Artoon Vampire Rain
- Great variety of sneaky movement abilities, a couple interesting gadgets, coddling tutorials.
- Lobotomized AI, terrible audio, by-the-numbers missions, sub-par texturing, not scary in the least.
Vampire Rain is yet another misfire in a long line of terrible action titles for the Xbox 360. Don't be swayed in by the 'cool' vampire setting or you are going to get bitten.
Price$ 99.95 (AUD)
Lots of effort goes into the creation of mediocre games, but man-hours of labor alone are no substitute for loving craftsmanship. You can tell when the developers just weren't trying, and every aspect of Vampire Rain bears those revealing scars.
Vampire Rain's recipe certainly sounds intriguing: Take Splinter Cell's movement and stealth repertoire, mix in traditional third-person run-and-gun action, and serve over a bed of supernatural lore. Unfortunately, even the world's yummiest recipe turns out like charcoal if the chef's not paying attention.
You can write off any narrative acumen almost immediately. The game's plot revolves around a secret special ops team that has been formed to combat the growing menace of Nightwalkers that have been terrorizing the nation's cities. However, with an armored personnel carrier labeled "Pizza Delivery," you might wonder if Vampire Rain is meant to be taken as tongue-in-cheek.
Ultimately, any laughter these hapless proceedings pull from you is strictly unintentional, and usually at the expense of some of the worst voice-over this side of Resident Evil. Every last line of unnatural dialogue sounds like a first read, replete with stilted pregnant pauses and emotionless rigidity.
The rest of the sound design actually fares even worse, thanks to wimpy firearm sound effects that'll make you wonder if you're wielding a machine gun or a salad shooter while cheesy "scare" music pervades the background. The best stealth games have you relying on your ears to avoid detection while eavesdropping on enemy conversations, but here you'll hear only cheesy and ineffectual stingers.
Out of the Shadows
Vampire Rain is hardly a treat for the eyes, either; the texturing has a last-generation grain, and visual effects like rain trails seem disconnected from the objects they're supposed to enhance. However, the nightwalkers' disintegration process is mildly amusing, and Necrovision--a visual filter that highlights vampires in red and humans in green--is an interesting twist that lets you track the position and facing of enemies.
The ominous mix of light and shadow is decent, but there's seldom any reason to find dark spots to creep through when your opponents are dumb as rocks. The incessant rain is supposedly the only thing dulling vampire senses enough to keep them from sniffing you out immediately, but no amount of moisture and lightning can explain away the rank stupidity every last one exhibits. If you see two nightwalkers having a chat in human form on the street, feel free to snipe one's head off from a distance--his buddy will happily continue conversing with the resulting puddle of goo.
Fly by Wire
The only thing that Vampire Rain does decently is replicate Sam Fisher's physical prowess. You can mantle any object with the push of a button, shimmy along narrow ledges, climb pipes and ladders, slide down zip-lines, and rappel from buildings. Some levels are open enough to make fair use of your abilities and find creative ways to a roof-top or through a well-guarded door. Unfortunately, even these drawn-out excursions are marred by arbitrary and invisible barriers, poor checkpoint placement, and pedestrian mission objectives.
Xbox Live support exposes eight players to predictable multiplayer modes like deathmatch and "capture the flame." But, given the disappointing single player campaign, anyone unfortunate enough to purchase Vampire Rain is guaranteed an empty lobby. In truth, the biggest mystery here isn't how vampires evolved and rose to power, but how any publisher could justify a $99.95 price tag for a tiresome exercise in imitation and slipshod execution.
Join the newsletter!
Samsung QLED 8K TV
Cartier Calibre de Cartier Diver Watch
Ballistix Tactical Tracer RGB 3000
Ballistix Sport AT
Apple iMac Pro
Bang and Olufsen Beoplay A9 Speaker
Toys for Boys
Tivoli PAL BT
ESET Smart Security Premium
ESET Cyber Security Pro for Mac
Oregon Pro WMR500 Weather Station
Nix Pro Colour Sensor
Little Bits DROID Inventor Kit
ESET Internet Security
Osmo Coding Awbie Game
SmartLens - Clip on Phone Camera Lens Set of 3
Ultimate Ears Wonderboom Bluetooth Speaker
Naztech Xtra Drive Mini + 256GB microSD Card
Ikea RIGGAD work lamp with wireless charging
TimeFlip Magnet Simple Time Tracking Device
Sometimes an excellent operating system can be made even better
Most Popular Reviews
- 1 Samsung Galaxy Watch review: Brilliant but not quite a breakthrough
- 2 HP Omen 15 (2018): Full, in-depth review
- 3 HP Envy x360 13 (Ryzen): Full, in-depth review
- 4 Dell G5 review: Easy to live with
- 5 D-Link Omna 180 Cam HD DSH-C310 review
Latest News Articles
- CES 2019: Nubia just announced the gaming phone that might be worth importing
- Razer have announced their first console keyboard
- Fortnite and PUBG could be banned in China
- Epic Games cuts the once-loved 'Infinity Blade' series from the App Store
- Resident Evil 2 Hands On Preview
PCW Evaluation Team
Microsoft Office continues to make a student’s life that little bit easier by offering reliable, easy to use, time-saving functionality, while continuing to develop new features that further enhance what is already a formidable collection of applications
I’d recommend a Dell XPS 15 2-in-1 and the new Windows 10 to anyone who needs to get serious work done (before you kick back on your couch with your favourite Netflix show.)
It’s useful for office tasks as well as pragmatic labelling of equipment and storage – just don’t get too excited and label everything in sight!
The Brother MFC-L8900CDW is an absolute stand out. I struggle to fault it.
I need power and lots of it. As a Front End Web developer anything less just won’t cut it which is why the MSI GT75 is an outstanding laptop for me. It’s a sleek and futuristic looking, high quality, beast that has a touch of sci-fi flare about it.
If you’re looking to invest in your next work horse laptop for work or home use, you can’t go wrong with the MSI GE63.
- CES 2019 Round-Up:
- Razer Phone 2 review: One for the fans
- Samsung’s Galaxy S10 will launch on Feb 20
- Which flagship TV is best? Sony 4K HDR Bravia 2016 versus LG 4K HDR OLED 2016
- 10 Blu-ray movies / Best looking Blu-ray movies