When I first heard about Countdown Vampires I was pretty excited. I mean I love Vampire games, with Legacy of Kain being my favorite. So the prospect of yet another great story about Vampires coupled with a Resident Evil approach to gameplay seemed like a nice mix. Unfortunately the final product isn't able to break away from mediocrity.
In the game you take on the role of Detective Keith Snyder, a very generic looking character, that is assigned to protect some super famous stars during a reception being thrown at the Desert Moon Casino Hotel on the eve of the New Millennium. This is where the game begins and where it begins to fall apart. Keith simply isn't too entertaining. Along with his pretty bad Voice Acting, the character just never develops into anything to care about.
If you can get past the drab character you'll find gameplay that is similar to Resident Evil with a few interesting additions. Early on you learn that White Water may be used to cure vampirism. The game also chooses an odd way of allowing you to heal yourself and others. You use money that you acquire along the way to use on vending machines! yes grab a Coke and you'll feel much better, even though your leg is still rotting. Seriously though it's a nice deviation form the norm.
The game's inventory menu is nicely done and the game does well with hitting the spooky nature of Vampires and the Night. For most of the game you're left to try and figure out what to do next, but it's something that is well balanced between frustration and easiness.
The game's action is decent with plenty of variety in enemy design. They are pretty dumb in the beginning but eventually become more and more advanced, causing more than a few headaches.
The game also features puzzle elements, ranging from the truly simple to the truly bizarre. On occasions you'll get clues that won't even come in handy until later in the game. It can make for some unneeded headaches.
I can't help but feel that Countdown Vampires just misses the mark. The game does nothing majorly wrong and even innovates in some ways. The generic character and storyline just never meld, though a Comic Book is on the way. Definitely worth a rental but that may be all.