your health bar. When you're awarded points for stylish kills, it's grating not to know how to please the game - especially when there's no block and enemies happily snap you out of attack animations with ranged shots.

There's a Gothic stylishness to the presentation, but the enemies are repeat processions of the same character models. When new foes are introduced, Betrayal manages the impressive task of making each new one more infuriating in their attack patterns than the last.

Bosses are an exception, being neatly designed throughout. There's a palpable sense of progression in the game, and besting a particularly tough section is satisfying. But, with a gleeful sadism on the part of the developers' enemy and level design, Bloodrayne will betray you given half the chance.

Order Xbox World magazine here and have it delivered straight to your door

The verdict

Unfairly difficult platforming lumbered with controls that aren't up to task. Fight against both for a rewarding experience, or climb back into your coffin

Xbox Live Arcade