What do you think of Blood II? And why so?

Discussion about Blood II and its addons.

What is your opinion of Blood 2?

Great!
4
7%
Pretty good
18
30%
Average
22
37%
Pretty bad
8
13%
Terrible
8
13%
 
Total votes: 60

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Drakan
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Post by Drakan » Feb 13th, 2008, 14:37

Kurt, make it happen. :D

This is a fine line too - I'm not sure how to approach this game if I write a follow up review of it after BLOOD.
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NAto
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Post by NAto » Feb 13th, 2008, 16:08

Thanks again for your replies, guys.

Just don't forget to answer my question; Why doesn't Blood II live up to Blood?

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Post by Sir Seizhak » Feb 13th, 2008, 17:00

Blood 2 could be a great game. I think that themselves did not they endeavor a lot of to offer a gore, violent and dark game as their first delivery. Score: Average.
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Post by kurt » Feb 13th, 2008, 21:32

NAto wrote:Just don't forget to answer my question; Why doesn't Blood II live up to Blood?
If it's an in depth analysis that you seek, I'll attempt to do my best to answer this question.

Following up on the success of the classic game Blood would be a difficult task at the best of times. However Monolith dropped the ball almost from the start with this misguided effort at a sequel.

The choice of game engines may not have been the best choice, however it did, and still does have some potential at creating an enjoyable game. However this sequel felt almost completely unrelated to the original game, and with the exception of the character of Caleb, this game could have probably been released under a completely different title.

Changing the setting of the game from the past to the future was one of the many mistakes this game made. But if the setting had to be changed, then perhaps an interesting story could have been made to explain things, but unfortunately that wasn't the case.

The story itself was pointless and boring, and some of it didn't even make a whole lot of sense. Also all of the characters in this game seemed very annoying, including Caleb himself, with his unnecessary muhahaha laugh after everything he said. Stephen Weyte was definitely not at his best in this effort.

The humor in this game was mostly childish and unfunny, and the horror atmosphere wasn't very well done either. But all of these problems could be forgiven if the game had delivered on some well thought out level designs, and enjoyable gameplay. Unfortunately the levels were poorly designed as well, and an unfinished game doesn't exactly produce enjoyable gameplay.

The game itself was plagued with numerous bugs, and some awfully bad AI, all as a result of being unfinished. But even if additional time had been spent on completing things, the game would still have most likely been lacking almost everything that made the original such a classic.

If this were a stand alone game that was unrelated to Blood, it would have likely been forgotten by most people long ago. There was really nothing memorable, original or creative here.

The original Blood will always remain a classic, and hopefully someday in time this mentally challenged offspring might actually grow up and finally become a respectable member in the Blood family. :)


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NAto
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Post by NAto » Feb 14th, 2008, 09:42

Great reply, Kurt. Thanks! :D

Keep em coming people

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Post by Daedalus » Feb 15th, 2008, 22:52

Vote: Terrible.

Yes, you can safely assume it was I who chose this. Know that everything I have ever done was for Blood's continued prosperity and quality control. Thanks for this opportunity to discuss issues that have already been discussed on Posty in the past. It's difficult for me to not compare the two, but I shall certainly try. Cursing mode: activated.

Blood II: The Chosen

Where to begin? Firstly, brothers and sisters, tell me one field in which Blood 2 succeeded! What's that? You're not sure where it succeeded? Ah, of course, that's right! Blood 2's goals weren't clear from the beginning!

Is it science fiction? Is it horror? Is it the future? Is it the past? Is it an adventure game? Is it an FPS? No! It's the grey, deformed, irregular hodge-podge of half-assed ideas that was formed in the womb of Monolith Productions and shat out prematurely! It's Blood 2, folks!

Let me open plainly, with Blood 2 as an idea. Still ignoring the original, this is what Blood 2 orginally promised the player: a shadowed, forgotten future wherein magic still exists in the hands of the chosen. A malformed world that time forgot being controlled by the offspring of the original Cabal. A dystopian city that Caleb, or the player of your choosing must carve a path through to wreak havoc against ancient foes in a fully-immersive 3D world. Sounds great, doesn't it? Wow! Another chance to dip into the Blood universe and take some names, this time in a full 3D environment! Whoo!

Monolith lied! There is nothing to indicate that this is any particular future, if any timezone at all. Magic is nearly non-existent and this supposed Cabal we fight is not quite at all what we're used to.

