At a first glance, Vampire Rain seems like an innovative title hoping to blend stealth and horror elements to create a game like no other. Vampire Rain is very different from most other games, but only because it is so drastically unappealing. As a member of an elite government office, you take the roll of Sam Fisher look-alike John Lloyd on a quest to prevent â€œnightwalkersâ€ from taking over the world. Instead of taking part in a monster bloodbath that Resident Evil games led us through, here you spend most of your time going from point A to point B. With a downright horrendous combat system and tacked on stealth elements, itâ€™s incredibly difficult to get a rise out of Vampire Rain.
The story itself isnâ€™t so bad on its own; taking out an entire city of super-vampires actually seems like it could be entertaining. Unfortunately, you hardly ever find yourself battling these blood sucking demons. For the most part, your objectives in missions are to make it to various points in order to meet up with other people, and then later on youâ€™ll often backtrack in order to avoid being detected.
If youâ€™re detected by a nightwalker youâ€™re as good as dead, unless you happen to have a shotgun on you (which is very unlikely). Aside from having an incredible amount of health, every enemy can kill you instantly. As such, the entirety of the game revolves around you not entering a nightwalkerâ€™s line of sight. In stealth titles like Splinter Cell, at least you had the option to fight back in case youâ€™ve been spotted. Sometimes youâ€™ll be armed with a sniper rifle that will allow you pickoff enemies from afar, and the shotgun does do a great job at tearing apart vampires at close ranges. However, for the most part your best method for success is avoiding enemies at all costs.
Even with a lame combat system, stealth games shouldnâ€™t be completely boring if youâ€™re trying to avoid detection anyways. The problem with Vampire Rain is that you canâ€™t possibly feel elusive at all. Your methods for remaining undetected include climbing up pipes, taking alternate paths, and hiding behind trucks. The only tools you have are night vision goggles and â€œnecrovisionâ€, which allows you to discern nightwalkers from humans. Thereâ€™s no way to tell if youâ€™re making too much sound, and hiding in the shadows doesnâ€™t help you at all. As a result, the game is essentially trial-and-error as you search for the right path to take. When a majority of your adventure involves simply walking around, itâ€™s hard to have any fun at all.
Strangely enough, for a game that is entirely unappealing gameplay wise, the graphics arenâ€™t that bad. Sure the animations are choppy at times and a lot of the same textures and environments are repeated, but initially the game looked fairly solid for a 360 title. You wonâ€™t exactly be blown away by any of the visuals and the truth be told the gore effects could be a lot more disgusting (in a good way), but itâ€™s safe to say that the graphics are the best part of this game hands down. On the other hand, the voice acting is so melodramatic and clichÃ© that youâ€™ll find yourself laughing when the developers intended you to be scared. It was a nice change of pace to get a good chuckle out of all of this, but if you do decide to play this game youâ€™ll probably end up skipping the cutscenes every chance you get.
Lastly, in the off-chance that there are enough other people online to get an Xbox Live match started, youâ€™ll have nothing more than typical game modes that can be very unbalanced. Capture the â€œflameâ€, deathmatch, and team modes are all selectable, but as you mightâ€™ve guessed humans are far weaker than the nightwalkers. Humans donâ€™t require as many points to win a match, but they are severely shorthanded in combat. While the combat isnâ€™t as one-sided as it is in the single-player mode, playing as a human will probably get you frustrated. All things considered, youâ€™re best off avoiding this one altogether.
In short, Vampire Rain should be avoided at all costs. There are plenty of other alternatives out there if youâ€™re in search of a stealth or horror game, and with the price tag of $60 thereâ€™s absolutely no way you can justify purchasing such a shoddy title. Rent an old Splinter Cell or Metal Gear Solid if you have a craving for stealth because Vampire Rain will do nothing but disappoint.