BloodRayne Betrayal: Fresh Bites
Top Critic Average
Personally, I liked Bloodrayne Betrayal: Fresh Bites: the visuals are great, the mix of hack and slash and platform combat is fun, and the sound work is competent. Unfortunately, the remaster would need a major transfusion of improvements, as it has significant problems. The biggest ones are the small amount of content and some inadequate original elements. In the end, the game is a suggestion for those who enjoy the genre and can extract only the best it has to offer.
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All in all, BloodRayne Betrayal: Fresh Bites is a solid title for anyone who’s into hack ‘n slash. If you’re concerned about the balance, it’s still a punishing game, but once you work out the controls, you should be all right in Standard mode. After mastering that, Classic mode will put you through your paces. However, it has basically nothing to do with the existing BloodRayne storyline, and I really don’t recommend playing the raven levels more than once.
Don't get me wrong - I had a fun time with BloodRayne Betrayal: Fresh Bites. The rebalanced difficulty is great, and there's even an option for sadists that enjoy the original. Combat has some strategy I appreciated, especially with figuring out when and where to detonate infected enemies for maximum effect. (I still received many C grades for my time and life scores at the end of levels, though.) It's just that I wish some of the platforming were better and the characters were given more personality. Hopefully, this re-release will garner interest in BloodRayne, and a fleshed-out sequel will head our way one day.
The customer is always right, so the saying goes, and as customers of this game, players can have some legitimate complaints about the service. The platforming is not fun: sadistic design choices are realised with lacklustre materials. But BloodRayne doesn't care. The combat, when you're allowed to play it, is unique and raucous and deliciously convoluted, with a skill ceiling as high as a gothic cathedral. BloodRayne isn't here to take your order; it's here to suck your blood.
BloodRayne Betrayal: Fresh Bites features great-looking animation and creative level designs, but is hindered less-than-stellar game mechanics.
BloodRayne Betrayal: Fresh Bites is a barebones remaster of a middling action experience that does not hold up by today's standards.
Final thought: The action and gameplay are a bloody feast for fans in Bloodrayne Betrayal: Fresh Bites, but the difficult nature of the game can cut out a lot of its audience. Breathtaking visuals and intense gameplay packaged in a low price make this game at least a must-try for most gamers.
Elsewhere on DigitallyDownloaded.net, I'm doing a series on games that I'm still playing ten years later. In that series, I highlight games that I don't necessarily think are the greatest works of art of all time, but I'm still coming back to them for having a rare quality that makes them endure. BloodRayne Betrayal is in some ways the opposite. While it was never one of the greatest games of all time, back when it was new it was a standout example of what would become the future; the ability for mid-tier and independent video games to flourish, free of the absolute reliance on the retail system. Ten years on, however, the game is no longer a standout, and while it is still absolutely beautiful, there are now dozens of games vying for the same headspace as BloodRayne, and it's not going to win over anyone. There's still a game in there that can delight, but it is a lot of work to align yourself with the vision now.
More often than not, though, it feels like work. Tedious, exhausting work. And 38-year-old Zach doesn't have the patience for that anymore.