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Blade 2

Score: 80%
ESRB: Mature
Publisher: Activision
Developer: Activision
Media: DVD/1
Players: 1
Genre: Action/ Adventure

Graphics & Sound:

Straight from the New Line Cinema film series, Activision has managed to completely capture the essence of Blade 2's audio. You'll get the same outstanding feeling of being surrounded by up-tempo beats, just like you're really smack in the middle of some trendy dance club. I guarantee that if you like the background music in the movies, you'll love the same in the video game. The other sound fx in Blade 2 are also fairly well done, so you can count on some great ear-piercing sounds coming from your Dolby Digital stereo system (or television speakers). Easily, the auditory side of Blade 2 pushes the game onto another level of excitement.

In the same way that the films threw gore our way, Blade 2 (the game) dishes out its fair share of blood. Along with the red splatters are visual effects that have vampires and zombies vanishing in a flaming mess when killed... er, killed again (since they are already undead). Another sweet effect happens when Blade performs finishing moves. The camera cuts to a special in-game cut-scene, and you get an up close and personal view of Blade ramming a stake into the heads of his opposition, among other mini-movies. There are actually different cut-scenes for each weapon type currently equipped. Unfortunately, the actual in-game levels and character models are nothing we haven't seen before (read: 'The graphics are average, at best.').


Blade 2 not only steals the great audio from the films, but also the unique style of the films. Starting with the slow-motion effects in some of the cut-scenes and continuing into each of the levels, Blade 2 truly does let you become Blade. From the moment you begin your journey, Blade will encounter tons of baddies that don't like the Daywalker at all. The key to fighting the hosts of vampires and zombies (that will approach Blade simultaneously) is all in the timing of your attacks.

As Blade, you will work your way through the game punching, kicking, slicing, and shooting the entire time. To accomplish this, you will actually use a combination of buttons (for weapons) and the right analog stick (for hand-to-hand combat), which makes controlling Blade and the direction of his attacks extremely easy. As you become surrounded by enemies, a perfect combination of blocking and using timed attacks is essential, or you can easily become overwhelmed by the number of bad guys.

The arsenal of weaponry in Blade 2 consists of a glaive (boomerang-type slicing device), a pistol, a shotgun, and a silver knuckle duster, as well as UV grenades. But when all else fails, and your rage meter reaches the desired level, Blade can experience a serious boost of adrenaline and will bust out his long sword. The result is Blade laying out a serious can of whoop-ass on the deadites that surround him. Even still, timing is always essential in these attacks. And unfortunately, the camera angle in Blade 2 doesn't always allow for the best view of Blade's surroundings.

In order to use these extra weapons, however, you must first unlock them. The difference between Blade 2 and other action games is that you won't unlock new weapons simply by clearing each area. Instead, Blade 2 works on a reward system, and you must earn enough points to unlock these goodies. True, you will earn points for each level cleared, but there is more to it than that. You will also earn points for the amount of evil that you slay, among a number of other area-specific goals. But you are rewarded in another way for searching the entire level. A number of glyph icons will be scattered around, and when picked up, will earn Blade bonus points. However, you will not be able to just carry all of these new weapons with you on each subsequent level. Just like in real life, you can only carry so much. This means that you will have to decide which weapons you will want with you upon insertion to each area. Use the right combination, and you may just survive.


If zombies and vampires surrounded you all day, every day, could you survive? No? Well, neither can Blade... without the proper technique. But, if you learn how to properly time your hand-to-hand combat, and also learn when to use (and conserve) your other weapons, you can survive. Still, don't expect to waltz through Blade 2 without a few restarts. The sheer number of deadites that confront you at times is so overwhelming that it may seem impossible to win. And it nearly is. But replaying the level should eventually lead you to learn certain techniques that will help you plow your way to victory.

Game Mechanics:

The controls in Blade 2 are actually set up very well, and allow for a wide range of movement. It's unfortunate, then, that this movement is somewhat clunky. Unlike the abilities that Blade has in the films, Blade 2 just doesn't feel as though you have the quickness that should be involved in the life of a half-vampire Daywalker. And when you combine a camera that doesn't allow enough room to see sneaky deadites in the foreground, it makes what could have been a great game only a good one. For fans of the films, Blade 2 is a must-rent, if for nothing else, for the music and presentation of the game. Others looking for an over-the-top action game may also want to check out Blade 2. But all should definitely rent before buying, to make sure it is everything you had hoped it would be.

-Woody, GameVortex Communications
AKA Shane Wodele

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