These days, it seems like almost any license from film or other media can be
turned into a game. Well, at least where the action, adventure and sci-fi genre
is concerned. Blade II definitely falls into this category. The license definitley
has the potential and basis of a pretty good game. Just look at Buffy The Vampire Slayer.
Of course, what sounds great doesn't neccessairly emerge as something great. Like
many licenses of the past and present, Blade II seems to be nothing more than a
cash-in on the film (most notably, the film) and the comic book license. But it
a sense, can we really be suprised?
The story of Blade II seems to confuse me. At first I though this storyline ran
pretty parallel to the film, especially since that this game shares the same name
as the movie's title, and that there hasn't been a "Blade I". But there wasn't much
I found in the game that seemed similar to the film. On top of that, the storyline presented
is fairly disposable anyway, with no real sense of depth given to the main characters,
or a total feeling of motivation to get something done.
To complement the dead storyline, the gameplay is about as basic as basic could
get. You basically fight your way stage by stage with maybe a small puzzle element
thrown in every third stage. It's all a matter of punch, kick and shoot. Oh, if
that were only so easy. The hand-to-hand combat control is made to be sound as
innovative (at least according to the back of the box). You have 360 degrees of
control via the right analog stick to take care of your hand to hand needs. Theoretically,
this sounds like a good idea. Except there's an awful rythm that needs to be followed
to dispatch enemies, that is, don't flick the controls quickly. In a game where
you will be swarmed by enemies, it's trite to ask the gamer to take a "slow and steady"
approach to hand to hand combat. If this doesn't sound bad enough, the weapon controls
suck. With no way to target your enemies, essentially you have to face the enemy
when firing a gun. The pistol to some degree will do some targeting, but when using the
glaive (as spinning blade-like boomerang), it's a matter of "hope-to-God-I-hit-them"
kind of thing. As for the rest of the controls, the actual character movement isn't
too bad, except for straffing, which then Blade moves like a WWII tank.
The visuals and sound are hit and miss. The character models are pretty poor in
this game, as Blade looks like this squatty version of how he appeared on film. Almost
action figure like. The enemy models lack detail and are pretty damn repetitive. I
guess the assumption is that all vamipres tend to look alike. The environments are
decent, but primatively modeled. There are occasional special effects, such as
reflections, but this really doesn't outweigh the bad. As for sound, it's below mediocre.
The character voices are bad impersionations of the film actors, and what little
Blade says is bland, generic and repetitive. The enemy opponents have a pretty limited
vocabulary as well, with witty dialouge such as "It's the daywalker!" and "Get him!".
Spicy! The music is bland and repetitive, and seems to be used over and over again
through each stage. I swear, it seemed like the music never changed through the stages.
Pure and simple, Blade II is a cash-in on the movie license. Except that this
game really has little to do with the movie's storyline, and that the gameplay design
has been done so many times it's lost all meaning. If you need to get your vamipre slaying
on, check out Buffy The Vampire Slayer on the Xbox or even BloodRayne. Blade II
is forgettable and pretty disposable to boot.