Uncle Richard’s Review of Blood II: The Chosen

I hate to say it, but I am really disappointed with Blood II: The Chosen. It took me 15 days to wrap this baby. It struck me probably into the ninth day that the programmers at Monolith Productions ran out of monsters somewhere in the planning of this saga. I kept killing the same Enemies from the Cabal and Otherworld Creatures over and over and over again. While the set design, characters and soundtrack rocks, the awesome monsters like the Drudge Lords and Drudge Priests are way too easy to kill. All you have to do is strafe, fire, strafe, fire over and over again. Half the time the monsters didn’t see me or stood still while I sniped them off one by one.

I used to be Blood’s biggest fan. I thoroughly enjoyed Blood 1 when it first came out—so much so that I wrapped its expansion levels: The Plasma Pack and Cryptic Passages. I could not wait to see how they could possibly outdo it with Blood 2: The Chosen. Sadly, I’m afraid they didn’t. While the 3D design and the new look of Caleb and crew is awesome, there are some major flaws. I kept thinking Monolith Productions should have waited another few months to work out the glitches before launching this. It felt like I was playing a demo. I ran through way too many battle sequences without fighting and got to where I needed to go. Little things like going through the same set over and over while graduating through different levels kept me frustrated and my opponents kept giving themselves away with their repetitive sounds—even through walls and doors. The soldiers kept yelling, “You don’t stand a chance!” so many times I turned the sound off so they’d surprise me.

Also, the story line was weak. The cinematics, while dazzling, were so confusing I still do not know if Ophelia, Ishmael and Gabriella were my enemies or my foes. I won’t even try to tell you about the story line because I still don’t know what it is!!

What Blood II does have going for it are the weapons. Whoo-wee! Coming through slaughter never looked so good. Your carry-over arsenal from Blood 1 consists of Caleb’s patented flare gun, napalm launcher and sawed-off shotgun; Blood II, however, explores new toys like the Howitzer (very cool!) and the Insect-A-Cutioner (which was so lame I kept leaving it behind rather than killing myself every time I used it). There were a few weapons that really sucked like the Singularity Generator. Why or why did the designers invent this gun? It claims to create a “black hole” that can suck foes into it, but did it help me kill my way to Gideon, Lord of the Cabal? No. Not even once. I left that sucker behind right way. Also, the Minigun which is supposed to be “potentially the most powerful gun in the game” took so long to fire up, I kept getting killed by the easiest of enemies. I left it behind and stuck with the M16, which did the same damage without the hassle and had a grenade launcher to boot! As for the Voodoo Doll, The Orb and The Life Leech? I couldn’t tell you about them. I never used them once.

The foe I feared most in Blood’s original expansion packs was The Hand. It was pitiful this time around. Oh sure it gave me the finger before I torched it with napalm, but it didn’t lunge and choke me to death—not once!! One huge programming flaw with this game is that if you can get an enemy to corner itself, it just keeps trying to run through the same wall while you politely strafe a little to the left and liquidate them with whatever you have handy.

I will say, though, that the eeriest of the Cabal in the game were the Zealots. Their laugh was unholy as they wielded their lightning scythes only to disappear and flash way when I attacked. They were the toughest of any of the Cabal and when they died they floated up into the sky, only to detonate and shred me bloody. Even in death, they were lethal. Why couldn’t we have more of this, instead of “You don’t stand a chance!”

As for the last battle sequence? All I had to do was keep strafing back and forth across the beach while firing half my arsenal into the mother of all lobsters—and that was it. I was done. A way too easy finish for such a long trail of butchery.

In short: what Blood II lacks is intelligence. This was a rush job and it shows. I’m not so sure I’ll be buying any expansion packs or Blood III if it ever hits the shelves. Uncle’s score: 6 out of 10. The 6 is for the look and the 3D effects well as the soundtrack—not for the terror it never unleashed.

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