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Vampire Rain Game Sample - Xbox 360

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  • 6 years ago
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Vampire Rain is a stealthy "horror" game developed by Artoon and published by AQ Interactive and Microsoft in 2007. It was later ported and slightly upgraded for PS3, going under the title "Vampire Rain: Altered Species". While Artoon has a rocky track record when making games (mixed bags like "Pinobee" / "Blinx", more interesting games like "Away" / "Ghost Trap" / "Tian Xing", pretty good games like "Yoshi's Island DS", etc.), VR and VR:AS are perhaps the most negatively viewed games in their entire catalogue. To be fair, given their prior titles, I'm surprised they had the skill and budget to craft a game like this and it was their first home console current-gen effort. Despite what's said about this game, it really isn't THAAAAAAAT bad either. IMO, what killed this game was its pricetag and premise; this game would've been a good budget title with its passible audio/visuals, B-Movie charm and multitude of missions, but when you consider that this game released at full retail price and it has quite a few awful scenes (not so much the dialogue itself, but the scripting and way scenes are acted) and perplexing gameplay mechanics, it's not hard to see why the game was panned before most gave it a chance.

The game can be described as the love child of Metal Gear Solid, Splinter Cell, and Resident Evil with a stab at Vampire lore and cooperative teamwork. Even the main protagonist looks like Solid Snake at first glance. The plot isn't shabby on pen and paper: Each year, millions of people around the world began disappearing without a trace, and most were never heard from again, until it was discovered that some emerged in a transformative state as victims of some kind of genetic disaster. Classified as a new breed of Vampire known as "Nightwalkers" or "NWs", (due to their superhuman strength, agility, need to prey on humans, and other unnatural characteristics) they have discretely been reducing the human population for over 100 years with their intelligence and ability to blend in with other humans. Only the most influential members of state have any info on the threat, which has become so dire that it's estimated that the population of NWs will exceed that of the humans in under three years, making humans a minority. In the past, a non-violent approach of dealing with the NWs existed (no tools effectively deterred them), but as the attacks became more aggressive, this was no longer acceptable. The U.S. American Information Bureau (AIB) formed a special Anti-NW division which would cut NWs off at the source-- by learning more about the NWs, intercepting their intel, developing new weapons based on said info and attempting to eliminate the "Prime Walker". Now with a small team of elite Sam Fischer wannabes and a strategic torrential downpour which confuses the Vampires' heightened senses, the clock is ticking as you defeat the NWs in the cloak of night.

The game operates in third-person and you run, duck, climb, and many of the things you would more or less do in SC. The controls are good; everything handles as they should and are easy to learn. However, the game does have a pretty bad camera that tends to get lost near the player at some of the worst possible times (making you hang off of a ledge when you don't want to for example), making the game more difficult. However, the game is fair as it does have a good amount of checkpoints for each mission. The things that seperate this game from titles like SC are the adversaries in which you deal with and the need to often identify targets with "Necrovision", which is like any other "Vision" in these games but with the sole purpose of identifying normal humans and NWs. While the game attempts to be less linear in how you approach missions, you rarely have more than one clear or practical way to tackle a level and teammates don't help too much outside of scripted events. This isn't necessarily bad, but when the game markets itself with "Identify. Eliminate. Survive." (More like "Run. Don't. Get. Caught. Ever.") and fighting is almost never a good idea as you really die in two (one) hit against crazy fast foes, the game should've been marketed on its strengths, as action isn't really one of them. Avoiding the NWs is suspenseful, but the scenes sap most of the "horror" this game has, not that there's much to begin with.

The visuals don't hurt the game; they're dark, bleak, and fairly atmospheric with a good degree of detail fitting for this kind of game, and characters animate respectably (usually, but not always... sometimes they move in an outrageously funny manner). It won't win GotY, but you'd probably come off as a real graphics whore if you hated this game solely due to its presentation. The game has little music, opting for ambience and sounds. What music is available is passable but doesn't stand out. The voice acting is cheesy, but not nearly as horrendous as I imagined. Here's some vids of the game in action (Intro / GS). Enjoy.
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