So we open on a premise of lies. Good start! So on opening a player isn't really sure of what's up and what's to be expected. Blood 2's intro gives a rough idea and seeing Caleb in such a 'graphic' appearance is quite alluring, but it doesn't sell an idea at all, nor does it grab one's attention. So we enter the game with no idea what to expect and with no clear goal in mind.

So the game begins and suddenly there's this Gideon fellow who you're supposed to chase and you're supposed to have hatred towards, but why? Why does the player want to kill Gideon? He hasn't done anything to hurt you or even displayed any particular character, for that matter, so why bother? Already the game's set up a goal that isn't appealing. It gets off on the wrong foot and, unfortunately, the game never puts the other foot down, nevermind its best one forward. Eventually you fight Gideon and he gets away, but during all this you've had to endure mind-numbing cutscenes and several ridiculous and vague "sub-plots" throughout. Never have I seen a story more ethereal than Blood 2's and rarely have I had so many moments in a single game where I just wonder what the point is. On closing this piece, let me just add that the element of being able to play as the Chosen members makes the game have no story and not even make any sense at all.

Luckily, however, this is a game, not a movie and if the story's a bit weak (or altogether confusing/non-existent), there are other levels which can still make a game a lovely experience. I speak, of course, of graphics and gameplay. (In that order).

So, Blood 2's graphics. Let's hop to it. Given the era, one must certainly offer it a bit of play, so let's say that the weapon models are leaning towards below average. The sawed-off looks like a sawed-off shotgun and you can tell what the weapons look like and I'd even go so far to say that the models used for characters and such are tolerable, but this 'futuristic world'! Oh my! No, friends. I do not see a futuristic world. I see a computer generated box that I am stuck in and from which there is no conceivable escape. Never have I seen environments with less vitality than these. It genuinely feels like you're constantly stuck in a factory, or perhaps a parking lot, generally dull locations, mind you, but they actually succeeded in making these locations even more boring than they are in real life! I'd go so far to say that Quake's theme of 'brown and green castle' is more vibrant than what this game offers visually. Ever noticed a lack of ambient sound in Blood 2? I hope you have, for there's barely any and any hope of connecting with the environment is lost at the get go.

So that's strike two. The game looks like a grey and brown smear that's better left on a pavement somewhere, but still, even still, there's that all important feature which can save even the most unclassy of games and that, my dears, is gameplay.

So the game offers upward of ten weapons. Excellent. But from the very first moments you realise that something isn't quite right. Why does my character glide like he's on skates? Why do I jump as if the gravity's been tampered with and why doesn't that bad guy seem to react when my I shoot him with this cap gun? You guessed it -- the physics are fucking shit.
And let's not begin on underwater physics. I've had instances where I've swam towards the sky and killed myself on corners, that kind of thing. Not to mention that if it wasn't for decidedly annoying player sounds you wouldn't even know you were being attacked. Hell, even explosions seem to have no discernable effect.

Every gun in this game, I tell you, every gun is exactly the same thing, with a possible exception to the flare pistol. The weapon either injures the opponent or gibs them. There's no varying degree of force. You either make a monster perform a pain animation, or vaporize him altogether. The only difference lies in the speed it takes to injure or destroy an opponent. So, effectively, we are given two weapons in this game. Nice one, Monolith.

So already gameplay's treading the path towards damnation. The player movement's unrealistic and displeasurable and the weapons aren't particularly moving (literally), so what's left is the general charm of the game, its soul, if you will and the enemies. Now, Blood 2's opponents consist of tiny pests:
Image

human opponents ("cultists"):

Image

extra-dimensional mutants:

Image

and Shakira:

Image

Now, the problem's that none of the creatures in the game actually appear threatening. I'm sure I needn't tell you about the numerous failings of the AI. I've had a group of fanatics storming a wall. That was quite impressive. Many of these beasties, as with Blood 2, feel somehow unpolished and incomplete.

Now for the soul of the game. The humour is very childish and rarely clever. Few of the quotes are even worth remembering and without Caleb as the central character, there's no redeeming feature of this game whatsoever.

So, in summation, we've got a broken, if not non-existent storyline, a hugely uninspired and slumber-inducing realm, guns which really don't feel good or have any particularly pleasurable touch to them, sound effects which aren't all that convincing and no characters worth remembering.

