STAFF REVIEW of Blood Omen 2 (Xbox)

Thursday, September 5, 2002.
by Tony Ingrassia

Blood Omen 2 Box art A very dark and gothic tale of Kain the Vampire seeking revenge upon the ones who vanquished him. He is back to reclaim what was his and shows no mercy to anyone who stands in his path. The game plays like a movie, very cinematic, and the voice acting is fantastic. Large areas to roam and explore. An assortment of powers, weapons and ample blood make this an enjoyable horror game.

The controls are very simple to pick up and play. Motion and navigation through the game are also very simple. The story unfolds very nicelly without cut sceens per say. They blend seemlessly with your adventure. This is a fighting game make no mistake, but the addition of some very clever stealth moves and "Mist" attacks add to the fun. Kain can roam around as Mist in certain areas, which enable him to sneek behind his prey and execute a variety of cinematic kills. My personal fave, the fist through the back removing the victims heart through his chest, ther are also some nice decapitations. You can also float down behind your prey undetected to unleash a surprise attack. You can aquire weapons from your victims as you progress, unlock special powers, and increase you resiliance buy finding hidden treasures. The puzzels are just difficult enough to avoid being a hinderence to the game. The game plays very smoothly without, unfortunatlly, too much of a challenge until you get to the Boss battles. This is were the game is a little unbalanced, Boss's are always supposed to be tougher, but the game may loose a few people because of the giant difference between normal game play and Boss battles, especially the first one you encounter. Persistence pays, but gamers are a fical bunch. The other down side is, it's a single player game and has little to no replay value once you have achieved your objectives. One side note, i purchased this game at Target for $19.90, definetly a great addition to your library at that price.

Not ground breaking but very well done. Subtle things like the charecters chest expanding and contracting while he breaths, detailed locals, and gothic inspired lighting make this a visual treat. The range of motion from charecters in fight sequences is sharp and stutter free. I would have prefered Kain actually biting some necks as oppsed to the projectile sucking he uses. All in all a great effort.

Ambient effects are present but not overbearing. The voice acting is superb, blends nicelly with the ambience of the game. Slashes, screems, and footsteps all play well over a gothic and creepy soundtrack. Dolby Digital offers a emersive quality to the entire experience.

Improving the graphics slightly, and offering a few difernt modes of play could help the next instalment become a must have.

Overall: 8.0 / 10
Gameplay: 7.0 / 10
Visuals: 8.0 / 10
Sound: 8.0 / 10


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