Review By: DrJones | Posted: 14/01/2001
The Final Word
Damn cool game, with hours of gameplay! I like it a lot! :)
Well by now, I’m sure you’ve seen the totally amazing film Blade. If you haven’t… Where’ve you been?!?!? Come on now!!! In my opinion the film’s a must see. And this game’s most definitely a must play. Based on the comic book series, and later (of course), the hit movie, Blade delves deep into the unforgiving world of the day-walker. Half-human half-vampire… All warrior! He has all of their vampire-like strengths but none of their weaknesses like their affliction to sunlight. He’s the self-made cure for the disease that is the Vampire. He’s out to get revenge…
With the aid of your old friend and mentor Abraham Whistler, it’s your job to rid the streets of the Vampire clans. You’ve sworn an oath to clear the streets of the Vampire nation and avenge the death of your Mother.
The powerful Vampire clans of Gothic City are once again locked in a blood feud for eternal dominance, with the Pallintine clan determined to resurrect a Vampire deity of unimaginable evil. All is not well in the House of Erebus, the ruling council encompassing the 11 tribes of the Vampire nation. The blue bloods, the pure breeds, are struggling for control. On the one side are the Pallintine: bloodthirsty and frustrated by the Council’s seeming lack of ambition. On the other, the Drogonetti: aristocratic and calculating, but deadly none-the-less.
Blade has a whole arsenal of weapon at his disposal to enable you to get the job done. Using guns, grenades, a lethal razor-sharp sword, and a whole host of kung-fu moves. As you progress deeper into the game, you will encounter numerous selections of enemies. During your quest to uncover the plot hatched by the Vampire nation, you’ll come up against three different categories of enemies – Humans, Vampires, and Monsters. Obviously, these will, in some cases, split up into more categories – like Human Swat Guards and Cops. While playing this game, you need to take into consideration that blade will face characters with different kinds of strengths. The tactics used can vary depending on what enemy you face at the time. To find out the kind of opponent you are up against at that particular moment, use the R2 button to home in on your target (regardless of what direction they come from, Blade will always turn to face the nearest opponent within his field of visibility). After pressing R2, at the top of the screen you’ll notice a gauge displaying the creature type and it’s current level of health. Basically, the bigger the bar, the harder the bad guys. Letting go of R2 and pressing it again makes you home in on the next nearest target available. Also, you’ll notice that while you’re pressing R2 your targets will begin to glow. It’ll be a different colour depending on the kind of character they are. If they’re a Human it’ll be green, if they’re a Monster it’s yellow, and if they’re a Vampire it’s red. Luckily, Blade is an expert fighter trained in both hand-to-hand and firearm combat techniques. So naturally, you shouldn’t have any problems in kicking Vampire ass! :)
Here’s a few attacking tips to take into consideration while attacking the three main groups of enemies. If you’re up against Vamp-friendly Humans, get rid of them quickly. They usually have automatic guns. However they are weak to bullets, so a couple of well place shots, and hey-presto! If it’s a Zombie you’re up against, don’t be fooled into thinking these guys are going to be easy to kill because of their slow pace. Just when it seems you’ve killed the Zombie the first time round, they regenerate, get up and come after you. I’ve found that attacking and killing them a second time means they don’t come back for thirds. Watch out for the ammo though. They take far too much, so save it and go after them with Blade’s silver sword instead. And finally we have the Vampire. As expected, there’s quite a few different kinds. Some big, some small. But, they all have one thing in common – their weakness of silver. When things first start out, you can quite easily sort out most of the Vamps with a quick and expert swish of Blade’s silver samurai sword. As the game progresses, you will need to start using the weapons silver ammo as the Vampires get a lot bigger. ;)
The layout of the levels is extremely well done. I like the fact that this game has a few secrets added on to the main route. For example, there’s an entire boat sequence with over half an hour of play available that has absolutely nothing to do with the main plot. I guess it’s simply there to add a little variety.
The one thing about the game that I find unrealistic, is that if you’re in the middle of a fight (or anywhere for that matter) and you decide to change weapons or heal your self, you’re actually pausing the game in the process. I think that’s slightly cheap. I personally think it would have been a little bit more interesting if the enemies kept coming at you while you’re reloading…
Another handy feature is the Critical Hits. While targeting an enemy, the gauge in the upper right hand corner of the screen will quickly fill up. Hitting the fire button, as the target gauge reaches its peak will result in a critical hit being generated.
The interaction/navigation is ok, considering… The in-game controls are ok - after spending a little time getting used to them! But my initial impressions were that the controls were a little stupid, slightly annoying and seemed to have been designed with the intention of causing frustration. I initially thought that there was a lot of faffing around, which could have been avoided. For example, switching between weapons means holding down the L2 button and then using the directional buttons (Up/Down) to select from your available weapons. Then, depending on your target, you might need to change ammunition by using the directional pad once again (Left/Right). Then there’s R2 for aiming on one target or changing to another (which actually turns out to be one of the better features). And R1 for strafing. Can you imagine having to do this when you enter a room consisting of Zombies, Vamps and Humans? If They all start coming at you, then that's definitely no picnic - you'd have to switch between the guns and sword, and maybe even needing to swap ammo to effectively do any damage. : /
There’s also the case of the loading that occurs slap-bang in the middle of a level. It’s always when you don’t expect it. I admit, It can be a little annoying… But I suppose some sacrifices have to be made for enjoyment.
The music in this game is just completely outstanding. I can only really describe it as a thumping Techno beat… It’s seriously cool! The kinda music you expect from a blade game. It’s the kind of music that, I suppose, wouldn’t sound out of place in a nightclub. The music always seems to change depending on the current scene, and also manages to keep the mood of the current situation/surroundings facing Blade excellently. Graphically, the surroundings are superb. I reckon they’re really strong and manage to keep the whole mood of the game perfectly. The surroundings can also be slightly creepy at times, which I think is quite cool! For a PlayStation, I think Blade has absolutely superb graphics. Some of the backdrops for the battle scenes include places like Chinatown, the sewers, and the Gothic City Museum.
I have to admit, I like this game – it’s damn good fun with hours of entertainment. Only thing is; Blade can be a major pain in the arse at times. Some of the boss characters I’ve come up against have been the biggest, cheating bunch of butt-heads I’ve ever seen. I know, I know, I hear you say that bosses are supposed to be hard, but some of them just take the p*ss. Talk about cheat! Lets say for example, In this one level, I was standing behind I massive statue while this guy was firing off loads of grenades. There was absolutely no way I was in his line of site, but the git still managed to shoot me! Damn it, I reckon he shot me right through the statue. : / This guy took me ages to beat. And to say the least, by the end of the fifth attempt I was starting to get so unbelievably P****d off, it just wasn’t funny. I was just tempted to scream and throw the damn game out of the window. Lol!
So, the moral of this little tale ladies and gentlemen is if like me, you have a fuse almost non-existent, make sure anyone in your household who doesn’t like swearing isn’t around. Because, if you’re anything like me, there should be quite a bit. ;)