So I challenge you all yet again and ask you on what level Blood 2 was a success. It feels, looks and acts like an unfinished product that was rushed to the shelves. The only element of the game I remotely enjoy is the soundtrack. Deeper cut? My ass.

Now, you all knew this was coming. Blood II held up against Blood.

I'll rate these things in the same order. First off, less is more. Blood's storyline is simple. A story of love and revenge, that's it. No strings attached. No twists, it's pure and brutal.

Blood 2's storyline would fill two pages and require spaghetti code.

Blood 2's world is broken and the only atmosphere one derives from it is more of a bug than anything else. To clarify; Blood 2's atmosphere exists only because there's no atmosphere of which to speak. It's a lucky coincidence. Any atmosphere Blood 2 offers is because of a lack of content. Where as we can take any picture from Blood:

Image

I saw your hands reaching for the keyboard. You want to play now, don't you? Even a static Blood image can pulsate with atmosphere and meaning.
Blood is inviting. Its mere appearance wills the player into wanting to play it. If Blood 2's appearance could somehow be made whole and physical, I would want to toss it into a garbage bin. Blood's art is timeless, Blood 2's graphics are jaded and cumbersome.

And on the strongest point, that is, Blood's actual gameplay. There is no contest. Blood's gameplay is electric and hilarious good fun, while Blood 2's is a slow plod through void. I'm fully convinced that anyone who takes up playing Blood is touched in a way that no other game can offer. Of course, I probably needn't go through environments. Blood's environment themes are restrictive, perhaps, but marvellously effective, while Blood 2 has no particular theme whatsoever and of course, when one compares level design, there's again no competition. Blood's is brilliant and I honestly have difficulty imagining worse 'maps' than what Blood 2 puts forward.

Of course Caleb's presence in number one can't be ignored. In number 2 he's suddenly a raving idiot and not to be taken seriously and Blood 1's filled with secrets, delights, horror, tiny touches that make it all worth it -- tiny things that really nail the message home and all this while having a great time, I need not say more.

On my closing note, I'll say that Blood has a definite mythos or world to it that is not quite real. It's like being trapped in a nightmare, albeit a ridiculously enjoyable one. It's reality distorted. Blood 2 is reality aborted.

Blood 2 versus Blood. No contest. I'll take the flesh wound.
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Post by Bruce777999 » Feb 16th, 2008, 02:32

Good review.
I agree.

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Post by zZaRDoZz » Feb 16th, 2008, 03:32

Good points one and all Mr. Daedalus. But if someone must play devil's advocate, then it might as well be me. Blood 2 with all its ugly flaws, did contain bits of conceptualization that were meant for the original game of blood. I'm sure you've heard the story of how the b1 development crew seriously entertained the idea of Caleb "resurrecting" each member of the chosen as he went through each individual episode of blood. That nascent game structure is still detectable in b1. It came very close to being b2's storyline.




I know you've heard a rumor here and there of people who were impressed by b2 when they first experienced it. That's because they went through blood in the wrong order. b2 first, blood second. These people probably played far simpler shooters before they experienced blood. First q2, maybe unreal, quake, perhaps doom or heretic were these peoples' first experience with shooters. I can see how some one who's use to no purposeful humor in a shooter would think "Wolfman's got nards" was a hilarious shock. Having your protagonist blurt out the words to The sound of music's *My favorite things* would definitely capture the attention of someone who'd only played quake team fortress with friends from 96 to 98.



Finally, It's best for my blood pressure to focus on all the games of 97-98. Even the well developed ones were pretty boring: SiN, Unreal, q2, Hexen2
All the post quake games were more about showing off graphic engines and had little to do with good game play.

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Post by BoneofFear » Feb 16th, 2008, 19:40

zZaRDoZz wrote:Good points one and all Mr. Daedalus. But if someone must play devil's advocate, then it might as well be me. Blood 2 with all its ugly flaws, did contain bits of conceptualization that were meant for the original game of blood. I'm sure you've heard the story of how the b1 development crew seriously entertained the idea of Caleb "resurrecting" each member of the chosen as he went through each individual episode of blood. That nascent game structure is still detectable in b1. It came very close to being b2's storyline.




