XeNonX


An Afternoon With..The Vampire Rain Demo by Steve
August 16, 2008, 9:22 pm
Filed under: Previews | Tags: , , ,

With a demo for Vampire Rain hitting the Japanese PSN, and having nothing else to do on a wet and miserable Saturday afternoon I thought I’d give it a run through, not only that i thought I’d share my findings with you as i go, so what exactly is involved with Vampire Rain? i hear you ask, well I’ve no idea and with only mild curiosity I’ll endeavour to find out.

Sam?

Sam?

Well after a brief cut scene featuring a team of what I presume are a crack vampire hunting special forces team, I’m informed my advance team of crack vampire hunting special force blokes, who shall now be know as CVHSFB, has gone missing and it will be much better if I go on my own to find them,  yes of course it would as staying with the rest of my CVHSFB team with our no doubt highly practised and rigorously drilled combat techniques as we pass through an obviously highly hostile environment would just be stupid.

Now that I’m alone and in game trying to familiarise myself with the games controls, the first thing that hits me is the resemblance to Splinter Cell, my character has a vague look of Sam Fisher and I move around in an eerily similar manner.  I’ve been informed that i need to locate the lost CVHSFB vehicle, which for some reason is an ambulance, I just presume they are moonlighting as medics for St Johns and move on.

After viewing another short cut-scene of what I initially think is someone having a fit but  then presume is actually a vampires last meal returning to life, I’m back to sneaking around, which is made easier by a radar in the bottom of the hud that shows me the direction people are looking.  As I reach a sparsely populated street in down town vampireville I’m actually not sure who is and who isn’t a vampire, now don’t let that comment fool you into thinking there are a large number of people milling around, because there isn’t, in fact there’s four, one of which is a clearly unhappy gentleman beating the hell out of a parked car, and doing so I should add in complete silence, and what I suspect are ladies of questionable virtue standing in a doorway.  I decide to leave Mr Angry as I figure he has problems of his own and head over to the hookers to introduce myself.

Well this turns out not to be the best idea I’ve had today, as although i thought my approach was stealthy enough it seems I’ve been spotted which leads to the two lovely ladies charging at me in a fashion i can only describe as “desperate” and before you know it I’m tackled to the ground and switly relieved of my jugular by one of the aforementioned ho’s.

Ok hit restart and lets try again, my mild curiosity is starting to wain, so back onto the street I go to discover Mr Angry who the developers couldn’t be bothered to create any sound effects for, isn’t in fact a vampire and the sight of me is enough to calm his mood and reduce him to a cowering gibbering wreck.  The ladies spot me, charge across the street in comical fashion and I’m dead, bugger!  I am very well armed believe it or not but as I’m under orders not to be seen I’m trying to go with that plan.

Playing it stealthy, no idea why though.

Playing it stealthy, no idea why though.

After a few more frustrated failed attempts to cross the street i discover another possible route over the rooftops, I’d actually walked passed the platform i had to access a fair number of times without noticing it, hey its dark and raining in game so any would be tough nut Blade type could of missed it.  I reach the roof of the building I’m ascending and low and behold I’m treat to a Sam Fisher style zip wire ride, oh the excitement is building now, but it’s so easily dashed as I’m treat to another section of rooftop stairs, ladders and the occasional ledge hanging section.  Once or twice a vamp will fly by in what I’m guessing should be a stress inducing moment that should have be diving for cover, but which in fact leaves me standing out in the open wondering if that’s the same vampire as the last one or do they stick to a strict dress code around these parts.

I finally reach my destination and it’s cut scene time, the vehicle is in a garage that I’m dramatically told I can’t open because it “might” be alarmed, so I now have to head to a security office for some reason, wasn’t actually listening by this point, oh and wouldn’t you know it in the time I’ve risked life limb and jugular to cross the street my fellow CVHFSB have worked out a route to bring our own command vehicle to me, which curiously is a pizza van, ok so i guess a fully armed apc with CVHFSB emblazoned in large letters on the side might draw a little attention, and hey everyone loves pizza.

Almost as soon as I set off to my new destination and I’m spotted again, and have an entire posse descend on me, once again it’s back to looking at the game over screen which informs me “it’s safer to go around Nightwalkers than to go through them” NO SHIT!! Like i mentioned earlier I’m pretty well tooled up but can i find the time to draw my pistol or raise my assault rifle before the vampire quarterbacks are on top of me and I’m taken down with one hit?  oh yes that’s right, one bleeding hit! that would be a resounding no, and even on my next attempt at going Johnny Rambo all guns blazing, only to discover my impressive looking Neolite M-4 assault rifle is as much use as tits on a bull.

Youll be dead before you can even pull the trigger.

You'll be dead before you can even pull the trigger.

Ok, after a couple of Marlboro Lights to restore my usual cheery disposition I’m back to sneaking my way through the city streets, which isn’t really as interesting as it might sound, and actually just a very linear path to my objective, head to an alley or street, discover there is a vampire standing there so move onto next alley or street until one is open for you to navigate down, and that’s basically it.  This leads me to my next objective, which is to gain access to a security building and shut off the power, which naturally involves another dull episode of reaching the top of the building via the conveniently placed ladders and ledges until I’m able to enter the building by an unlocked door on the roof, race down some stairs to a fuse box and hit the switch.  MISSION COMPLETED

The demo has another stage to try out and two trial sections, now as the first section sapped any will to live I had remaining I’m afraid I just cant bring myself to play any more.  Other than my initial frustrations the section i played through was mind numbingly boring, I mentioned sneaking a lot but to be honest there really was none required, its quite easy just to run around the streets avoiding the strategically placed and completely static vampires until you find a route to your target. With any mistake instantly being punished with a visit to the game over screen it soon became a simple exercise of trial and error.

Graphics wise things are decidedly “last-gen” with poor animations and effects all round, the city streets are bare, repetitive and just generally lack detail. I’m really struggling to find a way for the game to redeem itself and unfortunately that’s just not going to happen, I didn’t enjoy a single part of my brief experience and before anyone complains that I only played a demo, yes you’re right, and the point of a demo is to make me want to buy the full game, and guess what? I don’t! and my advice to you is to do the same.

Only after finishing my brief session and this article did I think it prudent to do some research on the title, only to discover that on it’s Xbox 360 release it was universally panned by all and sundry, and it dam well deserved it.

Steve M

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2 Comments so far
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[…] Vampire Rain: Altered Species DEMO (PS3) – Lets just not go through this again, if you really want to know what I thought then follow the link. […]

Pingback by What Games Do You Game (16.08.08) - It’s Late Again « XeNonX

I tell you what mate, having read this in it’s entirety I can definitely say that I won’t be buying this one (like I was really going to anyway). Good stuff mate, I think I might let you take the reigns on the Force Unleashed preview too.

Comment by Anthony Barlow (Editor In Chief)




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