(Majesco for Playstation Network)
By Mike Delano
Late summer seems to be fertile ground for the resurrection of washed up videogame heroines, what with Lara Croft getting an unexpected starring vehicle in 2010’s isometric Guardian of Light and now the MIA BloodRayne franchise coming back to try to wash away the memories of not one but three Uwe Boll films that dragged its titular character through the mud. Luckily, publisher Majesco certainly picked the right studio for the reanimation of half-vampire Rayne: Masterful 2D-focused developer Wayforward (Contra 4, A Boy and his Blob) instantly imbues the character with an effortless grace and a host of mesmerizing movements that are rarely seen in side-scrolling action games. Just watching her in action is a treat, and controlling her is just as satisfying as she crisscrosses the screen in a shower of blood and blades, with the occasional gunshot or chained explosion acting like the bass behind her perpetual guitar solo. BloodRayne: Betrayal really has a great sense of rhythm and balance: Your blades might slice through hulking blood sacks one minute then spark and clang against armored swordsmen the next. And while the platforming segments that break up the battles might be a little too gleefully sadistic, they do discourage combat fatigue, something last summer’s Shank woefully lacked. It may be too early to tell if there’s a bright future ahead for Rayne, but with Betrayal, she’s definitely kicked out of her coffin on the right foot.