I know you've heard a rumor here and there of people who were impressed by b2 when they first experienced it. That's because they went through blood in the wrong order. b2 first, blood second. These people probably played far simpler shooters before they experienced blood. First q2, maybe unreal, quake, perhaps doom or heretic were these peoples' first experience with shooters. I can see how some one who's use to no purposeful humor in a shooter would think "Wolfman's got nards" was a hilarious shock. Having your protagonist blurt out the words to The sound of music's *My favorite things* would definitely capture the attention of someone who'd only played quake team fortress with friends from 96 to 98.



Finally, It's best for my blood pressure to focus on all the games of 97-98. Even the well developed ones were pretty boring: SiN, Unreal, q2, Hexen2
All the post quake games were more about showing off graphic engines and had little to do with good game play.
Pursactly,I might love SiN and Unreal more then Quake 2 or Hexen 2.But Both Sin and Unreal both have some MAJOR flaws.I know I'm going off topic but hell I can't help it.

Unreal
1.BSP clipping problems with some levels (From what I remember Mostly Multiplayer levels)
2.Problems with movers like Elevators (some elevators,even in sp,can kill you.More of a "physics" code problem.)
3.During first beta,Unreal tried to BE Quake.
4.The Brutes from the first beta released (97 demo i think) looked a SHIT load better then they do now.
5.AI,to put it simply,should of gotten more attention (I know,Skaarj can make it seem like their dead,But how the fuck can they dodge primary flak shots but not secondary?!)
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NAto
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Post by NAto » Feb 18th, 2008, 11:44

Great and entertaining post, Matt. Thanks :D

Does everyone else agree or are you going to defend it hmmmmm?

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Post by Dimebog » Feb 18th, 2008, 15:30

Daedalus wrote:Is it science fiction? Is it horror? Is it the future? Is it the past?
You could say all that for BLOOD. It mixes futurism and SciFi technology with gothic retro elements and retro atmosphere. Actually it's a unique surreal universe.
Daedalus wrote:There is nothing to indicate that this is any particular future, if any timezone at all.
You could say the exact same thing about BLOOD.
Daedalus wrote:Why do I jump as if the gravity's been tampered with and why doesn't that bad guy seem to react when my I shoot him with this cap gun?
BLOOD's physics also feel like they have been tempered with. Even though they're quite more enjoyable, you can't expect either to have true-to-life physics.

On everything else, I agree. Though I seem to find more atmosphere and vibrancy from this game than you do (since it was intended to have that cut-off from the world, 'post-apocalyptic' feel), though it's mostly achieved through realistic ambient sounds, excelling musical score (the best part of the game), and urban skyboxes.

Other than that, story is shit, level design is shit, weapons and enemies are shit. As for the bugs, I don't know since I've never experienced a single bug in the game (except that my character's hands seem to shake like in an epileptic person, but I don't quite mind that).

On a closing note, I'll mention that I don't quite understand why bloodites love Painkiller so much. It doesn't have a storyline, it doesn't have a 'timeline consistency', it barely has any memorable weapons, and physics also seem like they've been tempered with. For some mindless action, I'd always fire up some B2 rather than Painkiller. That's about it. Mindless action.

And Half-Life just may be better than B2, but Caleb > Gordon Freeman... And that single thing makes it a more enjoyable game for me.
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Post by Requiem » Feb 18th, 2008, 23:39

Nice review Daedalus, however I think you're a bit harsh on Monolith, they said quite clearly that they wanted to do more with Blood II but the publishers wanted the game out as soon as possible so they were made to rush it.. it's the way it works in the games industry in some cases, the game would have been much better if it weren't for those pesky publishers :x
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Post by Umnir » Feb 19th, 2008, 00:06

That's why that kind of opressors fucks can suck my cock yo!
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Post by Geist » Jun 18th, 2008, 15:01

Average, I'd say.

In my opinion, Blood 2 is just too far removed from the original. No more robed cultists, bug-eyed zombies or gargoyles. If you loved these things in Blood 1, chances are you'll be disappointed playing Blood2.
Also, I believe that the LithTech engine didn't do the game's atmosphere any good either. The polygons make everything seem so crisp and clean-cut - not as 'visceral' (dunno if that's a suitable word - i'm foreign :wink: ) as I'd like Blood to be.
And the damn game is buggy too, at least in my PC config.

Anyway, the Blood series is a bit like pizza. Even if it isn't great, it's still pizza! 8)

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Post by Drakan » Jun 18th, 2008, 16:31

Visceral means Vicious, so you're on the right track. Same thing with manhunt.
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