Vampire Rain is a stealth action game that attempts to mix the stealthy gameplay of Splinter Cell with the horror elements of titles such as Resident Evil. The idea certainly is interesting enough, but the execution leaves a lot to be desired. Bland presentation and some odd quirks in the game design will turn you off of the game almost immediately. And to top it off, all of this mediocrity will only cost you $60! Vampire Rain is a bad game that should be avoided.
- Title: Vampire Rain
- Platform:Xbox 360
- Publisher: Microsoft Game Studios
- Developer: Artoon
- ESRB Rating: “M” for Mature
- Genre: Stealth
- Pros: Decent rain effects; cool premise
- Cons: Too much watching and waiting rather than playing; gameplay, graphics, sound, modes – everything is middle of the road or worse
Features and Modes
The single-player campaign mode in Vampire Rain follows American Information Bureau agent John Lloyd. He and his team at the AIB are responsible for fighting back against a new threat to mankind, the nightwalkers. Nightwalkers are vampires, and their population has exploded to the point that man’s very existence is at stake. The overall story and premise is pretty cool, but the rest of Vampire Rain sucks the life out of this one long before you reach the end.
In addition to the campaign, there is also Xbox Live play. It has all of the standard modes – deathmatch, CTF, and some others that focus more on the vampire aspects of Vampire Rain – and is actually more fun than the single-player game. It is pretty run of the mill and nothing special in a world of excellent Xbox Live shooters, but it isn’t completely horrible. The only problem is that you’ll struggle to find even one other person to play with online.
As far as gameplay is concerned, Vampire Rain is a letdown. At least in the single-player game. This is a stealth game first and foremost, and you actually don’t get to shoot stuff all that often here. Fighting nightwalkers head on is a bad idea, because they can kill you almost instantly. Instead, you have to just sneak around them to try and get to your objectives. The main problem with this is that they are very easy to distract so their cone of vision turns away from you, and the path you have to take around enemies is always very wide and easy to follow. Another problem is that the game constantly breaks in with cutscenes and loading screens and it is a rare occurrence to have more than a minute of uninterrupted gameplay. You sit around and watch and wait far more than you actually play. The pacing of the game is completely ruined by this, but the design is severely flawed as well. When you first start the game, you don’t even get to take a shot at an enemy for the first couple of levels. This just makes an already disappointing single-player experience even more boring.
It isn’t a complete wash, though. The basic controls work fine, and sneaking around, climbing pipes and ladders, and occasionally shooting stuff is actually okay. For multiplayer, this all works fine because the deficiencies of the single-player game, such as the constant wait through cutscenes and load screens or the fact you can’t actually shoot stuff, aren’t dragging you down. It is how everything is implemented in the single-player game that Vampire Rain completely falls apart.
Graphics and Sound
The visuals in Vampire Rain are pretty lackluster. The rain effects when you are sneaking around outside are actually somewhat nice looking, but then you notice that the nice looking water is running off of bland looking textures and chunky looking characters. The sound is similarly unspectacular and the music, effects, and voice acting are uninspired at best.
In the end, Vampire Rain is a bargain bin game dressed up with a full $60 pricetag. The core gameplay is actually somewhat decent, but the single-player campaign is completely broken and is a waste of time and effort. It is too easy, the levels are incredibly poorly designed, the AI is stupid, there are too many interruptions, and the fact that you are encouraged not to shoot any of these horrible vampires throughout most of the game is a huge turn off. The multiplayer is better since most of these problems go away, but it is still only an average game at best, and you’ll be lucky to find anyone to play with at all online. Vampire Rain is just a poor value at $60 and is so poorly executed that I can’t recommend it even for a rental. Normally, I’d say go ahead and rent it for some easy achievements, but most of them are tied to multiplayer and no one else is playing this game, so you couldn’t get any anyway. Better to ignore it entirely.