It's crazy and it's Kooky, mysterious and spooky. It's all together Hooky, Blood 2: The Chosen...... Hey, what does Hooky mean anyway.
Life is a never ending cavalcade of events that have made me come to realize, people are full of crap sometimes. I have seen people come on to a message board and just jump way off topic to mention how much they Hate Blood 2: The Chosen. For a long time I really suspected such angst was probably justified. So I never really considered buying a copy of Blood 2: The Chosen. But a Free lance reviewer friend of mine mentioned he was clearing out the crap in his closet. He said "You know, I have a copy of Blood 2 here if you want it". I said, "Yeah, cool free stuff". Took me a couple of weeks to get around to installing it. I was really expecting a bugfest that would have my skin crawling for some uninstalling, but such was not the case. I found myself once again, playing games until way past my bed time. I hate missing out on Sleep (it's my other hobby), but God bless America I love having fun. And in spite of what it's critics have to say about the game........... it's a blast to play.
Now a good reviewer can tell you why something is fun. I never claimed to be a good reviewer, but I'll do my level best here. Much like it's sister game Shogo:Mad, Blood 2 is all about embracing a Genre. That Genre being tacky horror flicks. Keep in mind, Now that I'm all grown up, my passions for fright flicks has diminished. But there is something compelling about a game that so thoroughly embraces it's source material. While I don't find any game scary, this one is pretty creepy. If you'll think for a moment of the "Nightmare on Elm Street" Series, you'll get an idea of the kind of Tongue in cheek, sort of slap stick hyper violence that is part and parcel of this game. In many ways, the games undead anti hero is a comedian that brings new meaning to the phrase "Knock em dead".
The Plot is paper thin, but manages to propel the action forward. Keep in mind, your average Horror flicks plot is often nothing more then a chain of events that leads from one Special effects scene to another. So even the plot is genre correct. In spite of it not being a "Great story" game, the action will suck you right in. The pacing is spot on. The Puzzles are pretty simple and getting unexplainably lost does not seem to happen much here. The parts that are somewhat tricky, seem to help vary the tempo of the game. But you never get suck in that "I have killed everything on this level and I still can't find the way out" sort of situation. There are a couple of jumping puzzles, but they are rather short and not very frustrating. There are NO "You have to jump on the platform when I gets close and the swinging pendulum it at a ¾ arch" sort of bullcrap. Yippy!!!!
Frankly, the graphics for a game of this vintage are very impressive. Once again, the play pawns don't get that much attention. But the stuff you shoot at is rather well modeled. The game has a variety of locals from Cathedrals, to condemned buildings, to Subways (lots of em), to........ yes, Sewers. Even a few crates along the way. But don't let the lack of innovation put you off. It's all well executed and since you don't tend to get totally lost in these levels, they are not all that problematic.
The Weapons system in the game is somewhat unique. There are more weapons available then you have slots to carry them in. At the later stages of the game you have to pick what to keep and what to throw away. When using the Pistol, Mac 10 sub machine gun or sawed off shot gun. You can pack 2 at a time and do it woo style. There are also some neat toys to play with. Does anybody remember the Orb from the movie "Phantasam"? It's in there. And it's so interesting to use, you just spend a lot of time looking for people to use it on. You also get a flare gun to set the bad guys on fire. Another interesting feature, is the more you use your knife, the more powerful it becomes. I found this out after my first trip through the game. But I did use my knife a good deal just to save on ammo.
There are 4 characters you can play the game with, and all have different attributes. But Caleb is the only one that works with the story line. So you best use him first or you'll not have a clue what is going on. Frankly, it seems the other 3 characters are somewhat superfluous. But they give you a few more models to play with when you play the Deathmatch variant.
Speaking of Deathmatch, hats off to the Bloodbath as it's called in Blood 2. It's not the same old thing by a long shot. First off, when you set up your character, you get points to distribute. These let you make it faster or stronger (able to carry more ammo or armor) or more durable etc. You also get to select which weapons you'll carry with you in the match. No longer do you have to "Run to get the Rocket Launcher". It's already in the inventory. There are also a bunch of bombs that make the game kind of interesting. During my match with Baby Tank, we were scattering around Proximity bomb like mad fiends. While you may carry what ever weapons you choose, you still have to pick up ammo to keep them working. But all in all, it's pretty cool.
As for Bugs, I did encounter a few system lock ups. But even with the virgin pure version 1.0, the game is playable to it's conclusion. Even the Deathmatch/Bloodbath on our LAN went with out a hitch.
If there is a point to this review, it would be don't believe everything you hear. I'm glad my Amigo had a copy of Blood 2 in his closet that needed a new home. If not for serendipity, I would have missed out on a pretty cool game. It's by no mean a perfect game, but sometimes we get hung up on the Next big thing. If you run across a Copy of Blood 2 in some bargain bin, I would recommend you grab it. It's a good deal more entertaining then a bunch of the new games I have played. And deep down inside, don't we all enjoy having a few guilty pleasures in our lives? Once you have played Blood 2, the next time some message board type post "BLOOD 2 SUCKS", you can smile that smug smile and think "What a wanker".